Brandweb Logo
Back to site
In: Digital marketing,
How Did Tinder Change the Decisional Behavior

In the beginning, you are full of enthusiasm every time you get a new match. After some day however, you already start feeling a bit too tired to reply to everyone. Most of the Tinder users have gone through these phases. Let alone love life, let’s talk about how did Tinder change the decisional behavior and how does this affect us as marketers.

If you are not familiar with Tinder – we’d be surprised – you should know that it is a dating app launched in September 2012. In March 2016, Tinder was having 100 million downloads globally.

From pure curiosity to reflex

The fact that the app is frequently used by a high number of people is not surprising. First of all, only knowing that all of the users have the same intentions is encouraging – everyone uses Tinder for finding someone, whether it’s serious or not. Second of all, in UX terms, Tinder is very intuitive and easy to use, with a friendly interface that functions under the like/pass principle.

A lot of people install the app because they want to keep up with the Joneses – the Joneses being here the group of reference. The symptom was called FoMo, the fear of missing out, and it was even included in 2013 in the Oxford English Dictionary. Seeing everyone around you swiping right or left makes you really wonder if you are missing something important. Therefore, you install the app and the hype just gets to you.  One day, you just realize you opened it while being bored without even realizing it. In short, this is how swiping becomes a real reflex.

Binary creatures

The problem is, specialists say, that the binary mechanism that Tinder uses has started to be used in everyday life. We seek to simplify the decisional process as much as possible. On Tinder, the evaluation lasts only for a few seconds. You have an extremely short amount of time to decide if you like the other person or not. The thing is – even though the process of assessing it lasts shorter, building trust takes as long as ever.

The binary mechanism 1001011 or, in Tinder slang, like/pass/pass/like/pass/like/like, makes us binary beings that long for a world where there are always only two options to choose from. This process has been called Tinderization

What have I said to whom?

The fact that Tinder can lead to an emotional dissociation did not come as a surprise. We don’t have enough emotional energy to constantly talk to everyone who liked us back. If we engage in conversations with more people at the same time, it’s difficult to differentiate the talks and we tend to mix different conversations with the wrong faces or names. Therefore, in the end, our mind unawarely coins a single person – let’s call them the Tinder Partner – that reconciliates all the qualities of all the users who have talked to us on Tinder. Like a melting pot.

This is because on Tinder you can only view a few pictures, unlike Facebook, which gives you a sense of trust and intimacy only by letting you check pictures and memories from that person’s past. It is difficult to create a mental picture of a person only by talking on Tinder; a lot of pieces are missing.           

As a consequence, users that are interested in each other change the communication channel before setting up a date. The switch from Tinder to Facebook comes as a guarantee that the other person does really exist. Exactly with this goal of building trust was the login with Facebook introduced, even though it doesn’t imply taking data from it.


What’s to learn from Tinder?               

Of course its creators where not the first ones that used the binary system of decision-making. But they were the ones who made it so popular and easy to use. They created an app inspired from reality, where we make heuristic judgements in a blink of an eye, without being aware of them. So, when designing an app, think it in terms of simplicity and intuition.

In the end, we’ll let you with this lyrics from Amy Whinehouse that perfectly fit the logo and the concept behind Tinder: For you I was a flame/Love is a losing game.

Share article