How Digital Technologies Are Affecting the LGBTQI+ Dating Sceneby@sundayadenekan176
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How Digital Technologies Are Affecting the LGBTQI+ Dating Scene

by Sunday Adenekan July 29th, 2020
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LGBT adults are twice as likely as those who are straight to have used a dating app or site, according to Pew Research. Dating apps are a huge part of how relationships are formed. The TAIMI dating and social networking app for the LGBTQI+ community was created by Alex Pasykov, founder of the TAIMi dating app for all who identify as LGBTQI+. We are not a “dating app but a multi-functioning platform with functionality that differs for each user depending on what user is looking for.

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Does it seem like everyone is meeting online these days? Consider that lesbian, bisexual, and gay adults are twice as likely as those who are straight to have used a dating app or site, according to Pew Research. This means for the LGBTQI+ community, dating apps are a huge part of how relationships are formed.

The online dating market continues to see growth accompanied by innovative technological advancements. Boredom, loneliness, and isolation experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic are pushing more and more introductions virtual, creating even more opportunity for digital apps.

We sat down with Alex Pasykov, founder of the TAIMI dating and social networking app for the LGBTQI+ community, to better understand the role of technology in the current LGBTQI+ dating scene and get a look into where the industry is heading.

How is technology changing the LGBTQI+ dating scene?

I feel that LGBTQI+ people truly benefited from the rise of online technology. Unfortunately, unlike heterosexual folks, many people who identify as LGBTQI+ don’t have the same options when it comes to dating and showcasing their love to the world. For instance, if someone was brought up in a conservative family, online dating can be the only safe way to meet people without being judged.

TAIMI has a significant percentage of users who have no other means of finding partners. Lots of them are not out publicly.

We call TAIMI a “coming-out-free community.” The reason for that is simple: our users don’t have to come out, again and again. They can just be themselves, and based on their profile, the app will help find a suitable partner.

What changes are on the horizon for LGBTQI+ online dating?

Users are switching to apps offering a full range of features where they can get to know a person, video chat with them, and see their interests before going to messengers. Just glancing at a profile picture and reading a short bio is not enough anymore.

Users now want to have a platform where they can express themselves in different ways. This is even more important for LGBTQI+ people who sometimes are deprived of the opportunity to express themselves freely.

LGBTQI+ users can look forward to features that will enable them to create their own content, react, and discuss. In other words, the technology will help give them a voice.

Also, I think that the biggest upcoming change is that the world is becoming more inclusive. Countries are lifting bans on LGBTQI+ relationships and marriages. However, there is still a long way for many parts of the world to go towards becoming fully inclusive.

Apps like TAIMI are going to be an essential part of this transition.

Are there untapped opportunities in terms of LGBTQI+ dating apps?

Engaging with LGBTQI+ people directly is untapped overall—there are so few apps offering a secure space. When we joined the market with TAIMI, there was no inclusive space for all who identify as LGBTQI+, so we created one.

There was no space to share thoughts without being judged apart from secret groups on Facebook. We created that space.

There are many more things that can be done to make communication for LGBTQI+ people easier, which we will also be rolling out in the upcoming months and years.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to develop TAIMI?

I was always a strong supporter of equality. In my opinion, all people living on this planet have to be equal! It is unfortunate that to this day, there are over 70 countries that make it illegal to be LGBTQI+.

I have extensive experience in developing large social platforms for communication and dating. So, it was only natural for me to put my skills and knowledge to good use, providing people with a platform to be free, to express themselves, and to share their opinions with no fear or prejudice.

TAIMI is my way of making this world a better place.

How is TAIMI different from other dating apps?

TAIMI is the only product of its kind. We are not a dating app but a multi-functioning platform with functionality that differs for each user depending on what they are looking for. Yes, some solely use TAIMI as a place to meet new people while others prefer to socialize by sharing news, posting stories, and creating custom groups.

We don’t seek to be like other “dating apps.” We strive to give our users the product they need and desire—that is what makes us truly unique.

Can a dating app also be a social networking tool, and how does this work?

Absolutely! TAIMI as a social network gives users an opportunity to find friends and partners based on their interests. We created a community that gives everyone a chance to be a fan, be included, and feel welcome.

Essentially, the whole experience is about being free—being able to openly express your thoughts without the fear of being discriminated against, outed, or bullied. This is a global experience where people can connect regardless of their state or country.

How is security addressed in LGBTQI+ online dating?

TAIMI’s staff include LGBTQI+ activists and allies who are committed to raising awareness and fighting against homophobia. So, there is zero-tolerance for toxic language, posts, and behavior. A set of rules and procedures is applied to all of our user profiles.

We have a 24/7 moderation team that carefully reviews all complaints, reports, and profiles to make sure that we address everything promptly. Our moderation team carefully reviews all the profiles, posts, and stories in the app to make certain that there is no hate, harassment, or discrimination.

We also have a set of community rules to follow.

What features do TAIMI users rave about most?

Video calls, custom groups, stories, and the news digest are the most popular features. A large part of it has to do with the fact that we are a social network. People want to connect—especially during the times of pandemic—so the features that our users rave about the most all have to do with communication. 

Also, TAIMI users have the ability to directly influence what we implement in the product. Our users can submit their ideas in terms of improvements and feature requests. This, in turn, gives them a sense of appreciation when the feature is actually implemented.

What do LGBTQI+ users want from their dating technology?

I think the most important things we can give to our users are the feeling of safety and a sense of community. They go together.

It's important for LGBTQI+ people to have a safe space to express themselves, date openly, and support each other. That's why TAIMI exists.