How Tinder Changed Dating for an Entire Generation

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Swipe left. Swipe right. No matter which way you swipe, you are playing the game set forth by the team at Tinder. Originally launched on September 12th, 2012, the historic dating app was brought to fruition through the work of Sean Rad, Justin Mateen, Jonathan Badeen, Joe Munoz, Whitney Wolf, and Dinesh Moorjani.

More than just another hot trend, online dating is here to stay. According to the research team at Statista, nearly 44.2 million people use online dating in the United States alone—and it likely wouldn’t have happened without Tinder.

Tinder Ignited a Generation

An online dating app that harnessed a simpler user interface fundamentally changed the dating world forever. Tinder came to light after Mateen and Rad discussed agoraphobia, a fear of leaving the house and socializing. While the future Tinder CEOs were joking about their condition, the idea that they were hovering around had merit. How do you connect isolated individuals with the dating pool in their area?

Tinder, which is essentially a mobile version of the old hot or not websites, allows individuals to connect by swiping left for “nope” and right for “yes.” When two users swipe “yes,” they are connected and allowed to start a conversation. More than 500 million swipes are made per day through this technology.

For Rad and Mateen, putting Tinder on mobile phones was the first and most obvious choice. Rad had been looking at computing and mobile phones as two competing technologies, suggesting that computers were on the brink of extinction. For Rad’s part, developing a platform for the future meant building it on a mobile phone.

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Stepping Down and Moving Forward

While Tinder’s rise to the top of the tech dating market has been meteoric, all has not been smooth. Tinder has undergone a relatively public feud between co-founders with Sean Rad departing as CEO in 2015, only to return to the job six months later to be fired again.

The departure of Rad from the team has led to a lawsuit and claim by Rad that the parent company of Tinder has intentionally undervalued the dating app. The lawsuit from Rad suggests that IAC effectively stole “billions of dollars” from the employees at Tinder. In response, the parent company IAC claimed that Rad simply bet against Tinder, opting to cash out as early as possible. Going on a date during a global pandemic can probably be described as risky, but humans still yearn for and desire for connection. One individual found themselves using Tinder as a way to filter out potential dates, opting for video chats first. Unfortunately, this wasn’t always effective. Some daters would still want to remove their masks, head back to apartments, and generally act as if the pandemic wasn’t happening.

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