Monday, 12th September 2022 officially marks ten years since the launch of Tinder. However, whilst 2012 doesn’t seem all that long ago, how has the online dating landscape changed since the now-largest dating platform launched?
Our editor, Luke Smith, investigates…
Tinder – A Brief History
12th September 2012 – a date that changed the dating world as we know it. Developers Sean Rad and Joe Munoz came up with an idea for a dating app called Matchbox, but little did they know it would become the most influential platform for love that the world has ever seen. Now with over 75 million active users, Matchbox (now Tinder) seems a million miles away.
In March, co-founder Jonathan Badeen (front-end operator and later Tinder’s CSO), and Chris Gulczynski (designer and later Tinder’s CCO) joined Cardify – the company employing Sean Rad and Joe Munoz.
In May, while Cardify was going through Apple’s App Store approval process, the team focused on MatchBox. During the same period, Alexa Mateen (Justin’s sister) and her friend, Whitney Wolfe Herd (anyone know where she is now?) were hired as Cardify sales reps.
In August 2012, Cardify was abandoned, Matchbox was renamed Tinder, and co-founder Justin Mateen (marketer and later Tinder’s CMO) joined the company.[
In September 2012, Tinder soft-launched in the App Store. It was then launched at several college campuses and started to quickly expand.
Within one year, Tinder had broken into the top 25 most influential social platforms, and had introduced one of the most revolutionary features to the world of dating – the swipe. Two years later, by 2014, Tinder users were completing more than a billion swipes per day, and the average users would spend 90 minutes on the platform.
2017 led to be the ultimate validation for Tinder as they were bought out by the Match Group – the largest dating conglomerate in existence. Whilst the purchase has subsequently led to fierce court battles and valuation controversy, it was the trademark that Tinder deserved, marking them as the top player in an exceptionally crowded market.
Tinder’s Influence On The Wider World
There’s no denying that Tinder has had a monumental impact on the way we meet, find love, and ultimately form romantic connections. It’s the basis of all dating platforms, and is the go-to guide on how to make a success of a dating app. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its problems, but it’s certainly a beacon of success in an utterly crowded market.
The swipe function that Tinder introduced eight years ago now forms the bread-and-butter of almost every dating app, with the notable exception of those who are ‘anti-swipists’, such as Hinge. However, even these anti-swipists have a basis of ‘left for no, right for yes’ – a formula birthed by Tinder.
Tinder today is an adapting beast. Whilst the notion of a ‘singular dating app’ is struggling in modern society, Tinder is continuing to lead the way in forming a hybrid social-dating platform. The introduction of new features, such as ‘Swipe Nights’ and other socially connective events have forged its new path on the way to maintaining its spot at the top of tree. There’s no denying that there are plenty of competitors putting up stiff competition, such as Hinge, Bumble, and a number of other collective platforms from the startup category, but Tinder still holds all of the aces given its vastly superior user base.
Ultimately, Tinder’s biggest struggle is its greatest strength. The vast number of users means there’s no let up of willing singles looking to meet the love of their lives, but the millions of faces available at a swipe can mean that forging meaningful connections can be at a premium.
However, lets not underestimate the impact that Tinder has had on a community of singles, the millions of relationships and lives together that it has forged, and the countless encounters it will continue to foster as the years roll by. Onwards.