What All Marketers Should Know About Tinder

Niraj Sharma |
 09/09/15 |
5 min read

Returning to the dating scene after a long hiatus, I’m surprised to learn about the new apps out there for meeting people. I thought it would be interesting to see what I’m getting myself into with the likes of Tinder by analyzing what people say about the service in social media.

Let’s see how much of a trend Tinder has become and what people are generally saying about it using NetBase’s conversation analysis. Of course we’ll also want to figure out whether people are generally positive or negative about Tinder, and more importantly, what’s driving the positive and negative sentiment. What do they like about Tinder, what do they dislike about it? Do they intend to use it, recommend it, switch away from using it, or in other words, what behaviors do they exhibit? And how does Tinder make people feel, is this going to be an emotional roller coaster, or a cake walk to meet my soul mate?   Let’s find out all that and more by plugging Tinder into NetBase!

Conversation Analysis

Wondering how much of a trend this Tinder service is, I pulled over two years worth of history on the conversation in social media. As you can see from the timeline below, there’s an upward trend in the amount of conversation about Tinder, with some noticeable spikes more recently. It’s grown from 15K mentions in the month of May 2013 to 1M in the month of March 2015. That’s some serious takeoff!


The biggest spike so far occurred at the beginning of March, 2015. With NetBase, I can drill into that portion of the timeline and see what terms, words, phrases, hashtags, brands, people, etc. were being most discussed at that time. In this case, something called Tinder Plus began to emerge on an analysis of brands mentioned along with Tinder:


And sure enough, that was when Tinder launched its new paid service on their blog:


Through NetBase’s conversation analysis we can see what else is bubbling up. How is Tinder makings it’s way into mainstream life, what associations do people have to Tinder? In the word cloud below we’re seeing not only words but also phrases and hasthags people use in connection with Tinder:


One that particularly caught my attention was the hashtag #ireallylikeyou since the main activity you do in Tinder is “like” and “dislike” people. There’s no button to say that you really like someone. So what was this hashtag all about? It turns out it refers to the song the “I Really Like You” by Carly Rae Jepsen. In the video, there’s a cameo of Tom Hanks on Tinder.


source: https://youtu.be/qV5lzRHrGeg?t=110

Sentiment Analysis

One of the deepest types of analysis with NetBase is sentiment analysis. What makes it so juicy is we get into the hearts and minds of these users, aggregated across hundreds of thousands of people. It’s like a sophisticated market research project, like a digital ethnography (or “netnography”) but conducted in seconds and across a huge sample with laser-sharp accuracy.

There are a lot of problems with Tinder, in fact there’s even a common hashtag,,

#tinderproblems, and a twitter account dedicated to @TindrProbs.

But the biggest problem of them all: the accidental swipe. If you’re happily married, you probably don’t know anything about Tinder, so I’ll explain really quickly how it works. You look at a feed of people who meet your basic criteria such as age and location. One by one, you see people who match your criteria. If you’re interested in them, you swipe right. Not interested? Then swipe left. Of course, we all fat finger a gesture on our phone from time to time. But imagine your dismay if you “swipe left on your soul mate” like these people:



As you might be able to guess, the next worst problem is accidentally swiping right. What this means is you don’t really like the person but you accidentally say you do. And if they have swiped right on you too, then you’re a match and you’re going to be in an awkward conversation to get out of it a dialogue with them:


So the question is, can you undo a swipe?

According to the Tinder FAQ, you can but you have to be a Tinder Plus subscriber:


source: https://www.help.tinder.com/hc/en-us

This seems like an odd feature to charge for. I mean just because someone makes a mistake, they should have to pay? And how sustainable is that business model? What if a competitor comes along and offers undo for free? What if they offer infinite undo? How would Tinder remain competitive?


source: https://twitter.com/RozzBernard/status/614274925000396800/photo/1

Then there’s the problem of seeing someone you already know. Here are some particularly ironic ones:



Your ex:

Or finding someone who probably doesn’t belong on Tinder:



Another big problem on Tinder is catfishing. Again, all you married folks out there might not know about the perils of being catfished, so here is a quick definition from the handy dandy, trusty dusty Urban Dictionary:


source: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=catfish

And sure enough, catfishing happens on Tinder:


It’s probably harder to get catfished on Tinder because users are required to link to their Facebook account. In fact your photos are pulled from Facebook. While you can make a fake Facebook account, it is a little more tedious for the cat fisherman.

A similar problem is matching with prostitutes:


I first heard about Tinder from someone who’s a big user. She has over 6K matches! Keep in mind, you don’t match with everyone you swipe right and you probably have to swipe left more often than you swipe right. That means she must have done a tremendous amount of swiping. Others too swiped so much they get aches, pains, and repetitive stress injury:


A few more fun anecdotes from my delve into sentiment analysis of Tinder.

Some people need a mass unmatch option. What that means is they have mutually swiped right on so many people, they can’t keep up the conversations with all of them. To that I say: #hotgirlproblems.


For some reason, Tinder accidentally resets matches sometimes:


Most of the people I’ve seen on Tinder so far are there for real relationships. The theory goes that we are biologically programmed to recognize our soul mate based on facial features. Sounds like a plausible theory, but on the other hand it sounds like a highfalutin way to justify judging a book by its cover ;-P

Yet other people think of Tinder as more of a way to score a hookup. Since distance filtering is sort of key to that use case, enjoy watching this Tinder parody:


Lastly, like so many other complaints about today’s technology, Tinder makes it hard to get people’s attention:


In fact, here’s another funny video about it excerpted from one of my favorite movies, Her:

Vine link: https://vine.co/v/MqiIIPudThH



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