Tinder: The world’s best finger exerciser! "It’s not just about looks! Oh hang on. Yes it is."
Tinder has taken the world by storm. Apparently. It’s estimated the app will have 100 million users by the end of 2015 worldwide and is currently worth a staggering UD$1.1bn. The numbers are certainly impressive. But is it any good? Well, no. But let’s look at how it works.
Sign up through your Facebook account, add a couple of pics and a short profile, set your geographical search area and age you’re looking for and away you go. Pics of people within your ranges appear and you swipe right if you like the look of them and left if you don’t. If you’ve both swiped right you can message each other. Simples. What’s so wrong about that?
Firstly, it’s entirely based on looks. And that first pic you see may well be the only semi acceptable picture of your swipee.
Second, it’s a numbers game. Most guys will swipe right on about 90% of images.
Men start off carefully weeding out those we think will match best, sometimes clicking in their profile to see further pics and perhaps a small bio (note: it’s very rare for there to be one). Soon, our swipe shy gentleman realises he’s got next to no matches. Thus swiping right becomes the only route to interaction, allowing our date hungry friend to finally enter a more discerning world in which to select from those who also match him.
While this puts the power of first selection firmly in the hands of women, it significantly reduces her chance of actually receiving communication from those she prefers.
Our gentleman’s ‘right is might’ no-holds-barred approach means there are now quite a few matches to trawl through. And if your pic doesn’t hit the spot immediately then its defeat at the point of entry.
And for the guy, because of the vast number of right swipes, every time a woman opens the app she will pretty much get a match every time she swipes right. Our discerning lady therefore becomes even more selective over matches. This gap grows exponentially.
Add to this the vast majority of first tinder messages are sent by men – an age old axiom that has resurfaced in the digital age – and Tinder’s worth is significantly reduced.
Our gentleman will most likely still apply a scatter gun approach to his messaging. Why? Because by this stage he knows that the response rate is ridiculously low. Okay so it’s slightly higher than traditional dating sites but, given the immediate and mobile basis of the app, most messages consist of little more than ‘Hi!’ Oh, and did I mention the increasing level of spam accounts and marketing messages? Sorry. Didn’t want to put you off.
At this point Tinder has become less a legitimate way to meet folk in your area – note I omitted the word single – and more a habit forming game of swipe-n-match.
But all this is irrelevant if you’re using a mobile meet up app to, y’know, like, actually meet people.
So how does Tinder fair in the meet up stakes? It pretty much doesn’t.
Last year we undertook a survey to find out exactly what people expected from Tinder. Here are some of the results.
60% of respondents used Tinder. And this is where it gets interesting. When asked ‘Please rate how you view your chances of meeting someone to have a relationship with on Tinder' only 2% rated their chances as ‘High’! Only 6% rated their chances as ‘Good’ and a massive 60.5% rated it as ‘No chance whatsoever’!
*A quick note. By comparison 60% of people rated their chances of matching with someone they liked at a paid event as ‘High’ or ‘Good’. You do the maths.*
You may argue that this is about expectation and the reality is different. But if millions of people are downloading the app without expecting to meet anyone it’s no wonder it has become nothing more than a pleasant way to pass the time.
Our advice? Download it. Have some fun. Exercise your finger. It’s the perfect way to while away time waiting for the train or bus.* And when you decide you’d like to meet someone? You know where we are.
Tinder has just announced its new premium service! You get unlimited swipes! (Thus compounding the problems we noted above) And you get the ability to pre-change your location!
Oh, and if you’re over 30, the service costs twice as much. Just saying. Over to you.
*If you’d like to argue the use of wile vs while, perhaps you should come along to the UK’s 1st Literary Speed Date event. Take a look here.