The Gay Social App Has More Than a Brand New Look. 4.0 Emphasizes Increased Speed, Functionality and Safety
BY PATRICK WIRTH
In the fourth generation of Jack’d, the ability to take screenshots of anything on the app has been disabled. Yes, just try pressing and holding the sleep and home buttons on your phone to capture another guy’s image — nothing will happen. Its a big step up in security from Snapchat merely alerting members when a screenshot of their story has been taken and it is the latest precaution in Jack’d’s ongoing efforts to increase user safety and privacy. It follows last month’s announcement of a new blurring feature that adds a rounding error to all member coordinates so users are only given a general idea of a guy’s whereabouts.
“Safety has become a huge priority at Jack’d,” explains Alon Rivel, the app’s Director of Global Marketing. “Over the summer, we polled members on what they wanted most out of the next version and an increase in privacy was at the top of the list. The rise in bullying and hate crimes against the LGBTQ community since the US presidential election has made security a real concern to members throughout the world.”
Jack’d members also asked for an overall better user experience. A large percentage polled reported frustration with slow functionality and crashes. Jack’d had planned to update the code in 4.0, but user concern over reliability made them realize more needed to be done. They had their tech team re-write the application from scratch. They also added brand new servers to accommodate the 1.2 million gay men on the app worldwide.
Registration is now faster, too. Where the old version required new members to enter all personal information before being able to log in, Jack’d 4.0 allows men to skip parts of the registration process or for even quicker access, they can now log in through their Facebook account.
Other additions are the ability to send and receive GIFs on the app and the grid of nearby guys now loads 200 guys no matter how remote the area. It’s an important feature for men in rural areas where the closest guy may be up to 200 miles away. For members that go Pro with a paid subscription, 500 guys will load on the grid.
Jack’d consistently ranks among the top four gay social apps in the App Store and Google Play. 67% of Jack’d members in the United States are between 18-26. Nearly 60% are Black and Latino.