Whats in common with Tinder?

A while ago I wrote a piece for Single black male titled technology assisted dating.

A trip to the coffee shop or a bar is full of surprises. Who has not heard of the likes of Grindr? Grindr is/was extremely popular with the urban single gay males and it seems highly effective in meeting other people. You could see this as a digital wingman of sorts or a step on the way towards a technology assisted dating/hookup depending on what you’re actually after?

The likes of OKCupid and POF’s mobile apps use geolocation to find singles which match your profile. Grindr however seems to have that extra element of passive fun or hookup. So the question always has been? Wheres the hetrosexual version of Grindr? Those in the know, recommend Tinder. So I checked it out a while ago and recently gave it another try .

The thing about Tinder is its totally based on your Facebook profile. When I first saw this as a requirement, I read the privacy policy and though no thank you. But since I gave it a shot and found it weirdly interesting.

As said before the app requires (there is no other way to make it work) Facebook data. Once you hook it up every aspect of your Facebook data you get recommendations of people you may like. As I letter found out you can alter some of the settings in the app. Things like distance to search, sexuality and the age range.

The interface is a hot or not styled thing based on profile pictures from people around you. Its not exactly scientific in anyway.

However whats interesting is when Tinder finds something you like in common. This can be something you both liked or something you both have an interest in. It even points out any friends you both have in common. So instead of filling out loads of questions, its simply highlighting the commonality between you both.

Tinder app okcupids app

For example above, there are 3 common things me and Sally share. If I click the i, I can find out which things exactly. In this case Sally likes donnie darko, fight club, and the watchmen. If we had friends in common it would put a number in the other box too.

Once you’ve done all this, thats pretty much it. If the other person comes across your profile and also hearts you, then your both made aware of this connection.

Its simple but also quite effective, if your facebook profile is maintained and well used. The problem I have is I don’t really use Facebook and its apps much, so alot of it is more guess work than matching. Maybe I might consider updating and managing parts of my FB profile in future.

Using Facebook makes a ton of sense and I’ve always maintained that Facebook makes a great dating site.

So its pretty frictionless as a app and service. I have already seen people adding additional information like there twitter username and even email address to the one and only free text area. Which makes me wonder how there going to make any revenue from the app and us the users? Its also lot less realtime that Grindr, so I don’t expect to see people wondering around with the app open, so no real time adverts.

Is it all about the data and what they can sell on? Will there be a pro version on the cards? Will they start selling adverts? Or will they simply go for a walled garden type thing like most other dating sites? It would be good know before I can really recommend the service.

But as a whole, I’m quite liking Tinder and it will stay on my android devices for now. Its certainly not Grindr for us hetrosexuals but its something smarter and slightly clever.

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.