Part of a series on Online Dating. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 27, 2014 at 05:22PM EDT by Molly Horan.

Added Jan 29, 2014 at 02:26PM EST by Don.

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Tinder is a mobile dating application that serves as a matchmaker for users within close proximity based on their preferences. Unlike most other online dating services, users are required to register via Facebook Connect and can only message those who they have been matched with.


Tinder was developed in Southern California by co-founders Justin Mateen, Sean Rad, Christopher Gulczynski and Jonathan Badeen. On September 14th, 2012, the Tinder application went live on Apple iOS devices for students at the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles and select colleges in Texas and Boston. According to Mateen, the company seeded the application’s network with attractive women and socially active students on campus.[3] On December 19th, 2013, the app was released on Google’s Android mobile operating system.[5] On January 13th, 2014, Tinder released a promotional video titled “#ItStartsHere,” featuring young people engaging in various recreational activities and using the Tinder dating app (shown below).


Once registered via Facebook account, Tinder gathers the user’s basic information and analyzes his/her social graph data, such as geographic location, mutual friends and common interests, to recommend potential candidates that are most likely to be compatible. Users can then build their preferences by either approving (“like”) or disapproving (“nope”) the invididual profile photos of other users, using a mechanism that is much reminiscent of Hot or Not. In addition to its geo-social networking feature, Tinder also distinguishes itself from other mobile dating apps by limiting the two-way messaging service to users who have mutually showed interest in each other.

Online Presence

On August 10th, 2013, Redditor jcf1211 submitted a screenshot of a disturbing Tinder message to the /r/creepyPMs[15] subreddit (shown below, left). On the following day, Redditor amandaisacat submitted a photograph she purportedly discovered on Tinder of a man photoshopped into a playground to the /r/cringepics[16] subreddit (shown below, right). In the first five months, both posts earned over 2,000 up votes.

On November 17th, YouTuber SungaAttack uploaded a Tinder-themed “Shit People Say” video (shown below, left). On January 24th, 2014, YouTuber AdhocVids uploaded a satirical ad for a Tinder-inspired dating application titled “Love Within Reach: Think Globally, F*ck Locally” (shown below, right).

Tumblr Blogs

  • Tinderactions highlights humorous screenshots of messages from men on the Tinder app.

  • TindermeJanet features screenshots of Tinder conversations in which a woman replies to men with insulting or playful messages.

  • TinderLove is another Tumblr blog highlighting screenshots of humorous Tinder conversations.

  • How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder posts screenshots of Tinder conversations in which people intentionally attempt to scare off potential suitors in instant message conversations.

  • Dead Fish of Tinder initially featured Tinder profiles with men posing dead animals but later began posting generally humorous or disturbing profile screenshots.

  • Humanitarians of Tinder highlights screenshots of Tinder profiles of people posing with children in Third World countries.

  • Trapped in the Tinder highlights Tinder conversations in which a person responds lyrics from various rap songs.

  • Instagranniepants highlights illustrations by artist Anna Gensler of men’s Tinder profile photos who sent her sexually explicit instant messages.


2014 Sochi Olympics

On February 12th, 2014, the celebrity news blog US Weekly[18] ran an interview with U.S. Olympic snowboarder Jamie Anderson, who was quoted as saying that athletes in the Sochi Olympic Village were using the mobile app to socialize with other Olympians.

“Tinder in the Olympic Village is next level. It’s all athletes! In the mountain village it’s all athletes. It’s hilarious. There are some cuties on there.”

On the same day, several news sites published articles about the use of Tinder in Sochi, including Valley Wag,[22]ABC News[23] and The Huffington Post.[24] On February 13th, The Onion released a satirical news report featuring Olympians having public sex in a variety of locations at the Sochi Olympic Village (shown below). The video was subsequently submitted to the /r/videos[17] subreddit, where it gained upwards of 11,700 up votes and 800 comments in the first 24 hours.

On the same day, New Zealand snowboarder Rebecca Possum Torr posted a tweet joking about using Tinder prior to leaving Sochi.

Also on February 13th, TMZ[21] published an article about the dating app’s popularity in Sochi, which included a statement from Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen who urged athletes to focus on winning:

“Tinder is a great way to meet new people when you’re traveling and want to get the most out of your experience in a new city, but for now, focus on giving it your all while competing.”

Meanwhile, the “Sochi On Tinder” Tumblr[19] blog and accompanying Twitter[20] feed were created, which highlight purported Tinder profiles of Sochi Olympic athletes (shown below).

Tiger Selfies

On June 21st, 2014, several news sites and blogs[27][28][29] reported that the infamous “tiger selfies” of men on Tinder may soon come to an end with the latest New York State legislation of a ban against ’hugging, patting or other touching tigers," along with a $500 fine for violating the law. In an interview with the New York Post, Linda Rosenthal, the legislator who introduced the bill, explained that it was designed to increase public safety at circuses and fairs, citing seven instances of tiger-related incidents in 15 years, but she also acknowledged that the law would also criminalize the online phenomenon of taking selfies with tigers.

“They can still pose with bears and monkeys,” the assemblywoman said. “They just have to take big cats off their list.”
“I feel bad now,” cracked Rosenthal staffer Lauren Schuster. “We’re killing bros’ dreams and chances of being laid!”

On June 24th, Stephen Colbert featured the bill on The Colbert Report[30], jokingly asking men to pose with other endangered species instead. The segment was featured on many sites such as HitFix[31] and SplitSider.[32]


In February of 2013, the app tracking service AppData estimated that Tinder was averaging 500,000 monthly active users.[6] April, Mateen announced that the app was being downloaded from 10,000 to 20,000 times a day. Within one month of release on the Google Play Store, the app received upwards of one million downloads.

Search Interest

External References

[1]Got Tinder – Tinder

[2]iTunes – Tinder

[3]Businessweek – Dating App Tinder Catches Fire

[4]The Huffington Post – Why Tinder Has Us Addicted

[5]Google Play – Tinder

[6]New York Times – Tinder a dating app with a difference

[7]Tumblr – Tinderactions

[8]Tumblr – Tinder Me Janet

[9]Tumblr – Tinder Love

[10]Tumblr – How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder

[11]Tumblr – Teach Me How to Tinder

[12]Tumblr – Shit We Found on Tinder

[13]Tumblr – Alone With Tinder

[14]Tumblr – Dead Fish of Tinder

[15]Reddit – Join Tinder they said

[16]Reddit – Found this one on Tinder

[17]Reddit – NSFW The Onions Tour of the Olympic Village

[18]US Weekly – Jamie Anderson Olympic Snowboard Tinder

[19]Tumblr – Sochi on Tinder

[20]Twitter – Sochi on Tinder

[21]TMZTinder to Team USA

[22]ValleyWag – Female Athletes Say Tinder Use at Olympic Village is Next Level

[23]ABC News – Tinder Hook-Ups

[24]The Huffington Post – Tinder in Sochi

[25]Tumblr – Tinder Guys With Tigers

[26]NY Post – Why selfies with tigers may soon be illegal in New York

[27]Washington Times – New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’

[28]Refinery29 – New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’

[29]Mashable – No, New York Is Not Banning Tiger Selfies on Tinder

[30]The Daily Dot – Colbert has a hilarious solution for the tiger selfie ban

[31]HitFix – Stephen Colbert Has Something to Say About Tiger Selfies

[32]SplitSider – Stephen Colbert Mourns the Imminent Outlawing of the Tiger Selfie

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