Chances are, you’ve heard of Tinder. Chances are, you know it’s a dating app. Chances are, if you’re single, you’re on Tinder yourself. Or if you’re happily coupled up, you’ve been shown by your single friends and are just dying to have a swipe of your own.
But what’s the fuss all about? Why do so many people feel the need to adopt this unnatural method of seeking a partner? In the UK, the average person spends one hour per day on Facebook, 21 minutes on Instagram and 17 minutes on Twitter. With the rapid mobilisation of technology, it’s no surprise that online dating had to make the imminent leap onto our smartphones too.
The UK’s social media use
Communications regulator, Ofcom, has said that British adults spend an average of eight hours and 41 minutes a day on media devices, compared with the average night’s sleep of eight hours and 21 minutes. Social media now amounts to 22% of all our internet use and some receive extremely high internet traffic. Popular app Snapchat for example sees 350 million photos shared daily between users. Online activity is constantly increasing, with new apps created every single day to make a person’s life “easier” or find ways to save time, and apparently our attitude to dating is no different…
What is Tinder?
Today, Tinder has 50 million active users who will check their accounts 11 times per day and spend an average of 90 minutes per day on the app. It was created by Los Angeles entrepreneurs Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, and was first introduced across college campuses and quickly downloaded by millions of young people. The 26 year old chief executive said the app was designed to “solve issues with dating and rejection in our generation”. Tinder is financially backed by InterActiveCorp, which is also the parent company of Match.com, worldwide dating website. When Tinder was first established, it was used mostly for ‘hook ups’ or casual sex but has developed into a more serious method of dating that has helped form longer, more committed relationships. One example of this is Olympic Gold Medallist Amy Williams, who married her partner after meeting him on Tinder 18 months ago. They decided to get engaged only 12 weeks after meeting on the app. Surprisingly, even celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon including Hilary Duff and Leonardo DiCaprio.
How does Tinder work?
For those who aren’t familiar with the app, Tinder works by using your GPS location as supplied by your smartphone and registers with other users in your area, so they come up for you to ‘swipe’ either yes or no. The app uses your Facebook profile to add photos to your account for others to swipe yes or no. This also means it’s harder to fake your profile pictures or age because the two have to coincide. When both parties swipe ‘like’ to each other, it notifies you there is a ‘match’ and the app allows you to speak to each other.
However unlikely this may seem, many people have managed to find their perfect match through the app. Katie Rodgers from Bristol is one of these lucky people. “When I first started speaking to George, I knew it was different to the other guys I’d matched with. He was sweet and genuine, and within about a week we’d already met for drinks and started to become more serious quite quickly.” Katie knows that many people regard the app as just for casual sex or ‘hook-ups’ but believes people should have a more open minded perspective. “Every person is different and looking for a different thing. Tinder can be used more casually but you’ll never know if someone wants more unless you ask. It’s all about chance and persistence.”
So what’s next for Tinder? Rad and Mateen aim to turn the app into something people want to use even if they’re not looking for a date. They want it to evolve into an app about “social discovery” and meeting new people not just in a romantic context. “Even if you’re in a relationship, you’re going to be able to find good value in Tinder in the coming months”
This constant evolution is vital to help keep the fire burning for Tinder in people’s app stores.