Mar 01

It’s a Match! Tinder Makes Dating a Game Again


By Hannah Steelman

Eighteen to 24 year olds are 174 percent more likely to use recommendations on social media than shoppers aged 25 and over, according to a recent study by TMW and Marketing Sciences.

We all know this target spends a lot of time on social media– especially on social media apps on their phones. So it’s no wonder they have recently become so infatuated with Tinder, the new social media dating app. Think it’s strange that 18-24 year olds are using an app for dating? It’s not at all. It was piloted on a few college campuses in October 2012 and has since been a craze among this group.

The creators, which are backed by the same company as, developed this new dating app to appeal to a younger demographic, ages 17-24, by focusing on the social and mobile aspects of the app.

According to ABC News the app grew 750 percent in January, with 60 percent of users logging in every day. In an interview with the New York Times, the founders stated the app has more than 25,000 downloads every day. It has more than 1.5 billion profile ratings, and of that 1.5 billion, 20 million matches have been made since its launch in October.

So how does it work? Once you download the app, it syncs up with your Facebook account, allowing other users to see only your name, age, location and four pictures from your Facebook profile. The app also shows you how many friends and interests you have in common with the other person.


The app truly resonates with this age group for 3 main reasons:

1. It’s like a game- The app’s premise is like ” Hot or Not.” It uses four pictures from Facebook and fellow Tinders can either stamp you with a ‘Nope’ or a ‘Yes’ based solely off the pictures. If you get a match, the screen with show your two photos saying “It’s a Match!” then gives you the option to ‘Send Message’ Or ‘Keep Playing’. The instant gratification of getting a match and the ‘Keep Playing’ message creates an addicting rush of excitement like that of a game.

2. Social media & mobile features- Tinder’s profile is created through Facebook, which eliminates the usual apprehension of meeting strangers through an online dating site. Because the dating app is linked from Facebook, it seems more credible for real profiles, as opposed to created ones. You can also see who your mutual friends are, and if you have any shared interests. The mobile aspect allows you to see how many miles someone is away from you, up to a 50-mile radius, which makes it easier to meet your match, if you choose to.

3. It’s rejection proof- You can hand out a green heart ‘Yes’ all you want, but no one will find out you’ve liked them unless they gave you a ‘Yes’, too.


And after you get a match? You then are able to chat with your match through the application. The NY Times stated that 70 percent of the users start chatting through the application.

This new fad not only engages this target with the social and mobile features, but also enables users to meet new people in their area and expand their social circles.
Tinder’s success was spurred by engaging its target audience through social, gaming, and mobile components. This just goes to show that as new applications are emerging every day, knowing your target and how they interact socially can be the difference between a fad, and a fail.


Hannah Steelman

- Hannah Steelman is an intern at Zócalo Group. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahrose02. Zócalo Group is an award-winning word-of-mouth, social and digital marketing agency focused on one thing: To help our clients become the most talked about, recommended and chosen brands in their category.