Forbes deemed it “the dating app for people who hate dating apps.”
Tinder is an app that allows you to be your own matchmaker. Released last September, it gives users direct control and has been credited as not only being a hookup host, but a marriage manufacturer.
It is a no-bullshit method to meet new people or a potential partner. The premise of this app is to connect to your Facebook, albeit discretely, and rate users based on their pictures.
After signing up and setting your gender, location and sexual orientation you choose five of your best Facebook profile pictures. Then you are directed to a page that shows the name, age and distance of a user. Opportunely, it will also provide any mutual Facebook friends or interests. Some people also list a tagline or their Instagram information.
You then vote.
If you like what you see you press a green heart and if that user has also liked your picture the app will declare, “It’s a match!” and open a chat forum between the two of you. You can begin to chat or keep playing.
If you don’t like what you see you press a red “x” and that person will disappear, and on to the next one…
The transparency of being connected to a stranger’s Facebook makes Tinder a safe, harmless, virtual retreat. This has helped Tinder carve a reputation distinct from its counterpart, Grindr- a forum for discrete one-night stands.
By giving the user the control, Tinder lets you see what nearby options you have. What you do with them is completely up to you.
In April, Co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen launched a feature on the app called Matchmaker, where you could introduce two of your Facebook friends by selecting them and opening a conversation.
“There’s something about Tinder’s simple, flirty interface that is undeniably fun. It combines the sleazy appeal of rating profiles, popularized by Hot-or-Not, and the excitement of apps like Grindr,” wrote Jenna Wortham of The New York Times.
In my Master of Journalism class, Tinder is discussed with uncompromising bluntness. Some dating sites like Okcupid, eHarmony, or Plenty of Fish are critiqued judgingly. Tinder has a different reputation- this may be due to its current 15 minutes of fame. Its surging popularity has given it a solid base of support from the generation obsessed with social media. It opposes the stereotype people have of dating apps or sites- filled with desperate, socially awkward-although this is a naïve generalization. Tinder puts everyone on equal ground with nothing to judge other than a picture. There is no compulsion, no expectations- you make this app what you want it to be, whether it’s a step towards an engagement ring, or a way to entertain yourself in the Starbucks lineup.
But, I will tell you one thing for sure: it gets addictive.
Gina Wicentowich is an Editor of the Culture and Lifestyle section, and is currently studying towards her Masters of Journalism at the Ryerson School of Journalism.
The Wanderer Online is not affiliated with Tinder. This article represents the views and opinions of its’ author alone.
Photo CC Wanderer Photographer, Patrick Nguyen. Thank you as well to our models, Michelle Derewonko and Dylan Grayson, with make up done by Jenn Vautour