More and more people are beginning to search for love and friends via dating apps like Tinder and Bumble. Tinder itself grew by a million users during the first few days of February 2014 alone (Times). The premise of these apps is quite simple: find people in your area who are [hopefully] single and available. The following post is geared towards defining what these apps do, how they work, and how they can be used. I’ll be able to do so through articles and screenshots of my own experiences. People’s faces have been blurred for privacy purposes.
Tinder and Bumble have similar components. In both applications, users are able to post up to 6 images of their choice. Usually, from my own experience, these images are selfies and group pictures that require you to play the guessing game of who’s who. Alongside these pictures, people have the option to have a short biography—usually including interests, what the person is looking for (relationship, FWB, etc.), and maybe even a joke. Take mine as an example:
Both Tinder and Bumble allow users to either “like” a person by swiping to the right, or “dislike” a person by swiping left. Tinder, unlike Bumble, has the option to “super-like” someone. A super-like would automatically send a notification to the person who is super liked. For instance, if I were to super-like Bobby, Bobby would receive a notification that someone has super-liked him. Typically, once someone is super-liked (in this case Bobby) that person would have to swipe past a few other people before reaching the super-liker (me). This is how Tinder is making waves in the industry. In addition, Tinder will tell you how many mutual friends you have, as sign up requires a linked Facebook account. The idea behind allowing users to see who they have as mutual friends is to promote an easier flow of conversation. Users also have the ability to widen or narrow their mile radius. The wider you go (up to 50 miles) the more people you will have to swipe; the narrower (down to 1 mile) the fewer people you will come across. Both applications give the user the option to specify where their sexual interests may lie (males, females, both). The idea of swiping “like” or “dislike” is to ultimately “match” with a person.
Now, in order to have a “match” both people have to swipe right for one another. Once you have matched someone, you are now able to reach out and chat with that person. Where Tinder excels on swipes, Bumble succeeds in conversation. Many people who I interviewed say they think Bumble does a better job at facilitating conversation between matches. Bumble is able to do this through mandating users to communicate with one another within 24 hours. If they don’t speak to one another they will un-match and will be unable to speak, as their profile disappears. Another cool thing Bumble does is allow users the BFF option. By setting the account to BFF, users will scout out people who are looking exclusively for platonic friendships. That’s what, in my opinion, makes this application a new technological innovation. While other apps have made it easier for people to connect on romantic terms, Bumble allows for platonic relationships to be hatched. It is known that once a person is in a 9 to 5, it can become tough to meet people in your area to make new friends. For this reason, Mashable Representative Isabelle takes us through her experience with the BFF feature:
Stay tuned for my next post where I will write about the diffusion of these apps, how many users they have, how rapidly they were adopted, and how widespread its use is.