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Tinder is a mobile online-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. On December 19th, 2013, the app was released on Google's Android mobile operating system. 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 individual 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.
On September 9th, 2015, Tinder announced they would be adding a new swiping method called "Super Like". The new feature allows users to "swipe up" to notify the user that they have been Super Liked by the presence of a blue footer at the bottom of their profile picture. Along with the announcement, Tinder uploaded a promotional video for the feature to YouTube.
To limit the number of Super Likes a user could issue, Tinder also announced that users would start off with 1 Super Like per day without the ability to "bank" unused Super Likes.
On August 21st, 2018, Tinder announced a feature of the app specifically for college students: Tinder U. The function only works with a .edu email address, making the app exclusive to those attending "4-year, accredited, not-for-profit schools in the United States. While it's only open to college students, users will be able to toggle back and forth between Tinder U and Tinder.
Additionally, the Tinder U profile will have slight differences, verifying that the user is a university student as well as an icon for which college the user attends.
On August 10th, 2013, Redditor jcf1211 submitted a screenshot of a disturbing Tinder message to the /r/creepyPMs 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 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).
- 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.
- Tinder Guys with Tigers posts men's Tinder profiles in which they are shown posing with a tiger.
- 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 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, ABC News and The Huffington Post. 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 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.
stefiluckston</a>: One last <a href="https://twitter.com/Tinder">tinder before she leaves Sochi. . .
PossumTorr</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23lolympics&src=hash">#lolympics</a> <a href="http://t.co/6PZ7d5UFDQ">pic.twitter.com/6PZ7d5UFDQ</a>” MEGALOL</p>— Rebecca Possum Torr (PossumTorr) February 13, 2014
Also on February 13th, TMZ 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 blog and accompanying Twitter feed were created, which highlight purported Tinder profiles of Sochi Olympic athletes (shown below).
On June 21st, 2014, several news sites and blogs 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, jokingly asking men to pose with other endangered species instead. The segment was featured on many sites such as HitFix and SplitSider.
Mass Date in New York City
On August 19th, 2018, a prank was held at Union Square in New York City, where dozens of men arrived at the park to meet Natasha Aponte, an aspiring actress who invited the men on Tinder to the location for a date. During the event, Aponte addressed the men on stage and revealed that they would be competing in various challenges to win a date with her.
That day, Twitter user @bvdhai posted a thread about his experience at the event (shown below). Within 48 hours, his first tweet in the thread received more than 115,000 likes and 52,000 replies. That day, The Gothamist published an article about the incident, which included Aponte's Instagram story at a pre-party for the MTV Video Music Awards along with a caption about "toxic masculinity" (shown below, right). On August 20th, The Gothamist reported that viral marketing professional Rob Bliss had taken credit for orchestrating the event.
Also on August 20th, Redditor UncleChen69 submitted a post titled "I was catfished along with 200 other dudes in NYC last night" to /r/Tinder. Meanwhile, a post about the incident reached the front page of /r/news.
Bread on /r/Tinder
On September 11th, 2018, Redditor mckeankylej posted a screenshot of a conversation he had on Tinder to /r/tinder, asking a woman "Do you like bread?" He then asked the woman "Do you like being choked?" The post gained over 29,000 likes (shown below).
The post led to multiple variations and jokes about bread being posted to the subreddit. For example, on October 1st, user alexenglish11 posted a screenshot of himself trying the line, but the woman knew the meme (shown below, lefT). On October 2nd, user Bensonian170 posted a version where the girl asks the question, evidently in on the meme, gaining over 2,000 points (shown below, right). The popularity of the jokes led to multiple inquiries on /r/OutOfTheLoop about the meme.
In February of 2013, the app tracking service AppData estimated that Tinder was averaging 500,000 monthly active users. 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.
 Businessweek – Dating App Tinder Catches Fire
 The Huffington Post – Why Tinder Has Us Addicted
 New York Times – Tinder a dating app with a difference
 Tumblr – Tinderactions
 Tumblr – Tinder Me Janet
 Tumblr – Tinder Love
 Tumblr – How to Lose a Guy in One Tinder
 Tumblr – Teach Me How to Tinder
 Tumblr – Shit We Found on Tinder
 Tumblr – Alone With Tinder
 Tumblr – Dead Fish of Tinder
 Reddit – Join Tinder they said
 Reddit – Found this one on Tinder
 Reddit – NSFW The Onions Tour of the Olympic Village
 US Weekly – Jamie Anderson Olympic Snowboard Tinder
 Tumblr – Sochi on Tinder
 Twitter – Sochi on Tinder
 TMZ – Tinder to Team USA
 ValleyWag – Female Athletes Say Tinder Use at Olympic Village is Next Level
 ABC News – Tinder Hook-Ups
 The Huffington Post – Tinder in Sochi
 Tumblr – Tinder Guys With Tigers
 NY Post – Why selfies with tigers may soon be illegal in New York
 Washington Times – New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’
 Refinery29 – New York lawmakers approve ban on ‘tiger selfies’
 Mashable – No, New York Is Not Banning Tiger Selfies on Tinder
 The Daily Dot – Colbert has a hilarious solution for the tiger selfie ban
 HitFix – Stephen Colbert Has Something to Say About Tiger Selfies
 SplitSider – Stephen Colbert Mourns the Imminent Outlawing of the Tiger Selfie
 Tumblr – Tinder Blog 'Introducing Super Like'
 The Gothamist – Natashas Amazing Tinder Scam Takes Predictable Turn
 The Gothamist – Dozens Of Dudes Got Duped In Mass Tinder Date At Union Square
 Tinder – Introducing Tinder U
 Reddit – What is going on with people from r/tinder asking 'Do you like bread?' on Tinder?
 Reddit – Why are people asking their Tinder matches if they like bread?
Nigel the treasure hunter
Aug 21, 2018 at 02:25PM EDT
Aug 21, 2018 at 12:36PM EDT
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