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Tinder throws epic temper tantrum on Twitter in response to article

Tinder- Look Before Swiping

Tinder via Facebook

It appears that the Twitter tantrum Tinder threw early last week in response to the Vanity Fair article, “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse,” was a planned PR stunt.

According to Adweek, Buzzfeed reporter Claudia Koerner was alerted in advance by PR firm Rogers & Cowan who told her that they represented Tinder and to keep an eye on Tinder’s Twitter account.

In the article published in the September issue of Vanity Fair, author Nancy Jo Sales explores the repercussions that dating apps like Tinder have on the dating lives of twentysomethings, their role on the demise of courtship and the rise of a predominant hookup culture. According to Ms. Sales, the hookup culture created by app dating can be appropriately compared to online shopping. “Dating apps are the free-market economy come to sex,” Ms. Sales wrote. One Tinder user identified in the article as Dan compared the dating app to Seamless, a food-delivery app. “It’s like ordering Seamless,” Dan told Ms. Sales. “But you’re ordering a person.” Tinder’s 30-plus tweet rant started when Ms. Sales tweeted the results of a survey conducted by GlobalWebIndex survey that found that 30 percent of Tinder users are married.

To which Tinder responded:

Then Tinder veered the conversation toward addressing Ms. Sales article.

Ms. Sales article blew up on social media partly because it seemed to resonate with a lot of young singles who use dating apps to meet other singles and for the juicy quotes it produced.

“Sex has become so easy,” a 26-year old marketing executive from New York City identified in the article as John told Ms. Sales. “I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”

(Click here for a full transcript of the Twitter rant.)

The Response

After Ms. Koerner’s tweet fueled speculation that Tinder’s Twitter rant may have been preplanned, a Tinder spokesperson told Wired magazine in a statement:

“We have a passionate team that truly believes in Tinder. While reading a recent Vanity Fair article about today’s dating culture, we were saddened to see that the article didn’t touch upon the positive experiences that the majority of our users encounter daily. Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted.”

The Verdict

Tinder makes a couple of valid points. One, is that it is a strange that Ms. Sales didn’t reach out to Tinder to comment on the story, which is common courtesy and has been best practice in the industry for a long time. Also, it does seem like Ms. Sales was a victim of confirmation bias, featuring only the skeeviest individuals she could find to support her dating apocalypse angle.

But the article did resonate with many people, whose experience with app dating is sadly very accurately described in Ms. Sales narrative.

Kudos to Ms. Sales for her story because the discourse this article started among young people is a much-needed one, since we no longer have an established and widely accepted social norm when it comes to app dating. And her story provides invaluable insights for those who are just looking to play the field or looking for something long-term.

Meanwhile, Tinder’s hissy fit did nothing more than fan the fire.

Perhaps a more prudent approach would have been for the company to release a statement to the press highlighting its perspective on the inaccuracies and biases in Ms. Sales’ article, because while tantrums will surely get you attention, they will only get you the negative kind of attention.

And that’s the kind of attention that most brands should swipe left.

About Elbinha (29 Articles)
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