Businesses can tweetstorm, too

Before IPO, Tinder says there’s no ‘dating apocalypse’

Tinder, a company that became popular by making it easy for people to reject potential mates, doesn’t deal well with rejection. Surprising? Maybe. Unfortunate for a company that claims it wants to remove barriers to making social connections? Definitely.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the late-night tweetstorm Tinder wrote in response to a Vanity Fair article claiming the swipe-centric service has led to what one of the piece’s millennial subjects called the “dating apocalypse.”

Others have already fact-checked both the Vanity Fair article, which stands accused of ignoring a nationally representative study in favor of a narrative informed by a series of anecdotes, and Tinder’s fevered response to the piece.

But another angle worth considering is whether or not Tinder, which is scheduled for an initial public offering alongside sister companies Match and OKCupid, did itself any favors by publicly responding to Vanity Fair’s story.

Tinder owner IAC said in June that it plans to spin off the Match Group — the division that houses IAC’s dating, fitness, and education-focused brands — as its own publicly-traded company during the fourth quarter of this year.

Of the brands managed by the Match Group, Tinder is expected to be one of the primary drivers of the newly-public company’s stock price, according to a MarketWatch report that examined investor interest in the prospective IPO.

Business Insider reported in July that Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said a “bullish scenario” could result in Tinder receiving a $3 billion valuation, given the increasing number of people willing to pay for its premium service.

Given all that, it’s understandable that Tinder would want to combat any negative publicity. Yet doing so with an apoplectic tweetstorm filled with dubious claims is strange (North Korea? Really?), and turned what could have been a single article about its place in society into a veritable flood of critical news coverage.

Why call more attention to a critical article? And, perhaps more important, why attempt to refute its contents with easily-debunked claims about your service being popular in a country where many people can’t use the Internet?

The short answer is that it won’t matter in the long run. Tinder’s users couldn’t care less about the Vanity Fair article, and might never have heard about the company’s response to it were it not for all the coverage it received.

Vanity Fair’s piece makes this clear even as it’s arguing that Tinder signals the end of dating. What are the majority of the story’s subjects doing while answering questions about their Tinder usage? Swiping through potential matches, reading messages out loud to their friends, and otherwise using Tinder.

While I can’t know what many of those same people were doing when the story was published, I suspect they were merely continuing to swipe, barely pausing with their thumbs poised above their phones before Tindering on.

Investors are unlikely to care, either. Tinder’s growth is solid, its users are obviously hooked, and the company’s swipe-to-act user interface has been copied ad nauseum. Tinder is ubiquitous; a negative story in a magazine read mostly by 45-year-old men probably isn’t going to change any of those things.

It’s fun to mock Tinder’s reaction to Vanity Fair — as well as the piece that inspired it — now. But most people have already forgotten, or perhaps never even knew, about all this hubbub, making it little more than a spectacle.

Tinder has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story.

3 Responses to “Before IPO, Tinder says there’s no ‘dating apocalypse’”

  1. IAMDatingMadeSimple

    In only a few days, the topic of Tinder and its effect on modern dating has gone viral, with hundreds of journalists and bloggers responding, and thousands of people chiming in on social media.

    It is clear the current hookup culture has reached a level of visibility that has some upset and others worried about the direction of young people today. However it is unclear whether the hookup culture has always been this way or if it has spread due to Tinder and similar apps. In our view, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. It seems this hookup culture has grown rapidly in part due to the far reaching interwebs on our iPhones which provide a seemingly unlimited amount of potential hookups through apps like Tinder. But Tinder is not at fault here, it is a generational shift. Millennials are staying single longer than previous generations. Yet most singles still plan to be in a relationship at some point, and their dating life or lack thereof will typically be a reflection of their age and maturity.

    Tinder has an incredibly diverse set of users. There are people looking for hookups, for dates, for friendships, and relationships, and many are simply looking for validation or the self-esteem boost that comes with accumulating matches. Now, the reason the Vanity Fair article mainly focuses on hookups, and the hookup culture, is simply because they are speaking about “Hookups Apps”. Surely not all users on these Hookup Apps have that singular goal, but the reality is people with other goals are left with few alternatives. Thus, you have a few popular apps whose users have a massive variety of expectations and goals, which often leads to disappointing experiences, ranging from the weird creep to the one-night-stand-seeker to the relationship seeker to the spouse seeker. Moreover, we believe the “match and chat” system used by Tinder and its peers mostly lends itself to those seeking short conversations and hooking up, leaving individuals with alternative goals frustrated.

    We’re building a different kind of app – one for people looking to date rather than hookup…a “Dating App” to turn to instead of another variation of Tinder.

    We are not going to change the world, we are only going to give the world an alternative way to meet and interact with each other, all while going on fun dates in the real world – a little bit like an experience provider.

    There is not much longer to wait, as this “Dating App” will launch early 2016.

    Hello Tomorrow,
    IAM, Dating Made Simple.