Grindr Lays Off Staff of INTO, Its Digital Magazine

Grindr has laid off the editorial and social media staff of INTO, its 17-month-old online magazine, as part of a switch in focus to video. The layoffs at the West Hollywood-based company were first reported by Out , which published an announcement sent this morning from CEO Scott Chen to the INTO staff. In the announcement, Chen said “we decided to modify INTO’s content mix to rely more heavily on video. This decision was driven by the high user engagement and development we see through channels such as video and YouTube.”
The Grindr office lobby at the Pacific Design Center (Photo by Caroline Carter)
Those losing their jobs include Managing Editor Trish Bendix and politics reporter Nico Lang and the three members of INTO’s social media team.  There also are contract writers and freelancers who no longer will be working with INTO.   INTO’s website already carries a substantial amount of video content. Grindr, which was launched in 2009 by Joel Simkhai, has become the largest gay sex hookup site in the world, claiming a presence in 192 countries.  It is headquartered in the Green Building and Red Building at the Pacific Design Center. Grindr was purchased in two parts in 2016 and 2017 by Beijing Kunlun Tech, a Chinese gaming company, which has had to deal with a number of controversies since its acquisition, some of which involved issues that preceded the acquisition. A recent one involved a story published by INTO that called out Chen, a heterosexual married man, for posting on Facebook that some people believe marriage “is a holy union between a man and a woman.” He added “I think so too, but that’s your business.” Out published a quick story headlined “The President of Grindr Just Said He’s AGAINST Gay Marriage.” However, that story failed to note that in the rest of  Chen’s Facebook post he noted “… there are people who aren’t the same as you, and desperately hope that they can also get married; they have their own reasons for wanting that.” The post actually was part of Chen’s statement of opposition to another Chinese company’s stated opposition to same-sex marriage.