Scruff has added new advertising and privacy features to try and enhance user experience.
Firstly, it has removed all programmatic advertising, meaning its app will not display automated, third-party ads. Instead, the advertising spaces will be utilised to promote LGBTQ+ nonprofit organisations, as well as lifestyle and travel companies.
The new EU GDPR guidelines stopped Scruff from using programmatic advertising in Europe. Therefore, the company decided to implement the higher level of data privacy across all versions of its app.
Scruff CEO Eric Silverberg told Advocate: “Scruff members can be assured that their data will be used only to help them meet and connect with other guys, not to target shady advertising for products or apps nobody would want or use anyway.
“Though this decision will cost Scruff revenue in the short-term, we believe it is the right long-term decision because it creates the best experience for our community.
“Our members entrust us with deeply personal and sensitive information, and it didn’t feel ethical for us to hold U.S. users to a different, arguably lower standard of privacy than E.U. users.”
It is also now optional for users share their ethnicity and other personal details. Under the new rules, the only mandatory information that they need to provide is name, email and date of birth.
Non-heterosexual dating apps have faced a certain amount criticism for the amount of racism, transphobia and body-shaming that is present on the platforms.
Silverberg continued to Advocate: “We recognize that the queer community of color faces discrimination and racism as part of their regular lives.
“It is why Scruff is the only platform that vigorously enforces its community guidelines to ensure that harassment, racism and abuse doesn’t happen, and if it does it is dealt with swiftly.”
Grindr has announced the launch of a new initiative called Kindr, which is expected to tackle similar issues.
New users of Scruff can now sign up without using Facebook verification, in a further attempt to protect their private data. Coffee Meets Bagel was the latest dating app to introduce SMS verification, after Hinge and Bumble.
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