Written by Rebecca Bridge • Published 26th June 2013

In the forever advancing world of social media, every platform is only ever a snap(chat) second away from being old news, and it seems that the time has come to say the words that Mark Zuckerberg never wanted to hear – Facebook is officially for your mum.

Over the past year, numerous reports have cited apps such as Snapchat and Instagram as being the go-to sites amongst social media savvy teens, many of whom have proceeded to abandon Facebook in their droves. However, it seems that it’s now not just the teens…

Sat in my local pub in Clapham last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by tables of fellow twenty-somethings all hunched over their iPhones, their expressions a mixture of approving nods, looks of indifference and in some cases, audible marks of disgust… another Miley Cyrus-esque celeb haircut fail? Nope – welcome, it seems, to the world of Tinder…

Launching last autumn at a party at the University of Southern California, Tinder has spread across college campuses in the US faster than an outbreak of glandular fever, and it’s now making a similar stir this side of the pond, with daily downloads of the app currently hitting between ten and twenty thousand.

But what exactly is it?

Tinder is essentially an app version of the old classic game, ‘kiss, marry, push off a cliff’ (and other more crudely named variations…) in that it essentially provides you with a platform on which to rate or reject people in your local vicinity – think ‘Hot or Not’ meets speed dating, but speedier… you don’t even have to wait several minutes for a bell to ring to affirm your disinterest – simply swipe their face from your phone screen in seconds. If you happen to like someone who has liked you back, then a ‘match’ is made and the messaging can commence.

Tinder’s popularity seems to be rooted in the fact that its users don’t actually think of it as online dating, but view it more like playing a game. Plus, unlike other dating sites Tinder is actually fun to use and thanks to the fact that you can only message people with whom you’ve made a match, you avoid being inundated with an inbox full of ‘selfies’ of shirtless, fake-tanned men posing in their bathroom mirrors, which can only be a bonus…

Whilst it may sound superficial, Tinder merely mimics the social dynamics of the offline world, providing a platform for us to do all the things we like doing online but won’t admit to… namely acting shallow and making snap judgements about people based on their appearance.

Have you dared to date via Tinder? If you’d like to share your Tindering tales with us, then Tweet us @Pha_Digital… we’d love to hear from you!


Cover courtesy of Nancy, <I’m Gonna Snap!, flickr.com