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Sean Rad, the co-founder of Tinder, spoke recently at the Dublin Web Summit about the massive study Tinder did to discover the true desires of its 50 million users per day, as well as announced changes in the application’s algorithm that allows users to build deeper connections. He also shared tips on successful Tinder dating.
“Tinder is increasing the number of connections in the world. We are bringing the world closer together at a scale that no platform has ever been able to do. In that sense, it’s changing the world and that’s a beautiful thing. We’re approaching nine billion matches. Every day there are 30 million matches and 1.5 billion swipes happening,” Rad said.
About a year ago, Sean was stepped from his CEO role at Tinder in 2014. Whitney Wolfe, the company’s co-founder, launched a harassment claim that she was sexually harassed by her colleague and former boyfriend, as well as removed from her post as co-founder on a gender basis. The suit was settled, and in less than a year, Sean was back at the helm of the company he founded.
“I think the board wanted me to be CEO again. I’m happy to play any role. It sounds corny and cheap, but as long as I get to work on the product and make an impact in this world, I’m there. I’ll mop the floors if I have to, if that’s the best use of my time.”
Talking about the prospects of Tinder, which has revolutionized the world of online dating and hook-ups, he stressed that after conducting a massive study of 300,000 Tinder users, they found out that over 80% of people on Tinder are looking for long-term relationships. The other 20% are there for things more short-term – friendships, hook-ups, and everything in between. In total, Tinder users go on 1.5 million dates every week, with half turning into a second date. At the same time, each day users swipe through 1.8 billion profiles, and the app makes 26 million matches on a daily basis. To date, the dating app has made 9 billion matches, “and we have lots of Tinder babies”, Rad noted in reference to couples who have met on Tinder and have children together.
Recent changes in the algorithm provide 30% more matches. The changes implemented took into account the above-mentioned statistics in order to provide more meaningful connections for the app’s 50 million daily users. The “super like” button had just been introduced to help show a deeper level of interest. So it is less like smiling at someone across the room, and more similar to coming over and starting a conversation. “We do not talk about what exactly those changes are,” the CEO said, “but the whole team is dedicated not to just making more connections, but more meaningful connections.”
But how does one make more meaningful connections when swiping people’s profiles left and right?
“The best piece of advice I give our users is to be yourself. We underestimate our ability to look at a photo and pick up the nuances. When you’re not yourself, people can sniff that,” he said.
According to Rad, it’s been Tinder’s mission since day one to uncover every possible relationship. The frustration has always been that it’s hard to meet somebody. “You have to walk over and say hello. Get nervous. It’s not a fun process. If we can make it more efficient and smart and create more possibilities I think you’re fundamentally changing the world. What makes us all human, defines us and changes us -are the people we meet”.