Better than Tinder?

Better than Tinder?

Better than Tinder? – What comes next

Dating-Experts recently released a survey of Tinder users that suggested well over half of them were getting bored of using the app and expressed dissatisfaction with the nature of their interactions. Maybe we have reached a tipping point where many people are getting tired of the randomness of their Tinder matches. If so, where will all these new customers that Tinder has persuaded to get into online dating chose to look next? Could it be towards an app with even closer geo-orientated matching? Or could we see a revival in more algorithm based dating?

In our study of over 1500 Tinder users 61% stated they were bored of the app; bored of the messages and bored of the randomness of their matches. After overdosing on Tinder for 2 years now, it seems the UK consumer has had enough of endless swiping and hollow messaging (90 minutes a day of it according to recent estimates!). What is needed next is something that maintains the great opportunity and participation rates of the Tinder experience but helps people cut down on some of that hard browsing and chatting work.

Currently, people don’t seem to have found a good alternative that addresses their concerns. Despite all their misgivings, most of the respondents to our survey said that they were likely to keep using the popular dating app. I’ve been looking at three very different new services that offer solutions to the opportunity overload of the Tinder game. Services that seek to constructively narrow their user’s options….

Is Happen Better than Tinder?

First mention has to go to Happen, which has already achieved a lot of success in France and is emerging as a clear contender for the ‘next Tinder’ prize as we head towards the New Year. Happen clearly adds something to the Tinder experience and definitely makes your matches more relevant. It has a very attractive USP: matching you with people you actually pass in the street or are eyeing up across the bar. This looks like online dating moving from being a going out alternative to becoming an enabler of better, more successful nights on the pull and is surely a step towards the future of dating. Short term though, there remain some concerns. One problem that all new entrants face is critical mass. How often will we pass someone on the street who is using Happen, and how often will that be the person we’ve been making eyes at? A second question is whether we are ready for this kind of dating yet. It’s clearly a greater threat to your anonymity and control than Tinder has been. Tinder is still about arranging dates, but being on Happen could turn any innocent trip to the pub into something like a night at traffic light party in a green t-shirt.

Is Hinge Better than Tinder?

A different approach comes from sites like My Mate Your Date or Hinge. Both apps use your existing social networks to define a pool of people who are friends of friends or that you already have some meaningful connection with. They match you with people only from this pool of people and thereafter it works pretty much like Tinder or any other dating app. This seems like a winning solution to the Tinder problem of too many people and not enough context and we liked this approach a lot at Dating-Experts. It offers a more direct link between your search for love online and your ‘real’ life than what has been available up to this point and the idea that these friends of friends matches will be more compatible is one we found very convincing. Of course some love to keep their online-dating life separate from the rest of their socializing, but in a world where most people are now happy to talk to their friends about using dating sites, we think that one of these connections based services could  win a substantial share of the market in the near future.

What else might be better than Tinder?

Finally we were interested by The Inner Circle. A service that goes one step further to exclusivity, though perhaps maintains an element of ‘fresh blood’ that the likes of Hinge might lose after a time. The Inner Circle also offers dating within a pool of relevant people, but kinda the other way around. Rather than seeking to exploit your own circle of friends, it offers you entrance into the exclusive community it has created. It aims to be an invitation only service that screens its applicants. Once in the door, you have access to ‘suitable’ people (looks like their pitching this at global executives) and can get to know them both through the platform and at parties and activities hosted or enabled by The Inner Circle. Clearly this is a more niche approach, but it also offers a solution to achieving greater matching relevance. The growth of dating communities like this could also be a post-Tinder trend to watch.