Dallas / Bamberg / Berlin At least ten years ago (September 12), the app Tinder was launched, whose brand name has become a deonymic verb, as with “googling” or “carting”: that is, the activity word “tinder”.
Tinder (English: Tinder) is the app that made the so-called swiping a mass phenomenon. Users see profiles with photos and information in their area: if they like someone, swipe to the right, if they don’t like it, swipe to the left. If both people find each other good, a so-called match arises and chatting becomes possible. Of course, this basic idea has long been extended by other and paid functions – but that doesn’t matter at this point.
190 Countries and more than 40 languages
“Tinder is the world’s most popular app for meeting new people,” is the self-description of the software, which has long been part of the tech company Match Group (also OkCupid, Hinge, Pairs, OurTime), headquartered in Dallas (Texas). According to its own data, Tinder is available in 190 countries and more than 40 languages. “Tinder has been downloaded more than 530 million times and has resulted in more than 75 billion matches.” The app leads to 1.5 million dates per week. However, with more exact figures for the German or German-speaking market, the company is covered.
According to the market research company Data.ai the dating site will continue to be at the top of the download charts for dating apps in Germany in 2022. Tinder ranks first in terms of consumer spending and the number of active users. The biggest Tinder competition is therefore the app Bumble, which differs mainly in that only women can start a conversation there after a match. In addition, Lovoo is quite strong. There is the icebreaker function, which allows you to contact people despite left swipes in order to break the ice.
no longer sorted possible partners by common interests, as single and partner exchanges often do, but went by who is currently nearby with the mobile phone.
Simkhai tried in 2011 with Blendr to design such an app for heterosexuals, but failed. Only from 2012 with Tinder and the idea of swiping did online dating also become a non-queer – or in other words – mass social phenomenon.
“Sexual revolution of eternal availability”
“In terms of “openness,” Tinder has certainly done a lot for heterosexuals,” says the “Ladylike” podcaster Nicole von Wagner. Many were looking for uncomplicated sex dates, one-night stands or so-called friendship Plus. “Tinder has sparked the sexual revolution of eternal availability. You just have to swipe right on the phone and make an appointment for sex.” Almost everyone there has “several irons in the fire”, only wants to meet the supposedly best.
With the huge selection, Tinder also makes many people superficial, says book author Nicole von Wagner (“Anyone can come there”). “We evaluate a person within seconds after a photo and swipe left if the nose does not suit us.” At her erotic podcast, women often wrote to her that they were ashamed to engage in dating via the Internet and not to drag a guy ashore in real life. “They often feel devalued by the environment. As if a flirtation at the supermarket checkout was worth more than one online.”
Sociologist Thorsten Peetz from the University of Bamberg sees online dating in a more differentiated way. “The stereotype that it is a more superficial form of getting to know each other and an economization of intimate life does not do justice to the phenomenon.” He emphasizes that it is a well-reflected form of dating. “Many tell whole stories with pictures and texts, proclaim exactly what they want and don’t want.”
Peetz, who, among other things, has published the technical article “Digitized intimate evaluation – Possibilities of social Observation on Tinder”, contradicts the image of a kind of department store in which a woman or a man simply gets someone.
“There are a number of studies in which people describe that they feel Tinder like a catalog to browse through or even like a meat counter where you look and choose, but this usually has little to do with reality, ” says Professor Peetz. “You can’t just want to have one person and that works. Rather, it is a game in which everyone tries to bring out their own intimate value.”
Acceptable version of one’s self
People on Tinder and other apps demonstrated an acceptable version of their own selves, Peetz says. Everyone does this even in normal everyday life with clothes, hairstyle and their way of moving.
With dating apps, there are demanding challenges around identity and interpretation, as the sociologist says. “The task that arises is to assess what kind of type is the person on the other side of the screen actually? How does it fit in with the game I want to play here? What kind of person can I actually expect if I meet analog one day?” In short: Tinder and Co. are highly complex instead of just fast sex.