Type of site
|Social networking and dating website for gay and bisexual men as well as transgender.|
|Available in||Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese|
|Created by||Jens Schmidt and Manuel Abraham|
|Revenue||Membership fee for PLUS accounts in certain countries; advertising.|
|Users||2.6 million (as of June 2014)|
PlanetRomeo, started as Men4rent and then previously named as GayRomeo, is a social network for gay, bisexual and transgender. The site was established in October 2002 by PlanetRomeo GmbH in Berlin, Germany. It was initially aimed for the German-speaking community but has evolved into an international sphere. The site is commonly used by the male gay community to seek friendship, dating, clubs and other related LGBT themes.
Initially the site was available in German and hence it used to have a majority of users being from Germanic countries; such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The site has gradually become available in a total of 20 languages. The German-speaking community remains the largest community but not the majoritarian.
In order to expand the international services of PlanetRomeo and in order to avoid possible legal problems with the comparatively strict German laws for the protection of children and young people, PlanetRomeo has been operated by PlanetRomeo B.V. located in Amsterdam, Netherlands since September 2006.
In March 2009 the online community Guys4Men.com joined that of PlanetRomeo.
Users by country
In Germany, due to its high number of registered users, PlanetRomeo is often called the "Gay Registry Office" (schwules Einwohnermeldeamt) or "The Blue pages" (Die blauen Seiten), referring to the well known telephone directories the yellow pages and the white pages. In a satirical reference to the Nazis' compilation of lists of homosexual men in the 1930s, the German newspaper "Taz" announced: "The pink lists are back".
|July 29, 2012|
(excluding the Middle East)
(excluding Central America)
|Australia and Oceania||17,002|
|27 September 2013|
Controversies on PlanetRomeo
PlanetRomeo offers detailed and high-profile information about safer sex, the risks associated with barebacking, and sexually transmitted diseases. Reflecting its community roots, PlanetRomeo also freely gives its own point of view about such issues.
Contact information for HIV/AIDS support groups and organisations in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland is also provided on the website. There is no censoring of user profiles that promote unsafe sex or barebacking, but in their profiles users have the option to state their position regarding safer sex to indicate whether they always or never practice safer sex or if the issue is up for discussion.
In addition to the health information available on the site, in February 2007 PlanetRomeo launched a live and online health advice service in cooperation with Germany's national NGO for HIV/Aids issues Deutsche Aids-Hilfe. The online supporters are trained in questions of health and healthcare, and all user's inquiries are dealt with in the strictest confidence. In this way users are offered the same level of service as when Deutsche Aids-Hilfe do their outreach work in gay bars, clubs and saunas.
To access PlanetRomeo users create an individual profile which typically includes a simple physical description and one or more photographs of themselves. Sexual preferences, cultural interests and hobbies can be added optionally. PlanetRomeo is a community where people of all sexes and sexual orientations are respected and equal.
Clubs and guide entries
Aside from personal messaging, PlanetRomeo offers users the chance to create clubs-profiles and guide-entries as another way of getting in touch with gay men sharing similar interests. For example the regular customers of a bar or sauna can link their private profile to the club or guide-profile of that place. Members of a particular club can exchange news or discuss diverse subjects in the club's forum or via a newsletter. Clubs also exist for supporters of political parties, members of religious groups and employees in particular industries. There are also clubs that are more sex or fetish orientated such as a club for men who like men with big ears and clubs for men who use drugs such as crystal methamphetamine. There are also fan-clubs for pop or movie stars, classical music etc. In fact, since any user can create a club-profile, the list is limitless.
Along with normal profile and club profile users also can make an escort account.
Reflecting its community ethos PlanetRomeo also includes a lot of information regarding safer sex, coming out, health support as well as links to gay magazines and other community organizations. All these functions are free on PlanetRomeo.
PlanetRomeo Foundation was established by PlanetRomeo BV in the Netherlands in 2009, to contribute to the fight for equal rights and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. PlanetRomeo Foundation envisions a world without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity; a world in which LGBTI people have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else; a world which values and respects differences in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. The Foundation supports projects that aim to improve the position of LGBTI people all over the world, with emphasis on the most disadvantaged communities and locations. Projects focus on three priority themes: Safety & Shelter, Education and Sports & Culture. In its funding policy the Foundation has a preference for small-scale, emerging, grassroots projects 'for the community, by the community', which aim to involve, mobilize and activate that same community. Also, priority is given to organizations or initiatives with little or no access to mainstream sources of funding. The minimum grant that can be applied for is €500, the maximum grant is €5,000. The Foundation is an independent, registered non-profit with both a Management Board and Supervisory Board. The website of PlanetRomeo Foundation can be found at .
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- GayRomeo Statistics
- Gayromeo Statement concerning the German Youth Protection Law
- Article of Austrian magazine "Gayboy" (in German) Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- Die Tageszeitung - Gefährlich hoher Datingfaktor (in German)
- Caspar Thomson Published: 02 December 2015 (2015-12-02). "HIV & AIDS Information :: Thousands of people visit the European HIV Test Finder". Aidsmap.com. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
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- "PlanetRomeo Foundation". PlanetRomeo Foundation. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
- Thanki, D.; Frederick, B. (2016). "Social media and drug markets, The Internet and drug markets (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: Insights 21)" (PDF). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. pp. 115–124. ISSN 2314-9264.
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- Emma Cueto (2015-05-27). "Gay Men Are Happiest In Northern Europe, New Study Finds, and There's A Very Obvious Reason For It". Bustle.com. Retrieved 2016-11-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PlanetRomeo.|
- Official website
- PlanetRomeo Foundation
- How does the Internet affect HIV prevention?
- Thanki, D. & Frederick, B. (2016). 'Social media and drug markets', The internet and drug markets (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction: Insights 21), Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.