How to Chat on the GROWLr App

Find new friends and more with the gay chat app for bears on Android

Man Texting With Cell Phone on Sofa

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GROWLr is a self-described "Gay Bear Social Network" with more than 7 million members open to all gay and bisexual men who are at least 18 years old. According to GROWLr, bears are "muscular or heavy set, hairy and ruggedly masculine gay men." If that sounds like you or the type of guy you're into, download the GROWLr app on your mobile device to start exchanging messages and photos with bears in your neighborhood.

Information in this article applies to the GROWLr app for Android. There is also a version of GROWLr for iOS.

How to Make a GROWLr Profile

When you first open the GROWLr app on your mobile device, you must agree to the terms of service. Tap Agree in the upper-right corner on the screen.

When you first open the GROWLr app on your mobile device, you must agree to the terms of service. Tap Agree in the upper-right corner on the screen.

Next, you'll be asked to allow the app to access your location, your camera, and your media files. These steps are required to use the app. If you've created a GROWLr account in the past, you can go ahead and enter your login credentials. Otherwise, tap Create New Account to set up a profile.

Create New Account button in Growlr

All that's needed to create an account is a name, an email address, and a password. Including other information on your profile is optional. Tap Save in the upper-right corner when you are done. You can always make changes and add more photos later by tapping Profile on the main menu.

Save button in Growlr

How to View GROWLr Profiles

After saving your profile, you'll arrive at the main menu. Tap Bears to search for guys who are ready to chat.

Bears button in Growlr

Tap the GROWLr logo in the upper-left corner to view the menu at any time.

Note the tabs at the top of the screen. Tap Nearby to search for users in your vicinity.

Nearby tab in Growlr

When you see the photo of someone you want to chat with, tap the user's image to open his profile. Profiles without photos will display a cartoon image of a bear. If you see a green dot in the bottom-right corner of the profile picture, then that user is currently online.

The standard profile might include the following information:

  • Photos
  • First name
  • His current distance from your location
  • Whether he is currently active online
  • Height
  • Age
  • City and state location
  • Relationship status
  • Work information

If you decide you want to chat with this user, tap the speech bubble in the top-right corner of the screen to send a message.

Chat speech bubble in Growlr

How to Send and Receive Messages on GROWLr

The GROWLr chat screen resembles most other instant message apps you've seen. Type your message in the text field and tap ​Send.

Send button in Growlr chat

You don't have to stay on this screen to wait for a response; you can check out other user profiles while you wait. ​​​When you receive instant messages, you'll see a notification in the upper-right corner of the app. Tap the speech bubble icon while browsing to view your messages, or tap Messages on the main menu.

Message notification in Growlr

Send Photos, Audio Messages, and More Chat Options

While in the GROWLr chat screen, tap the paper clip in the bottom-left corner to bring up a list of options:

  • Send a Growl: Growls are preset messages that users send to one another to show interest. Upgrade to GROWLr pro to create your own custom growls.
  • Unlock Media: If your GROWLr profile includes photos you have designated as private, you can unlock them for the person you are chatting with 
  • Send a Picture: Use your mobile device's camera to take a new picture, or choose a photo from your device's gallery.
While in the GROWLr chat screen, tap the paper clip in the bottom-left corner to bring up a list of options.

For iOS users, there is an option to record voice messages, but this feature is currently unavailable on Android devices.

What is GROWLr Pro?

Creating a GROWLr profile is free, but you can upgrade to the pro version if you wish to remove ads, add more photos, and unlock more search filters. GROWLr pro also gives you the option to video chat with guys using the app.