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Dating and hooking up with mobile media:
A comparative study of Tinder, Mixxxer,
Squirt and Dattch
Jean Burgess - @jeanbur...
…we show that gays, lesbians, and middle-aged heterosexuals—
three groups who inhabit thin markets for romantic partners—a...
The final computation of the subject’s S.Q.
is made by automatic machines, chiefly
through the means of electronic
calculato...
Lesbian
Cafe
- early 1990s
- EBB
(CORRELL
1995)
French
M
initel System
1982
-
(Livia
2002)
Gaydar - 1999
(Light 2007, M
ow...
Attempting to configure the user
• Designers are argued to ‘inscribe’ their visions of the future ‘world’ into
a given set ...
The developments of social networking technologies, in
their many variants, similarly inscribe specific
understandings of t...
The designers vision
Tinder is the fun way to connect with new and interesting people
around you. Swipe right to like or l...
Registering / Getting In
"From the outset we decided to check that every Dattch
user is female-identified. We wanted to scr...
Registering / Getting In
	 	 	 Why Not An App Store App?

Currently, apps that contain adult material are not allowed in t...
Registering / Getting In
Why isn’t Mixxxer in iTunes or the Android Marketplace?

Apple and Android have strict rules that...
Browsing / Getting On
•Friends / Community •Likes and Preferences
•Likes and Preferences•Friends / Community
Browsing / Getting On
•Search control •Privacy
Browsing / Getting On
•Search control •Privacy
Matching / Getting Off
Shopping Centre
City Park
Conclusions and
Recommendations
• Delegation of matchmaking

• Continuity - profile, chat, friends, interests, regulation, ...
References
Akrich, M. (1992). The De-Scription of Technical Objects. Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Socio...
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Ica presentation final copy

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Ica presentation final copy

  1. 1. Dating and hooking up with mobile media: A comparative study of Tinder, Mixxxer, Squirt and Dattch Jean Burgess - @jeanburgess Stefanie Duguay - @dugstef Ben Light - @doggyb
  2. 2. …we show that gays, lesbians, and middle-aged heterosexuals— three groups who inhabit thin markets for romantic partners—are particularly likely to find their partners online. ….We propose that for single adults in thin dating markets, improvements in the efficiency of Internet search may be especially useful and important. Conversely, single people (e.g., college students) who are fortunate enough to inhabit an environment full of eligible potential partners may not need to actively search for partners. (Rosenfeld and Thomas 2012: 524)
  3. 3. The final computation of the subject’s S.Q. is made by automatic machines, chiefly through the means of electronic calculators —the so-called electronic brain — and punched index cards. The rating is automatically printed on each card in percentages. When the final S.Q. has been noted on the card, it becomes a comparatively routine matter for the psychologist in charge to “match” the male and female cards of the marriage applicants. The answer will not be simply “compatible” or “noncompatible” but the machine rather will answer in percentages. Thus the electronic brain may say: 90 per cent. Translated, this means that the marriage will be in all likelihood, 90 per cent satisfactory. The next two candidates may rate only 73 per cent, and so forth.
  4. 4. Lesbian Cafe - early 1990s - EBB (CORRELL 1995) French M initel System 1982 - (Livia 2002) Gaydar - 1999 (Light 2007, M ow labocus 2007) M atch.com - 1993 (Arvidsson 2004) Internet Relay Chat - 1988 (Cam pbell 2004) Usenet - 1983 (O’Riordan 2005) Grindr 2009 (Brubaker et. al. 2014) Squirt site 1998/m obile 2009 (Light 2014) From type to swipe...
  5. 5. Attempting to configure the user • Designers are argued to ‘inscribe’ their visions of the future ‘world’ into a given set of arrangements (Woolgar 1991). • Akrich (1992) enrolls the metaphor of a film as such arrangements are characterized as putting forward a script which brings with it a preferred reading (the designers reading) for the user. • Latour (2005) argues for a sociology of associations whereby situations reveal their make up, and through this articulate a state of affairs.   • Akrich (1992) in rebuffing totalizing approaches, suggests matters are far more interesting if such sociographies are partial. • Delegation - affording work to non-human actors that other actors (human or otherwise) would have to do (Latour 1992). • Law of the excluded middle (Latour 1992).
  6. 6. The developments of social networking technologies, in their many variants, similarly inscribe specific understandings of the social world and act to enrol users in specific ways. (Light et. al. 2008: 302). ...because of the desire to commodify “the difference” that is gay, predominantly white men, online and offline, such inscriptions become monolithic caricatures that are obdurate and enrol even those who do not participate in such arrangements at all or only by proxy. (Light et. al. 2008: 304)
  7. 7. The designers vision Tinder is the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you. Swipe right to like or left to pass. If someone likes you back, it’s a match! Hookups. Gay and bi hookups; Find straight or married guys; Real people, real profiles; Cam and chat with horny men; Find your sexual match … The Mobile Sex Finder. Looking for casual adult fun?
 Find local swingers and sex partners tonight! All from your mobile phone. With thousands of lesbian & bisexual women joining each week, Dattch is the most popular social network and dating app to meet lesbian and bisexual girls. Loved by AfterEllen, Autostraddle, Elle & Grazia, it’s the female answer to Grindr.
  8. 8. Registering / Getting In "From the outset we decided to check that every Dattch user is female-identified. We wanted to screen out fake accounts and creepy guys asking for threesomes. Facebook Login was the best way we found to create a safe and comfortable environment for lesbians." Yes, we use Facebook to make sure you are matched with real people who share similar interests and common friends. Tinder will never post anything to your Facebook.
  9. 9. Registering / Getting In Why Not An App Store App? Currently, apps that contain adult material are not allowed in the App Store or the Android Marketplace. Squirt does not believe in censorship. We are pro-sex, and we celebrate sexuality. Having to offer Squirt with no nudity in the pictures, or having to police what members put on their profiles for simple profanity or the frank talk about the kinds of sex that we look for is not an experience we want to bring to you. Web technology has nearly everything to offer smart phone users that can already be enjoyed by app users. We thought: why not use all of these tools for you AND bring you the juicy pics and hot talk that you expect on Squirt? This is why Squirt Mobile works through your phone’s browser, and not through an app. We hope that the powers that be change their policy in the future. If this happens we would be happy to build an app, but for now we will continue to use your mobile web browser to bring you the same hot, uncensored Squirt that you are used to.
  10. 10. Registering / Getting In Why isn’t Mixxxer in iTunes or the Android Marketplace? Apple and Android have strict rules that their apps must abide by. By avoiding their rules, we are able to offer our members a true “Adults Only” experience, such as the posting of sexually explicit material. Our users have much more freedom inside our web app versus the apps found in iTunes and Android. 
 
 Not only is their more freedom for “naughty” acts, since our app is really a website, Mixxxer does burdens your mobile device with little storage and processing requirements.
  11. 11. Browsing / Getting On •Friends / Community •Likes and Preferences
  12. 12. •Likes and Preferences•Friends / Community
  13. 13. Browsing / Getting On •Search control •Privacy
  14. 14. Browsing / Getting On •Search control •Privacy
  15. 15. Matching / Getting Off Shopping Centre City Park
  16. 16. Conclusions and Recommendations • Delegation of matchmaking • Continuity - profile, chat, friends, interests, regulation, sexual preference/practices • Discontinuity - swipe, enhanced mobility, GPS, acceptability • Appropriation and resistance • App Stores v HTML5 sites • Politics of the ‘real name web’ • App studies methods • Business models • Geolocative technologies and physical space of dating • How do people leave a dating platform?
  17. 17. References Akrich, M. (1992). The De-Scription of Technical Objects. Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. W. E. Bijker and J. Law. London, MIT Press: 205-224. Arvidsson, A. (2006). "'Quality singles': internet dating and the work of fantasy." New Media and Society 8(4): 671-691. Brubaker, J. R., M. Ananny and K. Crawford (2014). "Departing glances: A sociotechnical account of ‘leaving’ Grindr." New Media & Society. (Forthcoming) Campbell, J. E. (2004). Getting It On Online: Cyberspace, Gay Male Sexuality and Emboddied Identity. New York, Harrington Parker Press. Correll, S. (1995). "The Ethnography of an Electronic Bar: The Lesbian Cafe." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 24(sic): 270-298. Latour, B. (1992). Where are the Missing Masses? The Sociology of a Few Mundane Artifacts. Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change. W. E. Bijker and J. Law. London, MIT Press: 225-258. Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor Network Theory. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Light, B. (2007). "Introducing Masculinity Studies to Information Systems Research: the Case of Gaydar." European Journal of Information Systems 16(5): 658-665. Light, B., G. Fletcher and A. Adam (2008). "Gay men, Gaydar and the commodification of difference." Information Technology and People 21(3): 300-314. Light, B. (2014). Creating Pseudonymous Publics with Squirt: An Expansion of the Possibilities for Networked Publics. 35th International Conference on Information Systems, 14-17 December, Auckland : 1-16. See: http://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2014/ (Forthcoming). Livia, A. (2002). "Public and Clandestine: Gay Men's Pseudonyms on the French Minitel." Sexualities 5(2): 201-217. Mowlabocus, S. (2007). Gay Men and the Pornification of Everyday Life. Pornification: Sex and Sexuality in Media Culture. S. Paasonen, K. Nikunen and L. Saarenmaa. Oxford, Berg: 61-71. O'Riordan, K. (2005). "From usenet to Gaydar: a comment on queer online community." SIGGROUP Bull. 25(2): 28-32. Woolgar, S. (1991). Configuring the User: The Case of Usability Trials. A Sociology of Monsters: Essays on Power, Technology and Domination. J. Law. London, Routledge: 66-75.

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