Tinder makes big impact in social media-based dating

Rebekah Young

The dating app Tinder is an innovative way for people to meet and start relationships.

Tinder is a social discovery platform for people, where people use the app to successfully introduce and connect to other people, according to Rosette Pambakian, director of communications at Tinder.

CEO and co-founder, Sean Rad, and co-founder and marketing officer, Justin Mateen launched Tinder in September 2012, Pambakian said.

The way Tinder works, according to Pambakian, is it connects through one’s Facebook profile; people have to have a Facebook account in order to be on Tinder.

From there, Tinder links Facebook profiles so it can access certain information, such as first name, age, photos, and Facebook preferences, Pambakian said. Tinder then goes on to match potential candidates who are most likely to be compatible, based on their geographical location, mutual friends, and shared interests. The user can narrow down potential matches by selecting a specific age group, gender, and distance.

The app then shows the user people’s pictures, who can either swipe left, or right Pambakian said. A left swipe indicates that the user is not interested, and a right swipe indicates the user is interested.

If two users both swipe right on each others profiles, then it will create a match, and Tinder then introduces the two users and allows them to start messaging each other, Pambakian said.

“Tinder is for people of all age groups,” Pambakian said. “We created the project for everyone, but the most popular age group to use the app is 18-24 year olds.”

Tinder is meant to be a fun, live way for people to interact, Pambakian said.

Pambakian shared some of the stories that she has received from users.

“I get emails every day, of happy engaged couples wanting to say thanks, and I also get emails from people who said they moved out to New York and knew no one and because of Tinder they were able to connect with people which made their experience worthwhile,” Pambakian said. “There have also been 1,000 marriage proposals from Tinder.”

Britni Morin, a current user of Tinder, said that she enjoys Tinder because she is able to meet different people.

“I have Tinder because I live in a small town and it is very difficult to meet people my age. Tinder allows me to have that opportunity to meet guys,” Morin said.

Jose Retana, another user of Tinder, said that he uses Tinder as way to find and meet new people to hang out with.

“I like Tinder because it’s not the usual crowd, there are new people which allows me to meet them and do things with new people that my normal friends wouldn’t do,” Retana said.

Psychologist Suzy Horton said dating apps are a nice way for people to meet because it creates a guarantee that the person will have some similarities as them.

“You are improving your odds that the person will be more compatible, or similar to you,” Horton said. “Dating apps allow you be picky on who you want to talk to, and you can make the decision on whether you want to approach them.”

Horton believes that there are both pros and cons to dating apps.

Technology has made it easier for people to create false personas, Horton said. People can hide behind their phone and do and say things that they normally would not do in real life.

“I think that you should always meet in person if you really want to carry on the relationship,” Horton said.

Another problem with dating apps, according to Horton, is that people are losing a type of social skill.

“There are all different types of social skills,” Horton said. “It does not matter how you interact with people whether you’re texting them, or talking to them over apps, you do lose a certain type because we pick up so much communication through body language.”

Morin believes that using Tinder has made her more social and she is more apt to meet people.

“I’ve met two people from Tinder, and they have all been from my area,” Morin said. “I always make sure I check them out before going to meet up with them by looking at their other social networking sites and I always meet them in a safe environment.”

Retana said that he has met three girls from Tinder and he believes it to be a safe app to use because it is connected through Facebook, which makes it harder for people to lie about who they are.

“It’s always nice when someone sees your picture and likes it and then takes the time to talk to you and get to know you. It makes you feel important and special and that is another benefit that people receive from using dating apps,” Horton said.

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