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Scruff (app)

SCRUFF is an international mobile application for gay and bisexual men that runs on iOS, Android, and Apple Watch.[1] As of 2017, the app has approximately 12+ million members worldwide[2] with SCRUFF downloads taking place throughout 180 countries and six continents.[3][4] The app has been translated into 14 languages including Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Chinese, and Arabic.[4]

SCRUFF Logo.svg
An example of Scruff Venture
An example of Scruff Venture
Developer(s)Perry Street Software, Inc (company)
Initial releaseJuly 23, 2010 (2010-07-23)
Operating systemiOS, Android, Windows Phone
TypeDating app



The company was founded in 2010 by Johnny Skandros and Eric Silverberg, now its CEO.[3]

In 2013, the app added a community for HIV-positive users called "Poz," and they were the first app to include options for members of the military and transgender community.[5]

In 2014, the company won several mobile app awards including Time Out New York’s Best App Award.[6][7]

In 2014, the company launched BenevolAds, which gives $1 million of free in-app advertising, annually, to LGBTQ community nonprofits, sports teams, public health organizations and community partners.[8][9] The program also works with AIDS organizations, health agencies, and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to educate users about HIV and other diseases and to encourage testing.[8]

In 2015, the company added a traveler alert feature that notifies users when they reach one of approximately 100 countries where homosexuality is criminalized, sends alerts to members about immediate safety concerns in these regions, and partners with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), on a web page identifying anti-gay laws in such countries.[3]

In October, 2015, the company launched Scruff Version 5, which added Scruff Venture, new communities, new relationship types, and sex preferences and safety practices.[10]


Using geolocation, the home interface displays a grid of user profile pictures, arranged from nearest to farthest away. Tapping a picture opens a users’ profile displaying options to chat, send a "woof," save the profile as a Favorite, "Unlock" private photo and video albums, and other shared information from the user.


  • Venture: Browse popular travel destinations around the world. See members who are traveling currently or are arriving soon; browse rooms & AirBnBs; RSVP to local events; chat with local ambassadors about where to go and what to do.[11]
  • Communities: This portion of the profile allows users the option to list individual Communities they identify with, and which Communities they’re "into."
  • Woof: The "Woof" option enables members to express interest by "woofing" at another member as an alternate choice to directly messaging them.[12]
  • Stealth Mode: The Stealth Mode feature uses GPS obfuscation to hide a user’s location if a member chooses that option for their privacy or protection.[13]
  • Global Search: The Global Search feature allows users to search for other members by Community, city, ZIP code or country.
  • Events: Users have the option of exploring Events in their area, and what other users are attending.
  • Match: A photo swipe feature for members specifically seeking relationships.[14]
  • Insights: Allows users to see statistics based on a certain users’ responsiveness towards other communities within the app.

In popular cultureEdit

The company unveiled an ad campaign on a billboard just outside Super Bowl XLIX that read "Play On Our Team" to encourage acceptance of gay professional athletes.[15]

Founder Johnny Skandros and Scruff’s Pit Crew were featured as challenge guests on Season 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race.[16]

Support by SCRUFFEdit

SCRUFF supported Delhi International Queer Theater and Film Festival in 2016.[17]

SCRUFF supported prides in different cities of India including Jaipur and Chandigarh.[18]

SCRUFF supported Dance for pride - breaking the stereotypes - a flashmob in New Delhi India to sensitise people about LGBT rights.[19][20]

SCRUFF organised Delhi Bike Pride in 2017 in India with Harsh Agarwal working as IMC.[21][22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Prevatt, Mike. "For Scruff Founder Johnny Skandros, It Really Did Get Better." Las Vegas Weekly. Sept. 4, 2013
  2. ^ "Gay entrepreneur found the road to success full of slurs". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  3. ^ a b c McElroy, Steven. ""Gay Dating App’s New Alert: Hooking Up Is Illegal Here." The New York Times. May 22, 2015
  4. ^ a b "Scruff Invades Houston." The Montrose Star. Feb. 13, 2013
  5. ^ "Will SCRUFF Be the only App to Be Trans-Inclusive?" Queerty. July 17, 2013
  6. ^ Winograd, Jeremy. "The best apps for New York City." TimeOut New York. Nov. 16, 2014
  7. ^ "2014 CyberSocket Web Award Winners." Cybersocket
  8. ^ a b Hemmelgarn, Seth. "AIDS groups, app reps discuss outreach." The Bay Area Reporter. Oct. 30, 2014
  9. ^ "Interview: Q & A with SCRUFF's Johnny Skandros." Quorum Columbus Magazine. Dec. 1, 2014
  10. ^ "Age, Weight, PrEP Status: Hookup Apps' Next Filtering Option" The Advocate. October 9, 2015
  11. ^ McElroy, Steven. "An App for Gay Travelers That Focuses on the Social" The New York Times. October 20, 2015
  12. ^ O’Bryan, Will. "Scruff’s Johnny Skandros Brings New Meaning to the Word ‘Woof’" Edge Baltimore. Aug. 22, 2012
  13. ^ Silverberg, Eric. "Privacy, Security and GPS-Based Apps: An Inside Look From SCRUFF." The HuffPost Gay Voices. Sept. 10, 2014
  14. ^ Lee, Matthew. "The gay dating app SCRUFF hopes to shift focus from hookups to relationships with new feature." Metro. Feb. 12, 2015
  15. ^ "SCRUFF's Super Bowl Billboard Campaign Promotes Acceptance For Gay Athletes." Huffpost Gay Voices. Jan. 30, 2015
  16. ^ Davis, Sean. "RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6: NYC Premier Party was Everything." The Quire. Feb. 20, 2014
  17. ^ Desk, BWW News. "2016 Delhi International Theatre & Film Festival Kicks Off This Weekend". Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  18. ^ "SCRUFF Presents Dance for Pride - Breaking the Stereotypes Organised by Those In Need - DU Beat". DU Beat. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  19. ^ "We're here, we're queer: Flash mob's message | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dna. 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  20. ^ "'डांस फॉर प्राइड' ने तोड़े स्टीरियोटाइप, दिए कई प्रकार के संदेश..." NDTVIndia. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  21. ^ "Delhi's first bike pride rally on July 2 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-06-13.
  22. ^ "Delhi's pride: Despite heavy rains, Capital celebrates first LGBTQ bike parade". Hindustan Times. 2017-07-02. Retrieved 2018-06-13.