It's the Ultimate Smackdown: Sniffies Vs. Grindr. Let's Crown a Winner, Baby!
Jake Myers READ TIME: 8 MIN.
To Sniff or to Grind...that is the question.
Once upon a time (in the late 90s and early 00s), if gay guys wanted to find an online hook-up, they'd have to scour M4M groups on a prehistoric platform called AOL (complete with software that you'd have to download to your desktop in order to dial-up the web).
Then came along sites like Craigslist and Gay.com, where you could post or respond to an "ad" detailing everything you were looking for, in hopes to get a return message. Next, came more sophisticated sites like Adam4Adam and Manhunt, where you could actually create a profile with stats, X-rated pics, send DMs and more.
Finally, thanks to smartphones, we ushered in the era of the GPS-enabled app, a game changer catapulting Grindr into a household name, with other apps like Scruff, Growler, Jack'd not far behind.
Now, however, a new addictive time-suck has appeared on the scene, and it's called Sniffies.
An intriguing name for sure, we couldn't help but wonder if it's referring to guys "sniffing around" for action, sniffing a used jock strap, or simply caters to gay men with a cold (hee hee). Luckily, we got some clarity on Wikipedia, which says: "The name Sniffies came from an earlier website that was used for trading underwear, but now refers more to 'sniffing out what's around,' according to its marketing officer."
We weren't toooo far off?
So, what exactly is Sniffies, and how does it differ from our tried-and-true orange and black bestie? We've taken the liberty of pitting the two platforms head-to-head in a first of its kind face-off, to help you decide which trusty man-seeker is more worth your while. To determine our ultimate winner, we started by listing various priorities that gay men have when they begin their search for the next Mr. Right (Now), and then weighing those priorities against our 2 candidates.
Ding, Ding, Ding...let the smackdown begin!
Round 1: Accessibility
Whether or not you're looking for "right now," or simply using the hunt as a way to check out for an hour and engage your brain's dopamine reward system, convenience is key.
Grindr has its own app infrastructure, so you can hit the little orange and black mask on your home screen to immediately dive into the sea of torsos you crave. Sniffies, on the other hand, is a website, not a separate app, which makes it more difficult for some users to access on their phone. Recently, however, a pop-up on Sniffies prompted users to save the site to their phone desktop as a short-cut, so that in essence, it now can be opened like an app by tapping their logo.
Still, we feel Sniffies is a bit behind the curve on this one.
THE WINNER: Grindr
Round 2: Use of Location Technology
GPS changed the landscape of the hook-up, altering the way we connect forever, so it's important to evaluate which app uses the technology to their advantage, packaging it in the best way to its users.
When you see a hot guy, the first (and potentially most important) thing you want to know is how far away he is. After all, when you're horny and searching, the logistics of a hook-up do weigh heavily on your decisions. If you're talking to a "10," but he's all the way across the city, it might make more sense to go with the "7" who lives around the corner.
Grindr arranges the profiles of your candidates in order of distance, so the closest one is in the upper left. When you click on their profile, it says exactly how many feet away from you the person is. Sometimes, if your math skills are on par with ours, it's hard to tell if that means they're just one building over, or actually a few blocks away.
Sniffies, on the other hand, shows your suiters on an actual map, with street names, and even the outlines of building structures in the area, so you can get a much better sense of where they are. For some reason, seeing the distance on a map helps you better gauge how it's actually going to feel driving to someone's place, or waiting for them to get to yours.
The WINNER: Sniffies