Although people are allowed to post pornographic selfies on Mixxxer, Manes is careful to note that he does not consider his app pornographic: “We’re trying not to be labeled as a porn app,” he says. While they’d like to offer their users the opportunity to express themselves in a way they wouldn’t be able to on a platform like Tinder, “we want to straddle the line between mainstream and adult.”
In short, it’s a hookup app, plain and simple (even if its founders don’t necessarily see it that way)
But Google and Apple, which both have notoriously stringent restrictions on adult-themed mobile content, don’t quite see Mixxxer the same way. They both banned Mixxxer from their app stores, which is why Mixxxer is a mobile Web app and not downloadable.
Manes says he sees Mixxxer’s exclusion from the app stores as a positive, rather than a negative: “It gives us and our members more freedom,” he says. “We can operate on our own set of rules.” But Mixxxer is far from the first adult-oriented social network or app to encounter such resistance in the mainstream tech world: The adult hookup app Down, previously known as Bang With Friends, was also banned from the App Store.
In fact, while there are adult-themed offshoots of sites like Pinterest (Pinsex), Instagram (Pornostagram), and Facebook (Fuckbook), most have failed to garner much of an audience, which Manes attributes to the general ghettoization of adult content in the mainstream tech space.
In fact, he doesn’t even consider it a hookup app at all
“It’s very difficult to break into the mainstream market if you’re an adult-oriented app. It comes down to conforming with the big guys: Google’s one of the biggest,” he says, citing Google’s recent change in their AdWords policy as evidence of their aversion to adult content. “But for us, I think the timing is right because of the popularity of Tinder and the amount of complaints we hear about all these dating apps [like Tinder]. We feel people are looking for something different.”
Will the people looking for “something different” than Tinder necessarily gravitate to the adult market to find it? Perhaps not. But Manes hopes that as social mores and tolerance of sexual behavior evolve and change, dating site users’ behavior-if not Google and Apple’s prudishness- will change along with them.
Google and Apple are unlikely to feature apps like Mixxxer alongside Tinder and other dating and hookup apps-at least “not in the foreseeable future,” Manes says. “If anything, they’re actually getting more strict and really coming down on adult websites.” But the users themselves? “They’re more willing to share now,” he says. “They’re heading in that direction [toward sharing more adult content]. We feel that a change is coming.”
When people criticize Tinder, their criticism is usually twofold: First, they complain it’s too shallow, and second, that it works only if you’re using it to find one-night stands rather than long-term romantic partners.
But Web developer Michael Manes doesn’t consider Tinder too shallow or too casual. The problem with Tinder, he says, is that its function is “very ambiguous.”
“People don’t know when they’re using Tinder if you’re using it to hook up or if you’re using it to find a date,” he tells me. “Our idea was to create something with a much clearer purpose, where you’re looking for one thing and one thing only.”
For those who find Tinder too tame or too “ambiguous,” and are looking for one thing and one thing only, Manes made an app for you: the adult-oriented hookup app Mixxxer. Officially launched last week, Mixxxer is being touted as the X-rated version of Tinder, or more formally, “the world’s first adults-only GPS based locator.”