The Grindr Spambot Dilemma; Grindr Announces Unique Log In Accounts

On Tuesday, the world’s largest gay dating and hookup app Grindr, announced plans to ask its more than 6 million users to register their accounts with an an email and password. The announcement comes after a sharp increase in spambots; fake accounts that message Grindr users attempting to lure them into turning over their credit-card information.

Usually a handsome, muscled, and stripped to the waist man, will introduce themselves with a handful of stock greetings. “Poke.” “Hey buddy.” “Hey sexy.” When a user responds back to the message, the spambot will respond with a quick story about how incredibly frisky they are feeling: “I have just returned home from the gym and am incredibly horny. Want to have a quick video chat right now.”

Then a link will appear pointing to a webcam site with names like MyPassionPit, MyGayCamCrush and GaySliceCrush.

These spambots have managed to trick Grindr’s GPS proximity feature, managing to contact users from 6,000 to 7,000 miles away from the United States.

Grindr users are fed up, leaving frustrated reviews in Apple’s App Store: “All I ever get is spam messages,” said one reviewer in the App Store.

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Grindr made their official announcement Tuesday via their online Blog:

Hey Grindr guys,

In an effort to reduce spam and improve portability, Grindr will be asking you to create an account in the coming days. It’s easy and it will help enhance your Grindr experience.

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When you download the new version, you’ll just register with an email and password – it’s that easy. Your profile information, chats and favorites will be saved. In addition, all users will be able to log onto any device to access their information.

Of course, Grindr will not share this info. Look for the updated version, coming soon.

In addition, this new update will have iPhone 5 support. Now iPhone 5 users can utilize that big, beautiful screen to see more guys. If you want even more, download Grindr Xtra to see 200 more guys in your area.

We also fixed some bugs for those who don’t have the iPhone 5. That means you Android users – the latest version of Grindr is the best Grindr experience yet.

The Verge points out that the new log in feature might hinder a cheating boyfriend from creating an ‘anonymous’ account on Grindr:

The measures also promise to change the nature of an app that spread in part because of its anonymity. Joining Grindr requires only downloading the app and opening it up — immediately, the user is greeted with profiles of dozens of nearby men. Its profiles are essentially disposable, making it attractive to men who are closeted, cheating on their boyfriends, or who simply don’t like filling out profiles. But even as they have fueled its rise, the disposable profiles have also made Grindr easier to spam.

Competitors like Scruff and Jackd have long required users to create an account, and seem to be less prone to spam. But they’re also less popular. Verified accounts may help Grindr with its spam problem — but they’ll also make it feel more like the competition. Requiring email addresses and passwords could blunt Grindr’s momentum by chasing away men who wanted to stay completely anonymous, even to Grindr itself. But with spambots choking its servers, the company has little choice but to start using some protection.

Following yesterday’s Grindr update release, dozens of users have left angry reviews today in the Google Play App store: One user wrote: “Update Killed The App The update has caused the app not to work at all on the Android. The menu feature doesn’t work and it shows I’m offline.” Another user commented: “Even worse than before I never thought the developers could screw things up more, but they have managed to do so. No longer provides listing by distance and does no update distances to saved contacts when you travel. Essentially has a become worthless app.”

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Update at your own risk!

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  1. Dman on August 2, 2013

    In its entire existence, Grindr has never been any more than a good idea poorly executed. This takes it one tiny step closer to being useful and possibly slowing the harm it has done. Exactly as the article depicts Grindr has tapped into the ‘disposability’ of the gay community and trashed it even further. A log on feature will also make it easier to maintain a profile and not have to recreate a profile every time you change a phone (a feature SO basic, and that every other gay socialising app has had for years!). I am seriously hoping that it will reduce the number of absolutely careless and indifferent gaymers who like to amuse themselves on such sites by simply harassing the community for pics, and doling out insults. It a lot to ask…but it’s a step in the right direction. Grindr has always been appalling and this just might make it less so…. let’s hope so.

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