College students eager to sneak in a summer fling before going back to campus are in luck: Tinder, the location-based dating service that has been sweeping the twenty-something singles scene, is now available on Android as well as iPhone.
For those unfamiliar with Tinder, the system is fairly simple: utilizing the GPS data in a smartphone, users can swipe through photos of the opposite gender in a classic “Hot or Not” quickmatch game, where only first names are listed. Tinder assures that all of these decisions are kept private, unless it’s a positive match.
If two nearby singles express interest in each other’s looks, they are then invited to view the other’s pictures, see interests through information gleaned from Facebook profiles, and speak via private chat. A new feature, released in late May, also allows a user to play “matchmaker” for friends, inviting two people to chat within the app. Of course, in both cases, the couple takes it from there.
Tinder burst on the scene in late 2012 for iPhone, and quickly rose to the top of the dating app world. Since its launch, the company has entertained more than 7 billion separate profile ratings and more than 100 million matches between users. And it’s not just for swinging singles in the city: Tinder has even caught on in the conservative Mormon ecosystem of Brigham Young University, where users have praised it for breaking the ice.
The movement onto Android is a natural one, given the platform’s dominance worldwide. A foray into the Google Play store indicates that the company is certainly out to make Tinder more than just a U.S. product.
“We have been experiencing an unbelievable growth trajectory in the U.S., and have managed to reach a significant chunk of iPhone users within our target market,” Justin Mateen, Tinder CMO and co-founder, said in a press release about the new app. “As we shift our focus to international growth, it only makes sense to launch Tinder for Android, which owns nearly 70% of the smartphone market overseas.”
<Tinder is neither the first nor the only service to capitalize on super-fast nearby matches — Grindr, a geosocial app directed at gay men, has seen a precipitous rise since its 2009 launch, andThe New York Timesreported in Marchthat it has 5 million active users. Tinder seems to have achieved the same sense of casual dating.
The Los Angeles-based company launched the iPhone version of the app under the Hatch Labs mobile accelerator, and subsequently received backing from IAC, which also owns Match.com.