Archer Is Breaking Boundaries

Men's Dating

A New App Called Archer Is Breaking Boundaries by Redefining Gay Dating Culture

Jordan Sprogis

Written by: Jordan Sprogis

Jordan Sprogis

Jordan has been writing professionally for the better half of a decade, and she has bylines on various verticals that highlight the psychology and sociology of creating personal relationships. Despite recently tying the knot herself, Jordan remains deeply engaged in thoughtful conversations about relationships and dating with her friends. Now, she's excited to extend these dialogues to the realm of DatingAdvice.com.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Sheena Holt

Sheena Holt

Sheena Holt comes to DatingAdvice with a BA in English and creative writing. She has written for numerous literary, culture, and satire publications.

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The Short Version: You’ve heard of Match, Grindr, and Tinder… but what about Archer? Launched by Match Group in the summer of 2023, Archer is the social-first gay dating app already making waves with more than 100,000 downloads. And yet, it’s not just a dating app: It’s a blend of social media and dating designed to empower gay, queer, and bisexual men to connect, celebrate their identities, and thrive. We spoke with Michael Kaye, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications at Archer, to delve into how Archer aims to revolutionize the gay dating landscape.

No matter who you are, most people are looking for the same thing when they sign up for a dating app: a genuine connection. 

And yet, it’s much harder for gay men to find that. 

The fact is LGBT+ online daters have an entirely different experience in the online dating world than their straight counterparts do. In a survey, 69% of queer singles say they have experienced at least one form of harassment, compared with 52% of straight singles.

Common types of harassment gay men face include name-calling, unsolicited explicit content, persistent contact, threats of physical harm, and threats related to their privacy and identities.

Archer logo
Archer is the first-ever dating and social app for gay men, by gay men.

These problems are precisely what Archer, a new social-first dating app for the gay, bisexual, and queer communities, aims to challenge and change.

“We know there’s a lot of bad behavior on gay dating apps, especially in terms of body shaming, catfishing, and racism,” said Michael Kaye, Archer’s director of brand marketing & communication. “But that’s not something we tolerate here. Archer is an open place with something for everyone, whether you’re looking for dates, friendships, something casual, or exploring open relationships.”

From Anonymity to Celebration

Gay culture is evolving. Topics once considered taboo and risky to discuss are now being openly embraced. 

In a world where gay men once hid their identities, today’s generation is prouder and more open than ever before, according to the app’s research.

“We’ve made a lot of progress over the past 10 years as a community, not just gay men, but also the LGBTQ+ community as a whole,” Michael noted. “And what we’re learning from Gen Z is that they are open and proud of their identities.”

Before dropping its first version last year, the Archer team surveyed more than 1,200 individuals to gather insights into the challenges users face on existing dating platforms. 

The results emphasized community, self-expression, and safety in response to the changing needs and attitudes of today’s generation of gay and queer individuals.

“When we set out to create Archer, we really wanted to know whether this was needed for the community and what problems we were trying to solve. We learned the dating experience for this community has evolved from a place of anonymity to celebration and pride,” Michael explained.

Screenshot of Archer UI profile browsing
No swiping here: Browse in a grid, follow who caught your eye, or take aim and send a message.

As a result, Archer was born. It’s still in its infancy stage, but it expanded nationally in October after its July 2023 release in New York City. Improvements over the past year have focused on enhancing user experience and safety.

One of those features is something very few (if any) other dating apps are doing: a selfie verification feature designed to combat abuse, enhance safety, and create a secure, thriving environment for the queer community.

Empowering All Kinds of Connection

Archer is a unique blend of social media and dating apps that caters to everyone’s needs. 

Archer combines social media elements with a dating app — which means it focuses on compatibility through shared interests and promotes community interaction beyond standard profile browsing with tags.

It boasts features such as tags for showcasing identity and interests, follower notifications to connect with similar individuals, and prompts for fun and engaging interactions.

Screenshot of adding tags on your Archer account
Tags help connect people with shared interests.

“I’m in a relationship, so if someone like me was on Archer looking for friends, I could search tags for other people who are interested in that, and more specifically, my interests, like drag racing, Taylor Swift, SoulCycle, or whatever it is,” Michael explained. 

Its stringent verification process is what makes Archer a safe platform for the gay, bi, and queer communities. And its hybrid model enhances the dating experience by focusing on compatibility through shared interests and promoting community interaction beyond standard profile browsing.

“Not every dating app is for every type of person; what people need to understand about the gay community is that when it comes to relationships, it’s fluid, so how gay people use dating apps is different from how straight people do,” Michael said. 

In fact, 77% of Archer users seek dates, with 74% also interested in forming friendships. 

Among those seeking dates, 65% say they prefer a casual connection. In comparison, more than 30% are interested in individuals in relationships, whether seeking an open relationship, connecting with another couple, or exploring relationships with people already in a couple. 

“We wanted to create an app that could solve all those different needs and provide a use case for any gay, bisexual, queer man at every stage of their life,” Michael emphasized. “So I don’t think every dating app will adopt that mentality because they don’t need to — but I think that makes sense for Archer.”

Beyond Dating and Friendships

Archer isn’t just an app for connecting with others. It’s also a central hub for advice on relationships, sex, and health while supporting and championing LGBTQ+ rights. 

Archer has an innovative health hub called “Just the Tips,” which features advice from actual gay, bisexual, and queer experts. It covers everything related to dating, relationships, mental, physical, and sexual health.

“We recognize that the current educational system in this country falls short in supporting young queer individuals. There was a lot I didn’t learn in my high school or college health classes,” Michael said. “So now, we want to be a comprehensive resource for the queer community in every way possible.”

Archer partners with various experts and publishes new advice columns monthly. Recent topics include diving back into the dating pool, dealing with flakes, dating someone living with HIV, avoiding dating patterns, and addressing internalized homophobia. 

Screenshot of blog "Tips on Dating Someone Living with HIV"
“Just the Tips” is a blog aimed at addressing the real interests, problems, and experiences of gay men.

Another unique aspect of Archer is its partnerships and collaborations with creators and influencers. Among them? Unexpected — but gladly welcomed — support from drag queens nationwide. 

“There are so many incredible queens joining our platform or talking about it, and that’s something fascinating about Archer,” said Michael. “We want to be a support system for this community because drag queens are a group of people that have championed queer rights and equality for decades and generations.”

Archer is young, but it’s quickly growing to be the ultimate dating and social media app crafted exclusively for gay, bi, and queer men who are ready to embrace themselves fully and connect with kindred spirits. Download Archer from Google Play or the App Store today.