|Blendr seeks to further social experiences|
|Written by Douglas Bridges-O’Connor, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Tuesday, 18 October 2011 16:10|
Blendr, a new location-based social networking application, aims to change the way people meet one another.
The mobile app was released on Sept. 8 and allows users to connect with others nearby who share similar interests or frequent the same places.
“Social networking just got ‘social’ and there’s no easier way to meet new people that share your interests than with Blendr,” Joel Simkhai, Blendr Founder and CEO, stated in a media release.
Blendr is a spin-off version of the highly popular all-male social media app, Grindr, which was released in 2009. Since its launch, Grindr has amassed more than 2.6 million users in 192 countries, according to a Blendr media release.
“We’ve built Blendr to be the ultimate social compass for everyone to strike conversations with new people nearby and check out what’s happening at surrounding venues in the moment,” Simkhai stated.
While Blendr’s popularity remains to be seen, at least in regard to the Bloomington-Normal area, the app offers many possibilities for local college students.
“I think [Blendr] is going to be a big hit, especially with college students. We’re always on the lookout to meet new people. Facebook and Twitter connect people, but I think this app will be a good resource and people will be attracted to it because it ties in the distance, so you’re not just meeting someone who’s maybe a few towns away. You’re meeting someone you know is very close and accessible for meeting, talking and things like that,” Natalie Richardson, junior communication studies major, said.
With Blendr, users can view the profiles of other users in their surrounding area, which includes photos and general interests such as hobbies, entertainment choices and professional goals. Users can also initiate private instant message conversations with others through Blendr’s chat function.
However, with increased potential also comes heightened concern for virtual safety.
“I would be concerned with the safety of this app. I have a long-term boyfriend, so I’m not dating, but if I were I would be scared using [Blendr] just because I would know that someone was so close to me, but I wouldn’t know what they knew about me from my profile. So, users should definitely keep an eye on the safety aspects,” Richardson added.
According to the Blendr media release, the app simplifies the meeting process with secure privacy settings and has features that give users total control of how they want to connect and interact with others.
“Smartphones and location-based services have completely transformed social interactions for everyone and we’ve taken our learnings from Grindr on creating an incredibly engaging consumer experience and loaded it with the most comprehensive privacy features to give users total control of how they want to interact within the Blendr community,” Simkhai stated.
Blendr is free and available on iTunes and Facebook. The app is compatible for mobile use on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.