Archer is a new social-first dating app for gay, bisexual, and queer men as part of Match Group’s portfolio of dating platforms. The app will be available in New York this summer, with a national roll-out expected later in 2023.
The objective of this new platform is to create a safer space for men to “seek boldly and aim freely for whatever type of connection they desire”. It represents a move away from anonymous gay dating, towards a progressive and proud community.
Some of the features on the platform include “photo-centric, feed-style profiles” as well as group messaging, and grid view options. This marks a combination between a social media experience and a dating app to help create communities, the platform shared.
The app’s customisable interface allows users to view others in three different ways: a linear feed of one profile at a time, a grid of 15 profiles, a zoomed-out look at dozens of profiles at once.
In terms of safety features, selfie verification is required when users sign up. As well as addressing fraud and abuse, the platform hopes that having visible faces on every profile will encourage celebration rather than anonymity.
Archer has also adopted AI technology to work alongside humans in content moderation. The platform shares that this will ensure profiles are high-quality and that community guidelines are followed. A new tool will also blur nude images sent over chat, giving users the ability to control when or if they see them.
It will also introduce an in-app health hub, where users can find resources regarding medical and mental health. The health hub will share information on counselling centres, sexual health testing, and HIV medications.
“Archer’s innovation — combining the connection-seeking of dating with the self-expression of social media — has created a new type of experience for this community to interact and connect with one another,” says Marcus Lofthouse, Chief Product Officer at Archer.
“We’ve relied on feedback from the community to build the unique platform experience they’re looking for to empower men to be their full selves, and to genuinely, and more safely, connect with others”, Lofthouse added.
The platform shared that it was developed in partnership with over 1,200 gay, bisexual, and queer men through interviews and feature testing. It is also partnered with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organisation to help reflect the community it serves.
“When I first tried dating apps almost a decade ago as a closeted gay man, the options available only reinforced the idea that love and connection in our community should be hidden,” shared Michael Kaye, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications at Archer.
“Archer ushers in a new age of dating, celebrating self-expression and community and providing queer men with a safer space to connect freely with whoever they’re looking for”, continued Kaye.
Looking ahead, the platform is planning to roll out more features that enable self-expression, for example being able to add 20 images to a profile, and adding tags to a bios.