Fab.com on its new changes: ‘No need for a gay-specific social network’

I hadn’t long been a member of Fab.com, the relatively new Facebook-connected social networking site for gay men. I liked it. Sleek, clean and cool, the network was easy to navigate and understand. I just wish it had caught on steam, especially in the Carolinas.

But now, the site is changing. Fab.com writes:

We’ve had a lot of fun building toward that vision and we’ve met some incredible people along the way. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed and appreciated your experience with us. Your participation and contribution to fab.com has been the core of our popularity.

This past year has been a monumental year for gay rights and acceptance. From the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to court victories over Prop 8, “Born This Way,” the President walking away from the Defense of Marriage Act, and the impact of the It Gets Better Project, this has been an incredible year of progress.

As we reflected on these developments, we realized that all of this progress has diminished the need for a gay-specific social network. We don’t need a gay Facebook or a gay Yelp or a gay Foursquare or a gay Groupon. The original versions are fantastic, and we are becoming more and more integrated into the mainstream.

At the same time, we recognized that one of the aspects of fab that we enjoy the most and that our users are getting great value from — providing great deals on amazing products and services — has little to do with sexual orientation. A great find is a great find and a great deal is a great deal, regardless of who you are.

No need for a gay-specific social network? It’s an interesting thought, and the same concept could be thrown into any scenario: Gay newspapers? Gay TV networks? Gay community centers? Gay bars?

It’s true that LGBT folks are “mainstreaming” more and more. I hate the term, by the way. “Mainstreaming,” urgh — it reminds me of Showtime’s “True Blood” and seems to compare us to vampires. Regardless, I can’t ignore the reality. Though there’s still an awful lot of queer folks who live in places where “mainstreaming” isn’t an option, it’s happening. The trend can be found even in places like Charlotte. While the Queen City isn’t a friend politically or religiously to LGBT people, our Uptown bars, clubs and restaurants are mostly gay and straight, mixed crowds and many openly welcome gay business.

I’m excited to see exactly what Fab.com operators have in mind. After all, I like design as much as I like meeting other gay people. It’ll be interesting see just how they handle going from a gay social network to a “love of design”-driven site. I hope they surprise me.

What to sign up for an early launch/invite, too? Click here: http://fab.com/uo7fdf

(Disclosure: Fab.com will count each person who signs up for an invite through this link. The more people I invite, the earlier I get access to the site, plus some other benefits. The same goes for you once you sign up.)

4 Responses to “Fab.com on its new changes: ‘No need for a gay-specific social network’”
  1. Timmy Carruthers says:

    But, you see, you can have a gay community within Facebook, review a gay bar on Yelp, share your location with your gay friends on Foursquare.

  2. AC Walker says:

    When I read the new introductory letter this morning, my immediate impulse was to say, “In other words, we’re hemhorraging money and are trying something new.” My opinion hasn’t changed. It’s extremely hard to believe that a company would change it’s entire purpose just because “things are getting better.” If they were making money, they wouldn’t change- simple.

  3. I think there’s a way to embrace a gay sensibility about the world around us, without just making a duplicate of something straight/mainstream. That’s what we’ve done with Gay List Daily (www.gaylistdaily.com/subscribe). Our free daily email reviews aren’t always about gay things, but the point-of-view always is. That’s been a key to our success.

    And when we occasionally offer deals, we do it more to help and exposure our readers to gay-owned and gay-friendly companies. It’s not just about selling lube.

    Best of luck to Fab.com in their future endeavors!

  4. Mykelb says:

    Until homophobia is completely erased and I don’t have to worry about some guy beating me up or killing me for making a pass at him, we need our gay spaces. So FAB.COM is just wrong.

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