With 10 million matches per day, 1 billion total matches so far, the dating app Tinder is used in 24 languages and five per cent of Australia’s entire population have a Tinder profile.
Although the app might not have been created in a college dorm room, it is still hugely associated with young hip start-up incubators. This week, we take a closer look at Tinder, the addictive matchmaking app that won TechCrunch’s Best New Startup award in 2013.
Features and use
Tinder requires a Facebook account to login (to prove identity), then uses the profiles to gather basic information such as geographical location, number of mutual friends and common interests. The software then analyzes and matches potential candidates who are most likely to be compatible. Users anonymously like or pass on the suggested candidates, and if two users like each other then it results in a “match” and Tinder introduces the two and opens a chat.
Although the App has been well received in the press, some controversial opinions have been raised regarding privacy and addictive elements. Since users are not able to connect unless both parts have approved the match, it is based almost entirely on images. No chats are allowed before the match, and declines are non-reversible, encouraging users to “Tinder On”.
The app was founded by 27-year-old entrepreneurs Sean Rad and Justin Mateen at University of Southern California. In just one week they went from 300 to 1000 users, and in September 2012 Tinder expanded to other college campuses. When officially launched for iOS in October 2012, it immediately became a viral success and both founders are now listed on the Forbes list of 30 bright sparks under 30.
Following a social media campaign, where Tinder aimed to get 1 billion requests to release the Android app, it was finally launched in July 2013. In January 2014, an unofficial Tinder client for Windows Phone was launched, pulled, then praised. The developer Rudy Huyn, was then hired by Tinder to develop an official app. From start to Windows Phone Store the process took him 10 days.
Tinder was hatched at a start-up incubator owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC), and would therefore still pass as a start-up, although IAC is acting as its lead investor, offering support from the brains behind the some of world’s biggest online brands, like Expedia, Vimeo, Ask.com and UrbanSpoon. The founders are apparently still literally consumed with working on the app, and the fact that there is no advertising has also been triggering speculation about how they will eventually monetize their app, or whether they even will – an alternative play might be just to build up the user base to eventually exit to one of the established match making websites like match.com – remember, apps are not necessarily a revenue play – with users valued at around $40 each by recent exit valuations, it’s easy to understand why no revenue may be the path to greatest wealth.
So, an old idea (hot or not), executed with a great user experience and 18 months later a global company and cross platform app – it’s these opportunities that prompted us to create our Course teaching non-technical people how to go about turning their app ideas into an app. To learn how to create an app with your own idea, then start on a free trial with the first Course tutorial today.