T inder, a wildly popular mobile dating app, has in just 17 months, become something of a cultural phenomenon. Its obsessed user base, made up mostly of 18-24 year-olds, has grown by a million in the last sixty days alone. The startup’s success earned two of its 27-year-old co-founders, Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, spots on the Forbes 2013 “30 Under 30” list.
We spoke to Rad and Mateen by phone from their Los Angeles headquarters for this week’s magazine feature about the future of dating in a digital world, “The New Dating Game.” When asked about how they came up with the blockbuster idea, the pair had a surprisingly unscripted answer:
“Heres how it started,” said Rad by phone. “Justin needed help meeting people because he had, whats that disorder you have where you dont leave the house?”
For the uninitiated, Tinder is a smartphone app that at first seems like a higher tech version “hot or not.” Users are shown photos of nearby potential matches and can swipe right to “like” and left for “nope.” Mutual right swipes result in a match, followed by the prompt to either send a message or “keep playing.” This “Keep playing! Keep playing!” mantra has led to an epidemic of 500 million swipes (and 5 million matches) a day.
It has also revolutionized the technology-assisted matchmaking process. (más…)