The dating app has become the go-to tool for singles looking for a ‘hook-up’ rather than a relationship. Its chief executive reckons it can broaden its appeal – but will have to get tough with some users
Swipe right for “would like to meet”, left for “wouldn’t”. Seven years after Tinder made choosing a date as simple as flicking your thumb across a smartphone screen, it is by far the most-used dating app in the UK and the US. Downloaded 300m times and with more than 5 million paying subscribers, it is the highest-grossing app of any kind in the world, according to the analysts App Annie. For Americans, apps and online dating are the most common way to meet a partner. “It’s an amazing responsibility, and an amazing privilege,” says Elie Seidman, Tinder’s 45-year-old chief executive. If he finds it less daunting than others might, that’s because, before he took over Tinder in 2018, he was in charge of OkCupid, the Tinder of the 00s. He has spent much of his working life helping people to find love.
“The vast majority of our employees are energised by that very mission,” he says. “We’re not selling plumbing supplies, right? Obviously, plumbing is really important, but ours is a really noble and exciting mission. So, when we’re taking new risks – new challenges, new chances – we know that, if we’re successful, it’s about helping members connect.”