With the turbulent 2020 behind, we all look forward to a much calmer and healthier new year. Love and connection continue to be among the most important things for all of us. So, we sat down with Helen Virt, the woman in charge of Taimi’s business development.
As some of our readers may know Taimi is the LGBTQ+ platform that features a social network and dating app. The platform was recently recognised by GAY TIMES for its efforts to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people around the world.
Helen, how did the pandemic impact Taimi?
The global quarantine and lockdowns that led to widespread cancellations of LGBTQ+ events, prides, celebrations, marches and so on. For us, it was truly heartbreaking as we planned so many incredible pride-focused partnerships. So, we had to swiftly adapt and turn towards online opportunities.
That being said, we also saw a tremendous change in behaviour when it came to our users. They became more involved, more active, created 45% more content, posted 60% more stories and liked each other more.
Our team had to adjust as well, having staff in nearly every corner of the globe meant remote work became a reality, managing a crew of people in different time zones with different priorities also became the new norm for us.
There’s a lot more focus on diversity now, what is Taimi doing to be more diverse?
From the get go Taimi was built on the foundation of inclusivity and diversity. Our platform is designed for all LGBTQ+ people regardless of where they identify on the gender and sexuality spectrum. Quite frankly, Taimi is the only product of its kind, and we are truly proud of it! We are focusing a lot more of our effort on developing features our users suggest. For instance, livestreams that make Taimi an interactive platform continue to improve on a daily basis. We are also working on accessibility features that will make our product more user friendly. We understand that we are not perfect, Taimi was created as a dating app and a lot of features have quite honestly become obsolete. We are certainly putting a lot of effort in making the platform more accessible, providing a space that is safe and free of judgement and even rewriting our system to improve the overall experience on the app.
What has been the feedback from your users on the features you’ve recently implemented?
The feedback has been incredible when it comes to our latest addition – livestreams. Gay Times actually published a piece on Taimi livestreams. We launched them to a tremendous success with Taimi Talks. Since the start of livestreams our users have streamed in total for more than 11 years, can you imagine? We also introduce Live Duet and Versus battles to make streams more interactive and fun. As I’ve said, we are putting a lot of effort into making the experience on Taimi entertaining, enjoyable and fun.
Taimi is a platform, but lately we have seen Blued label itself a platform, any concerns there?
I must underline that we have tremendous respect for our colleagues at Blued. They’ve done a lot of great work, especially when it comes to their activities for gay men in China. Presently, Taimi’s team doesn’t have the capacity to cover the Asian market, and we’re happy to see that Blued has so much support of LGBTQ+ people there. At the same time, they’re mostly oriented at gay men, so there is still a lot of work to be done to become a full-scale LGBTQ+ platform. They have our full support though – the more companies work on the wellbeing of the community the better.
Recently Taimi issued an open letter to advertisers, without naming names, what companies would you like to work with?
Well, Taimi will provide a lot of advertising opportunities for many brands. Our main requirement though – the brand needs to share our values. In other words, companies that we work with must be supportive of the community, their products must be beneficial to our audience and of course there can not be any negative attitude towards LGBTQ+ people.
What are the company’s plans for 2021, any way you can give us a sneak peek at the new features?
We continue to build the best LGBTQ+ platform possible. Our streaming features & everything around them will be top priority for Taimi in 2021. We also plan to launch public pages for companies, organizations and brands to bring them closer to their core audience. Accessibility features to make Taimi truly easy to use for every person. And improvements on safety features will also be happening in 2021. So, a lot of exciting things to look forward to this year!