Since March last year, many people have been sent into a frenzy looking for a Craigslist personals replacement to find matches for casual flings and dates. Let’s understand what it’s all about.
For every person looking for casual encounters, or platonic or romantic relationships, Craigslist personals have served as a convenient, anonymous platform to meet others in their area since 1995 – a time when online dating and casual flings were heavily stigmatised. We have come a long way since then. Online dating has become a very common activity, with one in ten Americans using an online dating website or app, as per recent studies.
The anonymity was a large part of its success. Most dating apps require being linked to a social media account. Because of this, dating apps become a public sphere, where friends and friends of friends can see your profile. This often makes it harder for people to be forthcoming about just wanting a casual hookup if that’s what they are looking for. On Craigslist personals, on the other hand, you could be nameless, obscure.
These are all the reasons why a huge number of Craigslisters were disappointed when the US Congress passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) in March 2018. This added tougher penalties on web services that help facilitate prostitution and sex trafficking. Soon after, Craigslist bade its personals section goodbye, saying, “Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we have regretfully taken craigslist personals offline. Hopefully, we can bring them back some days.”
In this year following the FOSTA, everyone who used Craigslist personals legally has been scrounging for other options. Being quick to seize this newly available market, Cragly became a newly introduced Craigslist personals replacement. Founded by a former Craigslist personals user, Cragly is similar to Craigslist personals, but it follows FOSTA by enforcing a rigorous mechanism for approval of each AD that is posted by users.
Another casual encounters app, Casualx, gained immense popularity in April 2018, soon after FOSTA was passed. Casualx set up a team to monitor scammers and potential sex workers or traffickers. The system uses AI technology to study the traits of scammers and spammers and then block them from accessing the app. After the system filter, the review team manually checks each profile to ensure the profile is real.
A highly popular app for finding a date or a casual hookup is Grindr, launched in 2009. Aimed to cater to the wants of the LGBTQ+ community, it allows users to lay out their sexual preferences and find a potential match nearby. Grindr even expanded to include a digital magazine to provide a global perspective for the gay community.
While many may have been dismayed at the end of the Craigslist personals era, it is perhaps for the better that we now have several to choose from for a Craigslist personals replacement that makes it easy to find casual hookups without enabling online sex trafficking.