Tinder Is Like Pandora for Hooking Up
The idea for Tinder was sparked when Mateen "noticed on Instagram and on Facebook that people were exchanging their phone numbers on photos, trying to meet new people. So we cut the fat and just made it a direct, honest way to meet." Up until Tinder, whose name refers to lighting a fire, Mateen felt that "most social platforms do a wonderful job of cultivating existing relationships, but there hasn't been a successful way to meet new people [through social media]."
It's hard to judge Tinder's success rate when it comes to matching compatible couples, short-term hookups or even platonic "friends," as Mateen suggests, but it helps that users -- 70 percent of which are between the ages of 18-24 -- aren't embarrassed to use the app in public. "It's crazy that people are resorting to Tinder in social situations," he says.
He's seen it firsthand. While at a party at Trump Hotel in New York, Mateen observed a group of models glued to the couch all night, obsessively flipping through profiles on Tinder. It didn't take him long to strike up a conversation with one of the girls after realizing that they had been Tinder-matched just the night before.
The co-founders plan to use their addictive algorithm to extend the app's matchmaking services -- no matter how superficial -- beyond the realm of dating. "Dating was a starting point for us. [In the future] people will be using it for friendships, for business relationships, and to some extent, people already are."
But do you really want to find your next business partner based almost solely on their good looks and youthfulness? Maybe not. But pretty soon, Tinder will be an app for that, too.