Tinder: The Millennials Sex Revolution

The dating app that explores Facebook’s data has become a social phenomenon in 17 months of existence. More than a billion contacts made through a magic algorithm. Decryption.

“I have been registered on Tinder since last November. Their algorithm is incredible. I do not know how they do it, I have not met a guy dumb or ugly yet. The level of training is always equivalent and the interests, in common “, testifies Isabelle * 26 years. Lovely, this bubbly girl would never have thought of registering on a regular dating site. But Tinder is different. “It’s a social network with a bonus drag dimension.”

Result of the races? “I had always interesting meetings, the majority of which were consumed in a very pleasant way. Sometimes, the repetitive process of these “Tinder dates” depresses me. But the application offers great potential for contacts with super guys that I never meet in real life. As a result, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. ”
“I’ll leave you, my ass plan arrives at 6:34 pm at the station.” The Tinder generation.

“Tinder is how people meet. It’s real life, but better. “(Tinder is the way people meet, it’s the real life, but better.) The slogan could not be better found for this application that scans the profiles of geolocated users. Unlike the Grindr gay app, for example, Tinder does not just display nearby registered photos, but also processes data stored on Facebook to make matches. This results in contacts that are more likely to be conclusive, as well as a better match between what the profile promises and its owner.

In 17 months of existence, Tinder has become a cultural phenomenon, endorses Time Magazine. Some figures: the milestone of one billion matches (successful contact between two users) was crossed in March, phenomenal growth, there were barely a million matches in January 2013 and 500 million last December. The application is used in 24 languages. In Australia, about 5% of the total population is registered. Tinder, however, keeps silent about the number of members, which makes comparisons with other “dating app” difficult.

30-year-old Zurich designer Frederico * recounts: “I signed up in March last year, there was hardly anyone, and now we’re having fun” matching “the same girls with my colleagues. Tinder because it’s funny, it’s superficial, but very entertaining, it’s like being in a bar where there are only attractive people. ”

A contact facilitator

As for Patrick (39), newly arrived on the celibate market, he has an enviable score of 47 matches in just five weeks of activity. “Tinder works as a contact facilitator. I am amazed by the quality of the profiles. These girls are almost all pretty, a third is downright cannon. They are nice, funny and cool. It’s “friendly dating”. We meet, it does not commit to anything. It’s like in life, we do not necessarily fall in love. But the exchanges lead to nice evenings and we want to stay in touch. ”

But how are they doing at Tinder? We explained it here last November in an article in the top 10 most read papers in 2013. Illustration with this advertising clip put online by Tinder.

As everyone knows now, the user registers on Tinder from Facebook (yes, it is mandatory to have an account). The algorithm then explores the data available on the social network and offers the user profiles at a reasonable distance who have interests and a Facebook Friend in common.

The user consults the list and “swipe”. This is the stroke of genius founders. “Swipe right” or “swipe left” are expressions that have already joined mainstream language. Candidates are retained or eliminated by sliding their finger to the right or left. The enjoyable and rewarding feeling of this gesture inspired Danish director Rolf Glumsoe Nielsen with a hilarious and viral video. When two users have selected themselves blind, there is “match”, an announcement accompanied by a little air of bugle.

Through its playful approach, Tinder has given the museum these dating sites that claim an endless bio with your hobbies, the number of children desired and a plan of life that runs to retirement. Sites that also ostracize singles already parents.

This addictive hobby is like shopping in a huge store of profiles. No need to be looking for a dating to play. “It’s not even bad to stay out of a match, because he’s such a funny swiper,” co-founder Sean Rad told Time Magazine.

“On traditional sites, you meet a lot of people completely desperate. You are often too yourself, by the way. People are suffering from being out of wedlock, which weighs heavily on the exchanges, “says Lisa *, 25.

The testimonies similar to that of Lisa abound. “I had an appointment with a type of Meetic. I enter the cafe, a handsome guy … he gets up to join a friend outside. I grab my cell phone, call my contact. At the back of the room, a phone rings at a hideous guy. He is 20 years old and 20 kilos taller than in the Meetic photo. I am paralyzed. ”

An impossible situation with Tinder because the application is based on the data collected by Facebook stamped “real life”. As we demonstrated in a previous article, Facebook has become a universal directory where everyone’s connections validate the veracity of the data. You can not lie about your job, your appearance or your sociability to 300 friends. Or, you do not have one and it’s suspicious.
“I’ll let you, my asshole arrives at 6:34 pm at the station.” The Tinder generation.

The application also seduces many celebrities. This month, Tinder announced that their profiles will be verified and certified by the brand, in an approach similar to that of Twitter, to prevent identity theft. Tinder already has a fan Lindsay Lohan or Ashton Kutcher, reports the press people.
Initially, some 90% of Tinder users were aged 18 and 24, a proportion that has now fallen to around 50% as the application becomes a mainstream trend.

As the actor Kevin Bacon says in a clip “The 80s explained to the Millenials”: “To go out with a girl, you had to call her at home. You had to talk to her mother for twenty minutes before she could talk to him. And once she let you down, you could not eject her from the left of the screen and move on to the next one. ”

Tinder keeps of course the most total secret about his algorithm. On the community site quora.com, Alex Mark, a speaker posing as “Techstars Hackstar” analysis: “The first profiles presented almost always result in” matches “, which encourages you to continue to consult profiles. Tinder probably puts the users who are already selected at the top of the list. ”

Algorithm and hypotheses

Alex Mark makes two other assumptions: “Tinder beats other applications in the sense that it introduces attractive people to other attractive people. The app must assign an “attractiveness” quotient to its users. If you are labeled “junk,” Tinder will lie and tell you that there is no interesting person nearby – when it’s wrong – so you can chase out of the app. ”

“The algorithm must still be based on the rate of” matches “established by each. It must detect if you are someone who disdains those who appreciate you (too high requirements) or someone who loves too many people (standards too low). In both cases, Tinder puts you at the bottom of the list. In the first, you never answer, no interest in putting you on top. In the second, the same person should not appear at the top of the lists of all your friends and colleagues. ”
“Does it exist, the same thing for gays?” The Tinder generation.

Tinder was founded in September 2012 by two Californians, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen (27 years old each). These appear in the latest edition of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” to follow. “It all started when Justin looked for a way to meet people, because he’s not the kind of guy who comes out of his house a lot.” Interviewed by Time Magazine, Sean Rad nicely takes his comrade Justin. The two young men grew up in Beverly Hills and joined in 2004 as students at the University of

Southern California (USC).

Sean Rad owes Tinder his affair with Alexa, his current partner, who is none other than the daughter of Michael Dell, the founder of the computer group of the same name and has joined the adventure of the start-up. Her friends have dubbed her Tinderella, reports GQ US.

The company has not yet developed a monetization model. Rad told Techcrunch that one option would be to offer the pay option to reinstate inadvertently ejected profiles in his list. Because any candidate “left swiped” disappears forever.

Tinder currently has as its sole investor the venture capital firm IAC, a giant behind the brands Expedia, Vimeo or Ask.com. The firm also controls the biggest dating sites in the world, March.com, OKCupid, Chemistry.com, Meetic and Chinese Zhenai.