This is a question that all dating app Founders have debated at some point, I am sure. Given the 10 year anniversary of Tinder, this conversation has also be one for media publications to chew the cloth with - and rightly so.
So, what did I learn from Tinder?
Well firstly, I used to love it. Given the fact that I was one of the earlier users, the platform was unique and was a genuinely great way to meet people. It was fun, the standard of users was relatively good, and I actually went on dates.
I put this relative success down to a few things. Firstly, less choice. Fewer users - so the quality remained high, and if I'm honest, it probably appealed to my age and professional demographic 'at the time'. I did dip my toes into few different options, namely POF/Plenty of Fish (where the standard was poor), Match (just clunky), eHarmony (it took too long to complete profiles, and felt aimed at an older audience, at the time) - but Tinder actually SAVED TIME.
Sadly, it's since lost it touch. I now feel it wastes my time, and even though we'd like to blame the swipe action.... I'd say it was more to do with offline behaviour and our own standard and expectations than anything else.
As a clinician, whenever I am looking for a reason, or trying to understand some form of human behaviour, I tend to look through the lens of our innate being - which is, that we are animals. Animals of course like to hang out in packs - with others who have similar interests - and of whom we can rely upon and trust. We also like to hang out with people who look the same as ourselves, and move in circles whereby we feel we are not just giving, but also progressing. That's human nature.
You see, when Tinder operated in a much smaller pool of users than their current stakeholders would like, users felt more at home by nature - it was an environment which they could psychologically trust.
At the time, social media wasn't as prevalent; reviews and reputations were a second thought - and having fun was what we all wanted to do. But with the rise of socials, news outlets, and an ever-increasing world of social networking, the infection of fear was inevitable - and not without good reason, either.
Because, as with all social networking and dating sites, deep within lurks the worst of society. Preying on our vulnerabilities, targeting emotions, and manipulating our thoughts. This kind of behaviour has made apps like Tinder not only feel unsafe, but unsafe also in reality. Now, I know Tinder have addressed, and continue to address concerns over safety - but the shear volume of users makes it a difficult, if not impossible one to police.
There are any reasons people are looking to move on from Tinder, but as a Founder, niche apps like ours are meeting the demand of those who want to SAVE time, whilst doing so on a platform where they feel safe, and where they belong.
Let's face it - in 2022, we should be able to intentionally choose to be around those who make us feel good. And in a world full of science, we also deserve to be able to find people with whom we are more compatible from the offset. Efficiency when dating without losing the 'fun' and 'chemistry' is also something customers are demanding. Given the fast-paced environment in which we now all mostly live, the requirement for dating apps to meet this demand is critical; while also thinking outside of the box when it comes to providing opportunities to 'connect' in real life.
For some apps, this is taking the form of offline events including big social gatherings. But for us here at REDDI, we still understand that whilst you can put a bunch of people in a room together - that still doesn't mean that they will speak. We also did not want to become part of the problem. With that, we chose to reflect over the past - how did we used to connect, talk, build relationships? And what helped us to build upon attraction, leading to chemistry? For us, that outcome was intimate gatherings, building connection over time using immersive, bespoke events - some one-offs, and some of which may be spread out over a period of several weeks. Spending time more wisely, having more fun.
What myself and my team at REDDI do know, is that we are all remaining agile, and growing with you, our customers.
Until next time,
Founder | REDDI