The swipe that launched a thousand apps

Tinder first launched in 2012 for the iPhone 5 and put for the first time photos of single humans in a gamified “shopping interface”.

Given that the iPhone screen was only 4 inches at the time, Tinder’s stark simple “photo swipe” design made perfect sense. The process was very simple as well allowing people to get their dopamine fix in less than 30 seconds:

STEP ONE: sign in thru Facebook to create quick photo-based profileSTEP TWO: match daters via very limited criteria (gender, location, perhaps mutual friends)STEP THREE: present a plethora of swipable options to get ego boost and dopamine fix

Guess what? It was a runaway success.

100+ million downloads later, Tinder has on its own brought online dating into the mainstream shaken off any negative stigma for an entire industry. Dating apps are now cool and are a part of every day normal life.

It used to be “if” you are doing online dating, now it’s “what” dating app are you currently using?

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

After Tinder blew up, a bunch of other dating apps tried to muscle in as well such as Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, Happn, Bumble and literally a thousand others.

But what’s interesting is while many of these apps claimed a slight point of difference (i.e. “meet through friends” or “ladies choice”) — were they really?

The basic formula of today’s dating app hasn’t changed much since Tinder in 2012.

STEP ONE: sign in thru Facebook to create quick photo-based profileSTEP TWO: match daters via very limited criteria (gender, location, perhaps mutual friends)STEP THREE: present a plethora of swipable options to get ego boost and dopamine fix

The overwhelming focus is on looks, quantity, and convenience — as opposed to quality and compatibility.

The results show this ain’t working for online daters.

According to Pew Research, a full one-third of people who have used online dating have never actually gone on a date with someone they met on these sites. Really?

The above might make sense given a recent survey which asked millennials “Why do you use Tinder”. A staggering 44.44 percent said they use it for “confidence-boosting procrastination”.

Furthermore, the other mind-blowing stat from that Pew report is that online dating is only responsible for a teenie weenie 5% of all the long-term relationships in America.

And plus they are not happy.

When Consumer Reports surveyed 115,000 subscribers in 2016, the results showed that online dating sites received the lowest satisfaction scores Consumer Reports has ever seen for services rendered.

So here’s the thing:

Yes, Tinder was ahead of its time, and it revolutionized the mobile dating game when it first launched in 2012. It was so well-received, in fact, that it inspired an entire generation of dating apps that are, similarly, designed around looks, volume, and convenience. While these swipe apps are great for hooks up and other short-term type relationships, it has become clear they are not suitable for long-term relationships. Why is that?

I’m sorry its you, not me.

A Harvard Business School article suggests when it comes online dating that:

People Are Experience Goods, Not Search Goods

It means that while it’s highly convenient to search for single people today on Tinder-style “shopping interface” apps — people are not like detergent, dog food or vitamins — products that can be evaluated before “purchase” among objective, tangible attributes.

People are “experience goods” — they need to experienced first hand, are incredibly complex and therefore difficult to evaluate in advance.

So we decided to build a human layer to online dating.

Meet M8.

First of all it’s not a dating app.

It’s what we call a human-powered relationship matchmaking platform.

We built M8 on the simple premise that the best matches come from the people who know you best.

At M8, we recruit and reward your friends to become your “virtual wingman” who vouch for you via written personal endorsements and then introduce you to the eligible singles in their friend network.

We believe that endorsements and introductions from real-life friends provide an important human dimension to our platform giving both you and your matches better insight into potential compatibility and a “warm intro” that establishes common ground. It also doesn’t hurt that your friends can brag about you better than you can.

The end result? An app that actually does what it’s supposed to do.

It’s also free to get started! Signup as a Dater or a Matchmaker today at:

Download M8 IOS app here.

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The swipe that launched a thousand apps was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Publication date: 
10/15/2018 - 13:01

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