After speaking with other lesbians in her network, Krysten Milne realized she didn’t know of any similar app for women. The marketing consultant and president of her own company, Mint Consulting Group
, hails from Sarnia, Ontario, whose gay scene, especially for women, is hardly comparable to Toronto’s.
“When I was talking with other [queer] girls, I came to the realization that there was no app out there for allowing us, in this community, to connect with each other on a location-based platform,” she says. “It was a spur-of-the-moment type of decision to make the app, and as a member of the queer community I wanted to get this program out there.”
Although Milne’s company is based in Sarnia, GirlDar can be used internationally, acting as an integrated Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare application that allows users to “shout” out to each other, check in and connect with others in the same location, and add friends.
GirlDar is not designed to be a cruising or dating app, which is the primary use for Grindr (although this is claimed not to be the case by Grindr’s creator, Joel Simkhai). Milne mainly wants to connect queer women for networking and friendship purposes.
“If that’s what girls want to use it for [dating] and the app develops into something for all intents, then that’s great,” she says. “But GirlDar is about being able to connect within such a small community on a more geographical-based level, making it easier to speak with one another.”
GirlDar users create profiles, which allow them to connect to other women via checking in at specific locations and viewing nearby users, adding new friends, instant messaging and posting on the public wall. The app is in its infancy and was launched only a few weeks ago, but Milne wants to develop it quickly over the next few weeks. Originally released for the Android, it is available for both iPhone and Blackberry users as well.
GirlDar isn’t the first queer-women-oriented app; others exist, such as Qrushr, but have yet to attract a large following, especially in Canada.
But Milne says she is sure a market exists. She’s heard enough chatter in online chat rooms and among friends to know Canadian queer women are looking for location-based apps that will help them connect.
“I’m not in this to make money; I’m doing it because I feel there’s a need for GirlDar and thought it would be a neat thing to have,” Milne adds. “It was such a spontaneous idea, and when everything unfolds and the app grows, it will be even more encouraging for users.”
For more information, visit the app’s website at girl-dar.com.