Olympians really didn't crash Grindr

Olympians really didn't crash Grindr

Summary: It makes for a funny story to blame your server outages on a popular event like the Olympics, but the real explanation is usually much more mundane.

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TOPICS: Outage
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A UK news report blaming the arrival of Olympic athletes in London for the server troubles plaguing gay location-based social app Grindr sounds very exciting, but the truth is much less sexy.

Grindr is an iOS and Android app that has mastered the fine art of connecting gay guys with other gay guys in their area, often for casual sex. It was launched in 2009 and has over 4 million users globally.

Over the weekend, The People reported that the hordes of fit, young athletes piling into London was the reason why Grindr had been having so much trouble lately.

According to "technicians" quoted in the story, the arrival of Olympians caused a "flood of new customers" for the service in the city, and crashed it. Given the main function of the app, you can see why tying Grindr's ongoing server troubles to a massive event like the Olympics makes for an interesting and click-baity story.

But a lot of people were cynical about the story. Especially those who don't live in London and do use Grindr, which, globally, has had its share of connectivity problems recently as well.

And, unsurprisingly, it is all untrue. Overnight, The Atlantic reported that Grindr had confirmed that it wasn't the Olympics that had led to troubles with the app.

"While we'd love to believe that the best-built men in the world, all dressed up in Lycra and congregating in one place can generate a huge increase in Grindr traffic, we can say, with confidence, that the arrival of the Olympic teams had little or no effect on our server," Grindr told The Atlantic. "The truth is that there are many factors that cause a technological service disruption."

In a blog post last week, Grindr founder Joel Simkhai said that the company had the problem under control and had put in measures to stop it happening again.

"One of my number one priorities as Grindr's CEO is to make sure that the app remains stable and — quite simply — that it's working. So when we discovered that wasn't the case, we immediately set to work fixing the screw-up. The service disruption was a challenging thing to address, but our tech team worked around the clock to solve the problems and to whip Grindr back into shape."

Simkhai said that the company will look to release a new version of the app soon.

So I guess that old rule still applies: if it sounds too good to be true, chances are, it probably is.

Topic: Outage

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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