Tech Watch

Category:  Tech Watch
Thursday, August 8th, 2013 at 11:47 AM

The combination of the sayings, “it was love at first sight,” and “a picture is worth a thousand words” meets many youths’ obsessions over snapping the perfect selfie in a smartphone app: Tinder. Tinder is an ultra-simplistic mobile dating app available on IOS and Android and designed to make connection between users based upon location, age, interests, mutual friends… and up to five selfies, or photographs of yourself.

The app works much like the old site “Hot or Not,” where users can quickly and easily flip though photos/profiles of other users who fall within their matching preferences. To get a better understanding of the app, I downloaded it for a couple hours to become familiar with the interface and usability.

I was very surprised by the amount of users on the platform and enjoyed how efficiently the app operated. During my test, I filtered through local women between the ages of 22 and 28 within 20 miles of Erie. Photos appeared on the screen for each woman, showing a default photo and age. I could also expand each woman’s profile, which sourced additional information from Facebook, including common interests, mutual friends, distance away, and up to four more photos.

And then it’s judgment time. Swipe left for “Nope” swipe right for “Like,” and that’s it.

If anybody you have “liked” also likes you, then you both receive a notification, and a chat feature is enabled within the app between you. I like the idea that the chat is only available between users who are mutually interested, because you wouldn’t have to worry about receiving unwanted messages from people you’re not interested in.

If no connection is made, then no one is notified that any action was made. You are not able to view who “likes” your photos, and no one can see who you “liked.” On the other hand, there’s also no way to review the users that you have already classified. This means that, yes, no one knows who you judged or how you rated them, even if they had access to your phone and account – but it also limits your ability to re-review a potential match if you wanted to change your mind.

I suppose the appeal to this app is that it is based on attraction and conversation, rather than algorithms or computer programs to make matches from info that you may or may not have accurately filled out. Additionally, you do not have to interact with anyone except those you believe you might have interest in. It seems like it could be a great app for starting conversations with others who you may believe are your type.

If you are single, I would urge you to give it a try. Seems like it could be a fun way to start up a conversation with someone you think looks cute who also thinks you’re cute.

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Tags: tinder

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