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The first time my mom talked to me about Tinder, we were sitting on a terrace in Madrid, sipping white wine. We were knee-deep in some conversation about my new international bank card — as I had just moved to the Spanish metropolis a week ago — when my phone lit up on the table.
She must have recognized the red flame logo because she immediately crinkled her nose and asked: “Is that Tinder?!” And so we ventured down the all-too-familiar rabbit hole.
Like most moms, she was just worried about my well-being. She had heard that Tinder was a hookup app and didn’t like the idea of me partaking in such activities in a new city. Although her perception of the app isn’t completely wrong, anyone who has used Tinder will tell you that singles create accounts for many different reasons. Some want to get straight down to Netflix and chilling, sure. But there are plenty of others who seek long-term partnerships, friendships, or want to familiarize themselves with new people and places in a city they’ve just moved to (like I was).
I could have picked other apps, but I chose Tinder instead. Why? Because it was the most popular dating app at the time and remains so more than a decade after its launch. The impact on pop culture alone is testament enough to the app’s star qualities, but the statistics on Tinder’s success rate in the dating sphere deserve a separate category of recognition. Let’s get into it.
Can you picture 75 billion matches? Hell, can you picture 75 billion of anything? I’ve tried and have yet to succeed. But that’s the power of being the most popular dating app in the world. The more people using the app, the wider the dating pool, and the higher your chances of making a match. The math is simple.
But how does Tinder work to find these matches? The same way many dating apps do: using an algorithm based on location, swiping behavior, shared interests, and personal preferences, among other preferences. Tinder has been around longer than most dating apps out there, which is why it often does a better job.
You don’t need to be a finance bro to know that $1.8 billion is a lot of money. But until we hold this number up against competitors, it’s difficult to take any meaning from it. Let’s put things into perspective.
In 2022, Bumble (ranked second in the world for downloads) made $694 million in revenue, Hinge (ranked 9th) made $284 million, and eharmony (ranked 10th) made $16 million. In other words, Tinder’s revenue is 112.5 times that of eharmony’s — not that it’s a competition or anything.
In a perfect world, dating would be fun, exciting, romantic, and positive. But it isn’t a perfect world — evidenced by the fact that John Mulaney is not my husband — so we’re forced to face harsh realities. There are plenty of creeps and weirdos out there. Some of them join the dating game to catfish you or steal from you, while others are out to do a lot worse, if you catch my drift.
Luckily, Tinder invests time, energy, and resources into making the dating world a safer place for those searching for love. Within the last three years alone, the dating app has launched over a dozen safety features to help singles feel more comfortable while swiping. For example, users can now block profiles anytime they want (no questions asked), filter out scammers via automatic message monitoring, and alert authorities of potential safety risks by integrating their profile with the Noonlight app.
This statistic shocked me a bit, if I’m being honest. Not because I think people ages 18 to 25 aren’t interested in love or hookups or relationships, but because I assumed most people in that age range have ample opportunities to meet people the organic way. You know, attending college, going to local bars and clubs, and being a member of a sports team.
However, it’s clear that I’ve committed a deadly sin of the modern age: underestimating the power of the internet. Technology, dating apps included, are rapidly and undeniably changing the landscape of the social world as we know it. And no generation is an exception to that rule.
One of the most profound pieces of dating advice I’ve ever received went a little something like this: “The partner you’re seeking is also seeking you.” It’s a simple sentiment, but it makes so much sense.
Surely the qualities and characteristics you’re searching for in a partner are being sought by someone who also values those qualities and characteristics, right?
This makes it only a matter of time before you cross paths and the sparks of a great potential match start flying. With this in mind, you can embark on your love-finding journey with confidence and surrender to the process, knowing that whatever is meant for you won’t miss you.
Tinder takes that confidence up a notch. The app has around 75 million monthly active users and the average user spends 90 minutes per day (basically three full episodes of Hulu’s “The Bear”) swiping on the app. That means your chances of coming across a potential lover are fairly high. And they might even be swiping for you as we speak.
Situationship, which is basically a relationship without labels, has become one of the most commonly used words in modern dating culture. But many Tinder singles claim that more traditional dating values are still important to them.
According to Tinder’s annual survey, Year in Swipe, 79% of users reported that loyalty was a priority when looking for a potential partner, followed closely by respect with 78%. Aretha Franklin would be so proud!
Does this preference for loyalty translate into loyal behavior in real life? It’s impossible to say, but at least we know the intention is there. And I think that’s a pretty good start.
In many ways, being a woman in the dating world is — and this is me being optimistic — pretty tough. We’re subject to antiquated double standards, high safety risks, and considerable biological pressure to marry and procreate before reaching a certain age. On dating apps, however, women can enjoy a taste of the upper hand, even if only for a digital second. This is particularly the case with Tinder users.
According to recent studies on the globally popular app, women on Tinder receive about seven matches per day, compared to five matches a day for men. The exact reason for the discrepancy is difficult to pinpoint, but it could come down to differences in social norms (men are often expected to make the first move), quality of profile (women may spend more time curating their pictures and bios), or simple variations in selection preferences.
If dating is a numbers game, then Tinder’s certainly winning. Not only does the app boast a whopping 75 billion matches since its creation in 2012, but over a decade later, it’s still churning up 1.5 million dates per week.
Yes. You read that right. This means that 1.5 million Tinder dates will have occurred between this week and next.
This isn’t to say that going on a date means you’ve found your future pickleball partner for life, but it’s an important step in the right direction. When you take a chance to meet someone, you open yourself up to new experiences, new opportunities to figure out what you do and don’t like, and maybe new local restaurants you haven’t tried yet.
Say what you want (and I’m sure my mother will), but Tinder is good at what it does. This little app with the fire emoji managed one of the first to blend cutting-edge technology with a user-friendly interface. More than a decade and dozens of competitors later, it remains the most downloaded dating app in the world. Considering the rate at which the app releases new features, refines old ones, and adapts to changing social landscapes, it’d be a mistake to assume that is going to change any time soon.
The numbers are in and only two things are left to say:
To Tinder: Congratulations! The reign continues.
To all other dating apps: Good luck.