Do Some Dating App Companies Even Want You To Get A Date??

As part of my business, I keep up on dating apps and what they are up to, simply because so many people use them (or feel they have no choice). And, I have wondered if dating app companies even care if anybody gets a date.

cell phone appsAt least they used to pretend to, but when I checked out Tinder’s recent articles on their Swipe Life site, they seem to be more interested in helping you enjoy being single. Even their twitter banner right now is “single, not sorry.”

So, in other words, Tinder is probably so awful at actually getting people dates, that they don’t even make a pretense anymore that it does that. One analysis did find that 70% of users didn’t even go on a date from Tinder. Of course that could be because the same study found that a majority were there to “waste time.”

I suppose that’s hardly Tinder’s fault, but an app that has limiting algorithms that prioritize attractiveness over engagement (average people rarely get matches), it’s no surprise people use the app to waste time (or in many cases for pretty young women, to get Instagram followers from thirsty guys). Supposedly they are changing this algorithm, but I remain skeptical.

I often wonder about other dating apps too. Do they really have an incentive to get you a date? You’d be off the app very quickly if the apps were designed to get you a date. Instead, whether intentionally or not, they are designed to get you to swipe or browse more.

They are like slot machines. Instead of encouraging you to build a connection with one or two people and see where it goes, there is always the possibility of “better” around the corner. I believe this is why so many people ghost or flake from online dating apps. You get in a conversation with someone you like, and then you get a match with someone you think is better, so you stop other conversations. Then, someone you think is even better comes along and you stop that. And, this continues on for ages until you lament you can’t meet anybody good online!!

woman using online datingIn some ways, we demand this from companies. A lot of people are more comfortable going on a dating app for validation and to waste time (and to see whom they can match with next…that dopamine hit is quite a good feeling) than they are going through the process of matching, connecting, and getting on a date.

So, it’s hilarious to think that many apps designed to get you dates and relationships rarely do that, yet many of these apps are owned by billion dollar companies (well…most of them are owned by one company – Match Group).

Some apps are looking to change this. One I like in particular is Cove. It is currently in the early stages of development, so it’s limited in some markets, but it is designed to get people to interact. In fact, if you don’t move from texting to calling (they have a built in Skype type system for that) in a reasonable amount of time, you get unmatched.

When I talked to the founder of the app recently, he told me users are reporting that this process has brought them closer to people they likely never would have gotten to know had the process been “normal” (texting only).

So, at least some dating apps are responding to the need that people have to, you know, actually get a date from their apps. Otherwise, there is a decent app called “talking to people in the real world” which works too.


About the Author

David Bennett

David Bennett

David Bennett is a relationship expert, and has been a dating and relationship coach for over 8 years. He is listed in the top ten personal coaches for 2019, and is the author of seven self-help books. He has been featured in over 400 publications and other media appearances, including The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Men's Health, Bustle, Prevention, and Woman's Day.

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