“Your parents will love me,” Joel, 23, insists on his profile, while Kory, 22, simply states, “It’s not your booty, it’s your beauty.” Ugh, swipe left. In cities like New York with fast–paced, cutthroat dating scenes, the app has taken off and just might be changing dating forever. They want to diversify, a goal that for many a hot new tech company has turned out to be the kiss of death.
How do you say “no,” though, when an app takes off the way Tinder has, especially among the young?
Whereas traditional online dating sites Match and Ok Cupid painstakingly cultivate the image of being for serious people (aka grown-ups) interested in long-term relationships, Tinder cuts to the chase—thrillingly, say users.
“When I was on it,” says Bethany, “I felt a little voyeuristic, a little excited and different.
Nick’s grandparents didn’t know each other yet, but in college, they rode the same bus to class for months.
Gramps admired his future wife from afar—well, a row or three away—until the last day of the semester, when he finally gathered the gumption to ask her out. “That’s a great story,” Nick (not his actual name), a 30-year-old advertising creative, says to me over lunch.
“‘I swiped right on her picture’ is not the most romantic story in the world.” We’re talking about Tinder, the controversial and addictive online dating app that might just send sites like Match and Ok Cupid to the start-up graveyard.
That’s right, we now have dating apps; websites were apparently too time-consuming. Simply download Tinder, sign in through Facebook, pick a flattering picture of yourself, and you’ll be matched with photo after photo of potential mates, bombarding you quicker than a stream of Grammy night tweets.
You pick a gender (male, female or both), then decide how far or close you want them to be (10 to 100 miles away) and how old (18 to 50+.) It’s like ordering pizza.
You can also write a tagline to describe yourself and add a few more photos for people who want to learn more about you(r looks) before making their choice.
Swipe right if you approve of someone’s appearance. If you reject someone, the poor schmuck won’t be able to contact you.
But if you both swipe right, you’ll be able to chat up a storm until you make plans for drinks at a mutually agreeable location. Since its launch a year and a half ago, the app has garnered 500 million profile ratings and is credited with more than 5 million new matches per day and 750 million matches to date.