Social Media Online Dating How to Chat on the GROWLr App Find new friends and more with the gay chat app for bears on Android By Brandon De Hoyos Writer Brandon de Hoyos is former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a self-described IM veteran who covers the latest in messaging trends and videography. our editorial process LinkedIn Brandon De Hoyos Updated February 03, 2020 Hero Images/Getty Images Online Dating Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating Tweet Share Email GROWLr is a self-described "Gay Bear Social Network" with more than 7 million members. It's open to gay and bisexual men who are at least 18 years old. According to GROWLr, bears are "muscular or heavyset, 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. Next, you'll be asked to allow the app to access your location, camera, and media files. These steps are required to use the app. If you created a GROWLr account in the past, enter your login credentials. Otherwise, tap Create New Account to set up a profile. All that's needed to create an account is a name, email address, and password. Including other information on your profile is optional. Tap Save in the upper-right corner when you're done. To make changes and add more photos later, go to the main menu and tap Profile. How to View GROWLr Profiles After you save your profile, the main menu appears. Tap Bears to search for guys who are ready to chat. 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. When you see the photo of someone you want to chat with, tap the user's image to open his profile. Profiles without photos display a cartoon image of a bear. If you see a green dot in the lower-right corner of the profile picture, that user is currently online. The standard profile might include the following information: PhotosFirst nameDistanceOnline statusHeightAgeCity and stateRelationship statusWork information If you decide you want to chat with this user, tap the speech bubble in the upper-right corner of the screen to send a message. How to Send and Receive Messages on GROWLr The GROWLr chat screen resembles most other instant message apps. Type your message in the text field and tap Send. 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 an instant message, a notification appears in the upper-right corner of the app. Tap the speech bubble icon to view your messages, or tap Messages on the main menu. Send Photos, Audio Messages, and More Chat Options While in the GROWLr chat screen, tap the paper clip in the lower-left corner to display 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 custom growls.Unlock Media: If your GROWLr profile includes photos you have designated as private, unlock them for the person you are chatting with Send a Picture: Use the camera on your mobile device to take a new picture, or choose a photo from the gallery folder on your device. For iOS devices, there's 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.