The enshittification of the online dating world

I just watched the McLuhan Lecture 2024 with Cory Doctorow and Frederike Kaltheuner, after we talked about it on the upcoming Feb 2024 Techgrumps podcast.

Also been thinking about dating, as I edit my book. Its clear to me my thoughts of the dating industry’s endemic corruption is still valid but if I apply enshittification it fits perfectly and is very descriptive of the problem.

New platforms offer useful products and services at a loss, as a way to gain new users.

Its clear the social dating apps changed everything for many people. People can’t even imagine signing up to a site without the app now.

Once users are locked in, the platform then offers access to the userbase to suppliers at a loss, and once suppliers are locked-in, the platform shifts surpluses to shareholders.

Indeed, you can see this in the type of adverts you see in and outside the apps. Interestingly don’t forget they are collecting even more date everytime its used or to be fair is learning more about your use of the phone if you gave it the permissions its requested.

Once the platform is fundamentally focused on the shareholders, and the users and vendors are locked in, the platform no longer has any incentive to maintain quality.

Bingo, so many people tell me how Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, etc, etc… quality has gone down.

We all know its not going to get any better… Welcome to enshittification

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at cubicgarden@mas.to, cubicgarden@twit.social and cubicgarden@blacktwitter.io

8 thoughts on “The enshittification of the online dating world

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.