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Tinder and the city


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Lecture summarizing 4 months of my personal research of Tinder and some other dating apps and their social implications for MATING URBANISM course

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Tinder and the city

  1. 1. Tinder & the City how did we have fun before dating apps? Yulya Besplemennova for MATING URBANISM 20/01/2016
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  4. 4. DISCLAIMER * This is a VERY subjective research done by me as a “hobby” * No human beings were harmed in the making of this research ...almost, I hope * It’s not gonna tell you how to improve your Tinder performance, though references for that will be provided =)
  5. 5. 0. The essence of “Internet and the city” We (and things around us) are constantly connected (1) and communicating in a mediated way (2) with the networks (3) holding and processing huge amounts of data in real time (4)
  6. 6. We (and things around us) are constantly connected (1): * all the experiences are hybrid and changing based on your online interactions: bench in the park is fixed, but perceived different if you’re on Tinder or Twitter * we interact in a new ways as we got new “senses”: you can navigate the city based not on sight, but GPS * interactions happen in redefined time and space: I decide for myself if to bring turn my home into office by checking mails from there
  7. 7. communicating in a mediated way (2) * there is always an interface or a protocol designed by someone which defines and limits the possibilities of communication - you never get same freedom of action as communicating with a person next to you
  8. 8. with the networks (3) * network dynamics affect the services - value is often based on the number of users, not on the function itself (Facebook, Airbnb, etc)
  9. 9. processing huge amounts of data in real time (4) * permits to create new services - from self-driving cars to even simple tableau showing the time of bus arrival * нto make life more efficient you constantly bargain information - your location to know location of your friends (Forsquare, Tinder), your interests for knowledge (Google), data about your behaviour, etc,etc.
  10. 10. Tinder vs Bar at the corner: 1. normally there are people all the time and you can use it wherever 2. info about person is limited, you can just exchange messages 3. you’re all equally connected, but in some places can be few users 4. you get access to all the people in the world and their info, but service owner knows evertyhing about you 1. you have to choose time and move there physically 2. you choose whatever info you get an whichever actions to take 3. there are patrones, people coming with friends, etc, they don’t necessary want the same thing as you 4. limited amount of people in each moment
  11. 11. 1. Yulya + Tinder 2. Yulya + Tinder + friends 3. Tinder + the world Tinder research path:
  12. 12. p.1 how I’m hacking myself with Tinder
  13. 13. Who’s Yulya? (dating-wise) personally: introvert and workaholic, Rapunzel syndrome situationally: working from home in a micro collective immigrant - not that well integrated socio- culturally: from not-really-dating context relationships: looooong one in Russia, met on Internet mostly single in Italy since 5 years found out about Tinder 2 years ago, but installed only 30/08/2015
  14. 14. Vladikavkaz - conservative to extremes, very early marriage, extended family, no hookups, dating those you get to know from close social groups (friends/colleagues) Zelenograd - not completely Moscow, early marriage, nuclear family, dating those you get to know from close social groups (friends/colleagues), male deficit Milan - liberated relationships culture, dating, hookups, etc, but still (post) catholic Socio-cultural background:
  15. 15. Goals Research - to understand if the problem is in: 1. not meeting enough people in daily life; 2. being frustrated in general; 3. incompatibility with people in Milan: a) I don’t like them b) they don’t like me Practice - embrace diversity, chat with strangers, go on dates, etc...
  16. 16. Actions Research - to understand if the problem is in: 1. not meeting enough people in daily life - would be solved with apps 2. being frustrated in general - won’t be solved with apps 3. incompatibility with people in Milan: a) I don’t like them b) they don’t like me Practice - embrace diversity, chat with strangers, go on dates, etc... can be quantified and compared with other places using apps can be reached by apps
  17. 17. Apps Tinder Happn Loovo Adotta un ragazzo Blendr Netqr (antiTinder) Pure Bumble Coffe meets bagel Twindog wins didn’t like the interface TRASH not in Milan too late - dog left!
  18. 18. *normally I’m more like that minus smiling Previously: “not a simple Russian girl, I got vodka (later - Dostoevsky) in my blood. Currently a designer in Milan now people think I’m Australian... Tinder profile
  19. 19. First impression watch?v=sKTWlYImY20
  20. 20. Experiment 1: Quantifying and comparing attraction to people in different locations - Count how many profiles I swiped in total - Count how many I liked out of them - Get percentage - Compare results in different cities
  21. 21. Google Keep Google Spreadsheets Backstage
  22. 22. Results Moscow: duration: 2 weeks total: 1763 liked total: 62 % 3.5167 russians liked: 48 %: 2.7226 Lisbon: duration: 4 days total: 244 liked total: 3 % 1.2295 Milan: duration: 4 months total: 2523 liked total: 61 % 2.4177 Moscow wins!.. or not yet? “official”female average is 14%! *swiping with friends: total: 211 liked total: 27.5 % 13.0331
  23. 23. Comparing my use patterns Milan Moscow red: total profiles viewed in 1 session blue: profiles liked in 1 session - I’m getting more impulsive =) - many things affect liking rate - especially dates experience makes suspicious about others - in Milan - no improvement - in Moscow: algorithms work? or just holidays affect it?
  24. 24. Experiment 2: Quantifying and comparing my attractiveness and behaviour of people in different locations - Like 50 profiles in a row - Count matches - Count initiated discussions - Observe how discussions go - How many dates invitations are reached in 72 hours - Compare results
  25. 25. Idea based on: watch?v=lY8rzo4Ik4M& Brian: 269 matches (27% match rate) Briana: 701 matches (70% match rate) Brian: 28 messages received (10.5% message rate) Briana: 378 messages received (54% message rate) Briana got 2.6x (160%) more matches than Brian. Briana got 13.5x (1250%) more messages than Brian. Experiment 2 *life is weird - I have higher match rate in Milan than this super hot girl in LA!O_o
  26. 26. Results Milan: immediately 43 matches, + 2 during first 24 hours, +1 on the 3rd day = 46 matches total, 92% match rate 24 conversation initiated by guys: = 51% message rate 1 conversation I didn’t feel like proceeding with 7 conversations finished with my last message - guys just disappeared for 48 hours 7 dates invitations, 1 date to which I’m planning to go 3 asked for whatsapp 4 stuck conversations with my last message - for 24 hours 1 fantastic conversation about gravity 22 conversation initiated by me: 14 replied, 1 unmatched by me, generally super stupid conversations 7 finished after few messages 1 “I want only sex, sorry” 2 dates invitation = 9 dates invitations total, 19% date rate 2 actual dates with 1 guy = 63% reply rate 17% total silence
  27. 27. Results Moscow: very slow process of getting matches 14 matches total O_o = 28% match rate 8 conversations started by guys: = 57% message rate 3 dates invitations 1 unmatched me cause I didn’t wanna meet immediately 1 unmatched without a reason 6 conversation initiated by me: 3 replied 1 wanted to test first night before wedding in Vegas 1 asked how tall I was and disappeared 1 was Italian we still talk = 3 dates invitations total, 21% date rate 0 actual dates * by numbers Moscow guys win in activity, but my perception was the opposite - slow pointless conversations, no real persistance when rejected to date, % rates might seem bigger because of statistic error with just 14 matches = 50% reply rate 21% total silence
  28. 28. Results Milan, take 2 (to check stats - liked 100): = 87 matches total, 87% match rate 48 conversation initiated by guys: = 55% message rate 39 conversation initiated by me: 24 replied in 24 hours *this experiment naturally turned into observing reactions when not replying: 1 stalked me on Facebook 1 tried to win me revealing he’s “dotato” (“gifted”) = 61% reply rate 15% total silence
  29. 29. Italians do it better! (and it’s too cold in Russia to date anyway...)
  30. 30. 1. United States 2. United Kingdom 3. Brazil 4. Canada 5. France 6. Australia 7. Germany 8. The Netherlands 9. Mexico 10. Spain 11. Argentina 12. Belgium 13. Italy 14. Ireland 15. Norway 16. Denmark 17. Finland 18. Chile 19. New Zealand 20. India tinder-112662050462.html
  31. 31. Observations Super decent messages, no #tindernightmares or #awfulpickuplines material, no sex offers right away, etc. But also no especially catchy messages
  32. 32. guy with a tiger/ elephant, etc 6-8 packs naked torso in gym, or even naked ass! crowd of people, guess who’s profile nice guy nice settings me and (not) my kid guy and a pet guy drinking from bottle guy and a vehicle guy doing crazy sports guy and a (hot) girl no face visible guy friend (from Facebook) Observations
  33. 33. General: - most of conversations were super decent, but mostly basic (hi, how are you, where are you from, etc,etc) just 1 submission to tinder feminist, Lots about age, height, how many met on Tinder, are you really single, people just confessing they’re super bored - conversations on fb fade, on whatsapp they blossom - no one got crazy from rejections so far... (except for online stalking cases though) - just few people were direct about sex - there are all the different kinds of people looking for many things - guys have serious problems with pictures =) Milan: - people are more active on Tinder in general and interested in talking - more naked torso in gym, etc - more sports - more weird stuff (tigers, elephants, etc) Moscow: - many more married people looking for long term lovers, not one night stands - many are divorced (with kids) - interesting in meeting ASAP and not chatting and getting to know you first - apparently prostitutes use Tinder - 30% are foreigners, which behave as you should please them (2 unmatched me) - Tinder adaptive algorithms work?
  34. 34. Freeflowing natural dating =) - comfortable rules - not more than once a week, etc - started only in the end of october - 2 months after installed Tinder - went on 10 dates (though the one on 25/12 should be count as two!) with 6 guys in Milan out of 2532 profiles that I saw (0,24%) - 7 out of 10 were in some new for me places in Milan - so I explored city this way! - I met friends of 2 guys and 2 guys met my friends as well - decent just as conversations - no one was expecting just a hookup (!!!) I didn’t experiment on people! (yet)
  35. 35. Personal conclusions: Research - to understand if the problem is in: 1. not meeting enough people in daily life 2. being frustrated in general 3. incompatibility with people in Milan: a) I don’t like them b) they don’t like me Practice - embrace diversity, chat with strangers, go on dates, etc... with like rate of around 3% and date rate 0,25% obviously I’m having problems with daily life of immigrant&introvert which are solved with Tinder I like them almost same as in other places, so far... and they like me a lot O_o more dates with new people than in any previous year of my life! Even if I wouldn’t go out with all meeting them before in per- son, it all was positive experience
  36. 36. Personal conclusions: beard glasses tall&/ slim like! like! like! Prince charming! *_* My personal liking pattern seems quite superficial =) dealbreakers: - naked - too sporty - bad pics - guitars compensations: - super handsome - smiling nice - super interesting: nerdy refs - looks like Putin *everyone who I went on a date with so far had at least 2 of those...
  37. 37. Conclusions + - * never laughed so much online * never talked to so many strangers * never been to so many dates * seen new places in the city * enjoyed all dates * started evaluating people offline! * never been so exhausted of communication * got frustrated when after 100 profiles you don’t like anyone * wouldn’t go on dates with some * got stalked online obviously it could also be determined by me being picky and suspicious
  38. 38. Tinder defeated #nevicata14!!!
  39. 39. constantly connected (1) + date everywhere anytime fast - focus away from possible encounters around and less possibility for it mediated way (2) + you can always block someone - you can never really know them before meeting - private chat with stranger on screen is a dangerous place *people do define how to treat that mediation - Tinder doesn’t push to hookup networks (3) + people more or less equal there - you can be stalked - value drops with few users lots of data in real time (4) + a lot of possible new connections - a lot of possible new connections - value of each drops, alienation - service learns about you and defines your experience
  40. 40. p.2 how did we have fun before Tinder?! *real exclamation of my friend
  41. 41. Tindering turned to be a super social practice - offline “community” assembles and influence is spread - sharing screenshots also online #weareallYulya - party tindering - swiping with friends - which increases rate! - friends swiping for you
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  43. 43. Tinder as an Industry single people in the U.S. 54,250,000 people in the U.S. who have tried online dating 49,250,000 Ratio of single men to single women in America 86 to 100 Annual revenue from the online dating industry $1,749,000,000 marriages met on a dating site 17 % current committed relationships that began online 20 % In July 2015, Bank of America Merrill Lynch valued Tinder at $1.35 billion 50mln Tinder users every month; more than 1bln profile swipes; more than 12mln matches made every day.
  44. 44. Tinder Ecosystem Uber, Airbnb? Facebook, Whatsapp, Tinder iwatch app, disposable phone numbers apps, ...
  45. 45. Tinder Experts Industry
  46. 46.,, etc Tinder Experts Industry
  47. 47. Tinder Experts Industry
  48. 48. Tinder Social Media
  49. 49. Tinder, Society & Rituals “Every study about online dating seems to contradict the one before it” wp/2014/09/30/does-online-dating-work-lets-be-honest-we- have-no-idea/ The Harmful Myth That Tinder’s Just for Hookups fense-of-tinder/ Has Tinder Really Sparked a Dating Apoc- alypse? ly-sparked-a-dating-apocalypse.html?mid=twitter_nymag# hook-up-culture-end-of-dating
  50. 50. Percent of women who have sex on the first online date 33 % Percent of sex offenders who use online dating to meet people 10 %
  51. 51. sexual revolution, education, contraception, emancipation, feminism, male deficit, gay marriages, modern urban lifestyle, global mobility, climate change, financial crisises, etcetcetc... the Internet transition from dating to hookups on college campuses is eventually claimed to have started in 1970s - loooong ago before Tinder&Co: citation/0/2/3/3/1/pages23315/p23315-1.php Tinder, Society & Rituals
  52. 52. Gender and Sexuality Tinder eventually is not heterosexual Grindr Grindr was pioneering app launched on March 25, 2009, with huge implications On September 8, 2011, Grindr launched Blendr, a similar app for people of all sexual orientations, with additional features intended to facilitate non-sexual friendships
  53. 53. Apps and the Space Grindr Happn ‘fishing’ or ‘trawling’ involves keeping the application on during extended periods of time or the whole day so that potential contacts ‘encountered’ along one’s daily mobilities remain visible on the homepage as long it is not refreshed . The messages sent by connected strangers who have discovered their mutual proximity thanks to the application are also stored. Contacts and messages are therefore kept to be checked later on, for instance when in the quiet of one’s home in the evening.
  54. 54. Apps and the Space “The distance, the proximity enable the arousal. Proximity, if there is some feeling, it may work. It stimulates, it creates desire” Not only are intrapsychic, interpersonal and cultural levels entangled in the production of recognizable sexual activities (an idea which was at the core of the sexual script concept), but we see here that such an entanglement also hybridizes the human with technology. In Grindr encounters, sexual arousal and desire are mediated by the design of the Grindr interface and the location awareness technology as well as by cultural scenarios... Grindr users are augmented with the mobile application kept alive on their smartphones.” Proximity_awareness_and_the_privatization_of_sexual_ encounters_with_strangers_The_case_of_Grindr
  55. 55. A Lunch Break Romance
  56. 56. p.3 why does Tinder work?
  57. 57. *Tinder works on the contrary to dominating social media
  58. 58. public realm
  59. 59. dating/judging/egoboosting
  60. 60. 1. it’s how we approach people on the streets, but don’t say it out loud and don’t swipe them 2. judging is the base of rejection, rejection is base of selecting the best one - which is believed to be female goal evolutionary 3. I judge you = I’m better than you *even when people leave the app, they get their portion of it - judging all the Tinder uses and feeling better than that judging works because:
  61. 61. judging on your own judging with friends judging publicly both appearance and behaviour
  62. 62. judging is not superficial “We’re constantly inventing narratives about the people who surround us — where he works, what he loves, whether our family would like him. And more than other dating services, which offer up comprehensive match dossiers, Tinder appears to encourage these narratives and crystallize the extrapolation process and package it into a five-second, low-stakes decision. We swipe, in other words, because of semiotics...’s all about context”
  63. 63. “The raw idea of attraction — that knee-jerk “thinking from the genitals” decision — has less to do with our unmentionable parts and much more to do with a combination of our deepest subconscious biases and with our most overt and uncharitable personal politics. And if that’s the case, it’s no doubt the reason why Tinder is so popular, addictive, and ultimately insidious.” (“How I Rebuilt Tinder And Discovered The Shameful Secret Of Attraction” http://
  64. 64. Tinder is also judging (ranking)
  65. 65. DYSTOPIA
  66. 66. DATING MATINGis one of the rituals leading to which defines the future of human race O_o
  67. 67. What if more people will mate and reproduce after meeting via dating services?
  68. 68. We (and things around us) are constantly connected (1) and communicating in a mediated way (2) with the networks (3) holding and processing huge amounts of data in real time (4) META: who controls it?!
  69. 69. Before the algorithms were based on “user preferences”, now they kind of match by desirability, what’s next? EUGENICS 3.0?
  70. 70. Can we design services that mitigate cultural controversies? Can some new physical public space or the way our private houses are built compete with this digital menace? Which would be the new hybrid spaces for the new realities of mating?
  71. 71. Conclusions
  72. 72. - there is a change in culture which started many years ago and now is getting more evident - Internet couldn’t stay away from that change - in the recent years dating apps industry had passed the negative perception - Tinder is fantasticly designed service - it’s an instrument: you can get from it different things - no real interaction functionality that would make tinder dating or hooking up or whatever - it can deliver both positive and negative experiences - it has all the traits of Internet age in it and brings them to dating - it adapts to the cultural differences - different features of apps make us rethink interactions with public spaces - you can use it for research
  73. 73. P.S.
  74. 74. Coming Out as a Modern Family out-as-a-modern-family-modern-love.html?_r=1 P.P.S.
  75. 75. feel free to contact me for any feedback or questions: