Chinese gay-targeted app differentiates with interest groups

Published: June 3, 2013

The maker of China’s first social networking app, Zank, denies copying a popular U.S. gay app and says the company differentiates its service by prioritizing common interests among its members.
 
Released last month, Zank looks like a copycat version of the popular  app Jack’d which also targets gay men. However, its founder who goes by the  nickname "Lin Jueding", said when his team developed the app three months ago, it wanted to differentiate the service by placing shared interests and communication as a higher priority–instead of promoting sex.
 
Available on Apple iTunes and Google Play appstores, Zank attracted over 20,000 subscribers in the first three days after it launched. While this may not be an astronomical number, it is still impressive in terms of user penetration rate, Lin said during a recent speech held in Shenzhen.
 
Different from the "hook up or shut up" style Jack’d adopts, he said Zank highlights various events organized by its subscribers, individuals or gay organizations on its front page, allowing all users to check the event time and venue. It also lists the organizer’s particulars such as picture, height, and weight. Interested users can sign up for the events through the app or  chat with each other online.
 
Lin was also the founder of China’s first gay social network site, Feizan.com, which has over 300,000 registered users. The site adopts the same rule as Zank, promoting members’ shared interests rather than sex, he said.

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