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From personal classifieds in printed newspapers to messages on bathroom doors, from “TV Dating” to segmented relationship apps, love stories have already materialized through communication platforms. SCRUFF is one of them, with 15 million members worldwide, in 180 countries and 6 continents, and can be accessed in 9 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Japanese, Chinese and Arabic.

Founded in 2010 by Johnny Skandros and Eric Silverberg, now its CEO, SCRUFF is the only app of all apps in this segment that was founded and continues to be managed by LGBTQ people. And that makes all the difference in representativeness, as managers are the true voices of a community and not of international megaconglomerates..

- BKDR -
Eric Silverberg, SCRUFF's CEO - Playback
Eric Silverberg, SCRUFF’s CEO – Playback
Johnny Skandros
Johnny Skandros – Playback

However, those who believe that SCRUFF works only for ‘dates’ are wrong. The Venture service focuses on travel and allows users to browse tourist destinations around the world, contact other users, check the local events agenda – and confirmed lists – and research accommodation options. A chat function connects users to local “ambassadors” who can provide suggestions on where to go and what to do in over 500 destinations.

Since its launch, SCRUFF has added new features and was the first app to include options for members of the military and trans community. In 2013, it created a community for HIV-positive users called “Poz“, and in 2015 it released its Version 5, which included new communities, relationship types, gender preferences, and safety practices.

In 2018, security, privacy, and especially concern about dubious advertising led the app to not use third-party programmatic ads such as banners, especially in regions or countries where homophobia is still widespread, creating a subscription-based revenue model. and direct advertising. In the same year, SCRUFF removed the option “information about race or ethnicity” from the search system to avoid harassment. CEO Eric Silverberg said the decision will help the company “ensure that harassment, racism and abuse don’t happen.” And in 2021, it launched the verification tool with the aim of creating an even safer space for its members.

In the United States, SCRUFF launched a live Q&A game show called “Hosting” in March 2019. Users compete for cash prizes by answering LGBTQIA+ themed history and pop culture questions, and simultaneously can continue to see and send “Woof” notifications to other players.

In Brazil, since 2018, SCRUFF actively participates in events of the scene, publicizing the app’s agenda, supporting and sponsoring, in addition to holding proprietary events, such as the show short film Woofs, which in its first edition, in March 2021, made eight Brazilian productions with LGBT+ themes available for free on the app’s Instagram, curated by André Fischer, founder of the MixBrasil Festival and responsible for the Cultural Center of Diversity, with films that mix sexuality, aesthetic languages and groups, produced by Brazil from north to south, bringing different aspects of the daily life of Brazilian gay men.

Believing that information is essential to combat prejudices, issues relevant to the community, and society as a whole, he also sees the production of news aimed at the LGBT public as a great tool of empowerment and occupation in the media for the community and, since 2019, brings daily news through the Gay Blog BR. Topics such as rights, entertainment, health and safety are addressed on the blog, as well as in the online debate series.

Eric e Johhny – Propagation

In A Fim de Papo, specialists talk about topics such as Chem sex, Racism in Dating Apps – raising the problems generated by racism and the objectification of the black body in sex. HIV, AIDS, Prevention and Health – a subject that, even after almost 40 years of the discovery of the virus, still generates a lot of prejudice and discrimination – is also a theme in the series SCRUFF Specials, such as campaign that informs and clears doubts of followers with experts on World AIDS Day.

Sports are also the subject of Specials, showing Ligay Champions, the biggest gay football league in Brazil, here in the 2019 edition, sponsored by SCRUFF, in São Paulo and Brasília. In 2019, shortly before the lockdown was decreed, the First SCRUFF Beach Volleyball Tournament took place in Rio de Janeiro, with more than 20 teams, 100 registered athletes, food donations for Brumadinho and a lot of interaction with the SCRUFF boys, bringing visibility and representation for the gay athlete.

The LGBTQIA+ music scene found in SCRUFF a new and powerful supporter. This union resulted in clips for the tracks Taca Raba (feat. PANKADON), of Lia Clark, QÉUQ, of Guigo, Obrigada (Acoustic), by Kikaboom and, most recently, by Natty Hills for the song Dentro de Mim, a surprising romantic ballad in which the artist takes a trip back in time and takes us back to the 80s, available on the channel of singer on YouTube.

In December 2021, SCRUFF created the video call function through the app, which allows Woofers (as app users are called) to communicate in a more direct and real-time way, through the camera of cell phones, shortening the distance and digitally bringing them together before a date securely outside of the app.

Johnny Skandros - Playback
Johnny Skandros – Playback


The platform is available for free on iOS and Android devices and can be used for free or in the “Pro” version, where users can choose to purchase a paid subscription with access to additional features.

After free registration, the application allows you to upload photos to your profile and search for other members by geolocation and shared interests. Through geolocation, the home interface displays a grid of user profile photos, arranged from closest to farthest. And there begins the vast world of SCRUFF.

Users can message other users directly or they can use the “Woof” feature, which allows members to express interest in other members as an alternative to sending messages directly.

Join our community of 15+ million guys

Find guys looking for the same thing with SCRUFF Match. Volunteer to be a SCRUFF Venture Ambassador to help out guys visiting your home city. Search an up-to-date agenda of the top parties, prides, festivals and events. Upgrade your game with SCRUFF Pro and unlock 30+ advanced features. Download SCRUFF here.

Jornalista formado pela PUC do Rio de Janeiro, dedicou sua vida a falar sobre cultura nerd/geek. Gay desde que se entende por gente, sempre teve desejo de trabalhar com o público LGBT+ e crê que a informação é a a melhor arma contra qualquer tipo de "fobia"