The day after Donald Trump was voted the new American President, Sean Rad, the co-founder and CEO of Tinder, took to the main stage at Web Summit.
Now, what has politics got to do with Tinder’s very modern quest for love, I hear you ask?
According to Sean – putting the unfortunate outcome aside for a second – the US election has brought the debate over what is or isn’t appropriate language and behaviour very much into the spotlight.
For a company like Tinder, it is a hugely important issue. And as Sean emphatically stated, locker room talk is simply unacceptable – both in real life and on social media.
Interestingly, this is just one example of the dating app’s position of social reponsibility.
Here’s a bit more on how it is urging users to swipe in more meaningful ways.
Encouraging users to engage politically
This year, Tinder introduced ‘Swipe to Vote’ – a feature allowing users to swipe on important political issues like immigration and climate change.
Essentially, it allows people to find out if their opinions are truly aligned with a potential match – as well as provide Tinder with some very juicy data about its user-base.
From hearing Sean speak, it is clear that he feels a huge personal responsibility to get Tinder’s millennials talking about more than just their favourite movies.
As this election was the first time that all millennials were old enough to have their say, ‘Swipe to Vote’ aimed to bring the conversation into a new digital space.
Rolling out the feature to 15 countries, one of which included the UK during the EU referendum, it demonstrates a clear intent to both educate and engage with its young audience.
— Tinder (@Tinder) November 8, 2016
During the discussion on stage, questions were raised about whether or not Tinder is responsible for creating a modern ‘hook-up’ culture or simply tapping into it.
Sean suggests that this is one of the many pre-conceived ideas people have about dating apps, and apparently, it is not based on any real evidence.
On the contrary, research shows that 80% of Tinder users are actually looking for something long-term from the app.
Likewise, a recent study has shown that millennials are having less sex than any generation before.
So, if the perception of the brand is in fact very different from the reality, how can it help its users find exactly what it is they’re looking for?
Apparently, there is no real science to creating a perfect profile or meeting your ideal match.
With Sean highlighting fairly obvious factors like being yourself and including as much detail in your bio as possible – it appears making the connection is actually the easiest step.
Completing the narrative
This leads us on to Tinder Social – the company’s latest initiative to help users get out of just using the app and start engaging in the real world.
The feaure tells users when groups of friends nearby are going out, encouraging real life connections as opposed to just that initial match.
For Sean, this is the next important step in Tinder actually helping to contribute something truly positive for its user-base.
By eliminating the fear and anxiety of being rejected, Tinder has already changed the way people make connections. Now, it wants to complete the narrative, empowering users with social confidence and encouraging them to make plans for a date and interact on a more meaningful level.
Unlike basic profile matching, this is where the majority of significant and long-lasting relationships can begin.
— Tinder (@Tinder) October 25, 2016
Finally, Sean was asked whether or not (at the grand age of just 30) he now feels under pressure to create the next big idea.
However, despite being in 196 countries and with tens of millions of users, he suggests the pressure is just the same as it was in the beginning.
In other words, how the company can carry on improving and keep giving customers a meaningful experience, regardless of scale.