Why do dating apps offer that led to their popularity?
Dating apps allow us to meet multiple people at one go, and it is a fast and efficient way of snagging a date. We may have a smaller social circle, or we might be able to find a suitable partner among our pool of guy friends.
Also, some of us are too busy working, to socialise and get to know new people. Most of us would not want to date our coworkers, in case things go awry and working together with them could end up very awkward. One major advantage is being able to snag a date with someone vastly different from you, either in worldview or personality, according to Madeleine Fugere, a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University whose expertise lies in attraction and romantic relationships.
The ability to narrow down a potential partner to a list of traits can be quite enticing. You can insert parameters for gender preferences, age, race, or even height. Some dating apps will require you to indicate whether you drink or smoke, your height, weight and your hobbies.
What is OkCupid? Tinder?
OkCupid was launched on January 19, 2004, by Chris Coyne,Max Krohn, Christian Rudder, and Sam Yagan, who were studying at Harvard University. They were previously experimenting with TheSpark and subsequently, SparkNotes, which had a couple of personality tests, as well as a Match Test(SparkMatch), based on the Myers-Briggs four variables. They wanted to launch a platform which could allow users to make connections with each other, based on their compatibility from the results of the Match Test. Barnes and Noble acquired SparkNotes and they continued working on the prototype for Spark Match, which eventually became OkCupid. They started experimenting with several features, such as the Crazy Blind Date in 2007, a quiz called “Hello Quizzy” which was inspired by their original Match Test. In 2009, they enabled the “A-list” account option for those who were willing to pay for a subscription. IAC/InterActiveCorp eventually took over OKCupid for US $50 million.
Since then, the website has become more progressive, keeping up with dating trends. In late 2014, there were more gender options available, such as asexual, genderfluid, transgender, sapiosexual and pansexual. Due to the backlash from the internet, they decided to remove the sapiosexual identity.
The basic premise of OkCupid is to become a platform which does not favour those with better physical attractiveness. However, Christian Rudder, the cofounder admitted that OkCupid male users who were deemed more conventionally attractive had more messages from female users, up to 11 times as many messages. Those who were considered average looking received 4 times as many messages. As for the most conventionally attractive female, who were rated as the one-third most attractive, they had received two-third of the total numbers of messages sent by the opposite sex.
Researchers from the University of Michigan and Santa Fe Institute also conducted a study about an anonymous dating site which showed that most people from the USA chased people who were out of their league.(Defined as being 25 percent more attractive on average than them)
Tinder was released by Hatch Labs in 2012, as an online dating app which allows users to quickly browse through pictures of other users, with a small introduction section and common interests, and swipe left or right, depending on whether they like or dislike them. When both users like each other, it is considered a match, and they can start chatting with each other. It was so popular that there were one billion “swipes” everyday in 2014.
Dinesh Moorjani decided to hire Sean Rad in 2012, to work for Hatch Labs. They later met Joe Munoz after a hackathon session, and they started working on Matchbox in February. The basic premise of the app was that if someone likes you, you will feel more confident talking to him or her. Hence, they decided on a system where both users could opt in, to indicate that their feelings were mutual for each other. Eventually, they decided to rename Matchbox as Tinder and the app was launched in the App store in August. Hatchlabs ended up disbanded but Tinder was going strong.
In 2013, Tinder became one of the most popular social networking apps. The app started out with a green heart for “approve” or an X for “reject” before becoming the swiping app we know today. They also decided to add more functions, such as a “rewind” function to view previously rejected profiles once again. Like OkCupid, Tinder jumped on the bandwagon in November 2016, and had more options for selecting gender. They also monetised the app by allowing users to buy Boosts and garner more views on their profile. Subsequently, a web compatible version of Tinder was launched in September 2017, for users around the world. They also introduced Tinder Gold, a premium subscription, which has multiple perks such as Passport, Rewind, Unlimited Likes, five Super Likes per day, one Boot per month.
What are their main differences when it comes to dating style/approach that could influence your app of choice?
Basically OkCupid lets users answer a series of questions, and they would enquire about their potential partners’ acceptable answers to the same questions, and how important is the answer to said question. Hence, these answers would be used to generate potential matches.
Tinder uses the information from users’ Facebook profiles to analyse them and create a user profile based on the uploaded photos. The algorithm matches people based on where they live, their number of mutual friends and common interests. They can swipe right or swipe left on the selected matches. Unless both users swipe right, they would not know if they have been rejected. The app has Instagram Integration as well as Common Connections for people to learn more about each other. Tinder’s most popular users are mainly aged between 16-24 years old and 25-34 years old.
On the other hand, OkCupid acts like a traditional dating app based on their interests, hobbies and personality. Tinder tends to be a more superficial platform, where users would swipe right or left based on their looks. Hence, if you are conventionally good looking, you may want to stick to Tinder. Tinder’s application seems to attract people who are looking for flings or one night stands as well, compared to OkCupid. Men also tended to swipe right multiple times, in order to snag a date with a woman quickly. Platforms such as Tinder have encouraged the growth of hook-up culture.
What are their disadvantages?
As mentioned earlier, people may end up meeting someone different from them in terms of personality and culture or upbringing, but that may present a few challenges in the long run. Their personalities may end up clashing, ending up in divorce or breakups. Furthermore, they don’t have friends to rely on to provide a testimony of sorts for the person’s character and moral code. This is in stark contrast to traditional matchmaking done by friends in the past.
Due to the nature of dating apps, most of us are able to remain somewhat anonymous, thus, there might be a tendency for our dates to be mean or act like assholes, according to Matt Lundquist, a Manhattan-based couples therapist. Horror stories have emerged where people documented their negative experiences with their dates, including the times where their dates thought that they didn’t look as attractive in real life compared to their profile pictures.
Many of us also tend to view online dating as if it was a job application portal, sending out multiple messages to multiple people at once, in the hopes of landing a successful date. Hence, it makes us look more fickle and indecisive when it comes to relationships.Dating apps tend to reinforce stereotypes that occur in the real world. Conventionally attractive, tall and successful men tend to get more dates, and those who are deemed less eligible may find themselves left on the shelf.
Racial discrimination runs rampant, with black women and asian men receiving the least amount of messages and attention.
Hence, this may have led to the rise of incels, as countless men get rejected by women with over 200 messages in their inbox. Sometimes verbal abuse and sexual harassment can occur when men are butthurt that they were rejected.
Do people successfully manage to snag a date on OkCupid or Tinder?
Tinder has a match rate of 1.63 percent, which is very low.
OkCupid has a dismal match rate- out of 1.6 billion swipes, only 26 million resulted in matches.
Only about 12 percent of couples who got engaged or married met their significant other on dating apps.
Dating apps often reflect the harsh, cruel reality of the real world, being reminiscent of a high school popularity contest. If you are a man, the odds are stacked against you. If you are a young, attractive woman, you will have a lot of success with the dating app. If you are rejected by someone on the app, you should not take it too personally as everyone has their own preferences. You could also use the app’s drawbacks to your own advantage, by improving your bio and wearing makeup.