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Who's really using Tinder (and how are they using it)?

Matt Kapko | Sept. 2, 2014
Is Tinder an app for dating, hook-ups, making friends or a game of good old fashioned judgment? The service might be popular because it delivers on all of those fronts.

Amarao says she was using the app every few days but is on a break from Tinder now, as she spends time getting to know someone she met in the real world. No thanks to Tinder there, but she adds: "If things don't pan out, I will definitely turn discovery back on."

Sitting on Twitter, Killing Time

Other users like Will Kruisbrink, an account director at a public relations firm, have been on Tinder since the service launched almost two years ago. "It's the hot-or-not for the mobile generation ... My goals have always been to pass the time while sitting on the L or in a boring meeting," he tells

"My experience has changed in that where I used to swipe everyone right just to get matches, now I'm highly selective. Also, I infer much more from women's pictures now. Selfie? No way baby, swipe left," he adds.

Tinder has never been a serious way for Kruisbrink to meet people, but he says he did connect once with a girl who broke up with him before. For him, Tinder isn't so much an app for dating as it is a "judgment app." Kruisbrink was using the app every day at one point, but has scaled back to about once a week now.

"Women always see way, way more matches than guys. It all depends on how picky you are. There is a way to game the algorithm though. The app will front load women that have already swiped right on you. That means of the first dozen or so people presented, you'll see a greater number of matches," he explains.

"One of the most interesting things about Tinder is its approach in increasing success in a marketplace driven by serendipity and random chance," UsersThink CEO John Turner tells "Instead of trying to increase likelihood of matching you with higher relevancy results, their bet is on increasing the rate at which serendipity can occur by accelerating the rate of random encounters."

It's only a matter of time, Turner says, before this more direct and high-speed approach will to manifest itself in various startups aiming to be the Tinder for X in consumer and professional markets.p>


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