Is Tinder the next “big thing”?

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(File photo by Elli Garlin)

Let’s face it; we are living in a generation where organic, verbal communication isn’t as prominent as it once was. With social media outlets available left, right and center, it seems appropriate that the next “big thing” to happen to iPhone is to collaborate it with dating, sex, and flirting.

Ergo, we present to you, Tinder.

Tinder previews your online profile to others within a certain radius. If both users consensually approve each other’s profile, the two are matched together and have the ability to message one another.   Launched in October of 2012, the iOS app has recently exploded in popularity across campuses in North America.

“We realized that there were plenty of social networking divides out there that were doing an excellent job of connecting you with the people that you already know,” explained Justin Mateen, the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Tinder.  “But there wasn’t a platform dedicated to helping you meet new people. And that’s what Tinder is all about.”

“Essentially, all we’re doing is making a connection between two people,” Mateen told The Cord. “Whatever that relationship is between those two people is up to them.”

For some, this app might just be the missing piece to help find that brief summer fling, while for others, it could very well be the base camp for their next great love. However, the primary users of Tinder are showing a much younger demographic than those who frequent dating websites such as eHarmony.com and Match.com

Out of all current Tinder users, 68 per cent fall between the ages of 18-25, and about 25.5 per cent are 25 – 34.

“We knew that the product resonated with a demographic of college students who are living in a highly social environment”, Mateen commented.

However, while some may advocate the application’s accessibility and convenience, others fear that it might be taking dating one step too far in the wrong direction.  Alexander Hughes, a fourth-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University, poked around the app to see what the hype was about. He was not impressed.

“People need to breakout beyond their iPhone and talk to real people,” he concluded. “Go to a bar, build up the courage to talk to someone in person.”

Some individuals have taken it upon themselves to see how far they could push fellow Tinder users.

A Huffington Post article posted in April told a humorous story of how three university students conned 70 men into a yogurt shop under the impression that they were meeting a fake woman they had met using Tinder.

Other criticisms derive from the belief that Tinder isn’t wholly original. “Hot-or-Not” websites that filter profiles based on the judgment of others have circulated the Internet for years.

“Tinder came pretty late in the game since there are many other gay apps like it, which exist,” explained Shane D’Costa a Toronto resident. D’Costa referenced other social networking apps popular within the gay community that have a similar platform to Tinder.

“Some straight friends of mine look at me funny because Grindr [an online dating app tailored towards gay men] and Tinder work in the same way, where people hook up with each other through the app,” he continued. “Tinder is great, but is Tinder really necessary?”

Despite the different ways people are deciding to use the app, one cannot deny that Tinder is doing something right in regards to connecting two people. The Tinder team revealed that a total of 20 marriage proposals have come as a result from the app.

Mateen revealed that Tinder is looking at connecting people in ways that go beyond dating and flirting.

“Tinder is moving towards the direction of social discovery,” he said. “Using it for the purpose of meeting friends, business relationships [etc.].”

But for now, as Canadian university students search through their phones for their next possible “friend,” one can only assume that this could be the start of something bigger in the world of online dating.

After all, tinder is what sparks fire.

 

 

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