The crew behind the men-for-men site squirt.org is introducing a revamped mobile site, called Squirt Mobile, the first version of which was launched in 2009.
“Apps like Grindr and Scruff have changed the market and the way people want to access these sites,” says Jeffrey Freeman, Squirt’s web marketing manager. “It’s clear people are adopting a new methodology to cruising.”
Squirt is operated by Pink Triangle Press, which also publishes fab and Xtra. Attila Szatmari, Squirt’s digital business director, says a team of about a dozen developers has been mapping out “the logic of cruising” since last summer. They have based the new format on where and when to find men who are looking to hook up for sex . This began with adopting the GPS location tech used so successfully by mobile apps like Grindr and Scruff. “In the old Squirt Mobile site, you had to rely on what people were entering as their postal codes,” Szatmari says. “Now it’s a similar location-based approach: you see the guys around you.” A new feature is the ability to toggle between views: either a grid of photos like Grindr or a scrolling list of mini-profiles.
One of the unique things about Squirt Mobile is that member photos feature full-frontal nudity. That nudity is something Apple, for example, forbids mobile applications available on the iTunes Store.
“Apple has some guidelines,” Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai told Xtra last summer. “They’ve got their rules. They’re fairly explicit about profanity, nudity, overall sexuality. We have to obey those guidelines.”
Squirt Mobile, however, can be accessed via virtually any mobile web browser, making it accessible with almost any mobile device.
“You can use the same full range of images you’d use on a regular desktop site — more images than mobile apps: your face, your penis, your ass,” says a proud Szatmari. “Whatever you think is your best feature, that’s what you’re able to show.”
The Squirt Mobile site was previously available only to paid members, but now it's available to everyone, though only members will be able to skim through unlimited profiles. “We have rolled it out to the rest of the world,” says Freeman. “We rolled it out to the United Kingdom first to test-market and see how people responded to it. We actually have a fairly decent audience in the UK,” he says. “Mostly Ireland.”
The revamped Squirt Mobile is expected to debut for Canadian users in the spring.
Szatmari says he is pleased that a significant 41 percent of current users say Squirt Mobile is “more effective or much more effective than its competitors.”
Freeman says “users wanted more search options, especially for other cities they may visit in the future. If you’re in a new city, you can click on ‘Cruising’ and see the places that are closest to you.”
Ultimately, he adds, the Squirt Mobile site “supports the cruising culture like no other site can.”
“Our website is a hookup site,” Szatmari says. “We don’t sugarcoat that. Grindr is too chit-chatty,” he says. “When people want to get laid, they’ll go to Squirt.”
This piece originally appeared in Xtra's sister publication fab.