Tinder is so last year. In 2017, dating apps will get more selective.

To add more fuel to the anti-2016 fire, dating experts are calling it a bad year for dating trends. “I wanted so bad to say something positive, but it’s mostly negative,” joked Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking and Coaching.

From ghosting to asking to split the check, 2016 was a year of dating don’ts. Experts linked daters’ general sense of feeling burned out from online dating to negative trends that appeared in the past year. With the first week in January being the busiest time for online dating, we asked three experts to explain how these trends will translate into the dating culture of 2017.

“Dating ADD,” as Jacoby calls it, increased in 2016.

Having constant access to a pool of potential matches at their fingertips is making people more impatient, causing unrealistic expectations for first dates and a general decline in effort. Daters are “more quick to judge because they know that if you’re not spectacular, they can go back to their inbox, and just swipe right again tomorrow,” Jacoby says.

This means a lot of first dates, and not many second dates, as noted by Jess McCann, author of “You Lost Him at Hello: From Dating to ‘I Do’ — Secrets from One of America’s Top Dating Coaches.” McCann has seen an increase in ghosting, or cutting off communication and suddenly disappearing, among her clients’ dates, citing it as a major reason some are losing faith in online dating.

More first dates means men are less likely to pick up the check. 

“I have seen an increase in my clients saying, ‘I asked him if he wanted to split it and he said sure,’ ” Jacoby says. In the millennial crowd, guys are shying away from the concept of dates altogether, opting to just hang out instead.

Jacoby says that when she was online dating 10 years ago, it was standard to send two- to four-paragraph introductions. Now, it’s a stretch to get people to write much beyond, “Hey, what’s up?”

With so many options and oftentimes minimal results, people are now more inclined to send out 20 brief messages than take the time to send three personalized ones, Jacoby says.

There are so many dating apps, the market is getting saturated and daters are feeling overwhelmed.

“When human beings are offered many choices, they’re actually less likely to make a decision or selection,” Jacoby says.

People are tired of going on 100 dates before someone finally interests them. “Right now it’s sort of just shooting in the dark,” McCann says.

Newer apps recognize that people are looking for something to tell them whether they have a chance with someone before they invest time and effort, so online dating is trending toward niche apps.

“I think if you want to niche it down and you like really fit people and that’s who you want to meet, great,” Jacoby says. But she warns that selecting someone based on résumé qualities isn’t a guaranteed match.

Daters are tired of dead-end conversations.

“People are burned out because they’re spending so much time on their mobile phones and they’re swiping … and the percentage of those swipes to actually meeting in person is really disproportionate,” says Julie Spira, founder of CyberDatingExpert.com.

Spira says she believes that 2017 will see more of a push for people to meet in real life. She predicts a rise in apps like Whim, which skips the pre-date conversation and immediately matches people for meetups.

McCann notes that many of her clients are preferring to meet the old-fashioned way, ditching apps in favor of connecting through friends, being set up or meeting people at social events like weddings and parties. “I’m seeing people using a lot of meetup groups to meet people, so they can do something they actually like but also hopefully meet somebody new that way.”

As dating has changed, so have the rules.

Old-school dating notions have become obsolete. Playing hard-to-get will get you nowhere in online dating.

“If someone interesting writes to you and you can see that he’s online now, don’t go ‘Oh, I’m going to make him wait an hour,’ ” Spira says. “Within that hour he could schedule three dates, and one of them he could end up being smitten with, and you played the waiting game, so you lost.”

You may be communicating with one person, but that person could simultaneously be chatting with maybe 20 other people. “You always have to keep in mind that you need to stand out, with every word you write and every picture you post,” McCann says.

Apps are constantly being updated with new technology that allows you to communicate in different ways, including GIFs, which can help a person stand out.

Spira recommends standing out by using exclamations and addressing the person by name when you message them. “If you don’t use their name, we go to a default place of believing that somebody is copy and pasting the same message to everyone, and that is just such a turn-off.”


Tinder Looks Beyond Dating With Launch of Tinder Social in India, 5 Other Countries

Tinder Looks Beyond Dating With Launch of Tinder Social in India, 5 Other Countries


  • Tinder Social is launching in India and five other countries
  • This feature allows groups to meet new friends and make plans
  • India is the biggest market for Tinder in Asia

Tinder is known to most people as the hookup app, but a new update that’s now rolling out in India, along with the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, adds a feature that’s all about hanging out with your friends. Confused? It’s quite simple really – a new feature, called Tinder Social, allows you to make groups with one to three other friends. These groups last until 12 noon the following day. Once the group has been made, you can go back to swiping, only now, you might see some other groups as well.

If you – or any of the other members of your group – swipes to match with another group, and then any member of that group swipes right on your group in turn, then you’re matched, and the two groups are merged. Then, you can all chat with each other, make plans, and hang out.

According to Tinder India head Taru Kapoor, who spoke to Gadgets 360 before the launch of Tinder Social, the new feature will help people to make friends and plan activities, and “offer users more ways to expand their social circle.”

According to the company, users in Australia, where the feature was first tested, have used Tinder Social to organise pub crawls and make plans to attend concerts.

“Tinder Social is designed to make it as easy as possible to plan your night, get out into the real world and meet new people,” says Sean Rad, CEO and co-founder of Tinder. “The new feature takes the Tinder experience to a new level, offering our users more ways to expand their social circles and interact with potential matches.”

Privacy, Hooking Up, and evolving with India
When Tinder Social first launched in Australia, it was switched on by default. This caused a privacy mess, because users would see a list of all their Facebook friends using Tinder when they chose to create a group using Tinder Social. Now, with the official launch, it is opt-in, solving one of the big issues it had. Users can create a group by selecting friends, who also have to opt-in; anyone can leave a group at any time. When you create a group, you can also assign a status from suggested activities. Users who don’t opt in to Tinder Social won’t be added to any groups.

tinder_social_opting_in.jpgKapoor doesn’t see Tinder as being an app about ‘hooking up’.

“Our vision is social discovery, whether it’s making friends or dating or forming relationships,” said Kapoor. “[Tinder] Social is a part of that vision. Sometimes we interact with people one on one, and at other times we make friends in groups. With social we bring another part of the experience to the app.”

Although Tinder won’t reveal the number of users it has in India, it’s clearly a big market to bring the new feature here before so many other countries. “India is the largest market in Asia, and in the top five markets in terms of growth globally,” said Kapoor. “It’s one of our most exciting markets right now, and so we believed that we should bring Social here soon.”

In fact, while Tinder only launched officially in India recently, it’s been in use here for around three years now, growing organically, Kapoor said. And in that time, it has made a mark on the app as well, she added.

“We do take feedback from our users and listen to them very carefully,” said Kapoor. “So for example we added the job and education details to the profile, which was something that a lot of users from India had requested.”

Tags: Dating apps, Taru Kapoor, Tinder, Tinder Social



Dating Apps Are Customising Themselves for India, but Do They Really Need To?

Dating Apps Are Customising Themselves for India, but Do They Really Need To?



  • There is a growing number of dating apps in India
  • These platforms talk about localisation and India-specific features
  • Many users, however, say that the differences don’t matter

India is a country with a lot of single people, a lot of smartphone users, and a big shortage of opportunities for people to interact with members of the opposite sex. The math doesn’t look good, and at least partially explains whyIndia is Tinder’s biggest market in Asia. But is it enough for an app like Tinder to be just present in India, or is India a market that needs more of a local touch?

That’s what any number of Indian companies, and Tinder, seem to believe. For one thing, no company that spoke to Gadgets 360 wants to be seen as a dating app alone. Indians might be embracing Tinder, but Tinder India head Taru Kapoor says that Tinder is about expanding your social circle and not “hooking up”.

“Our vision is social discovery, whether it’s making friends or dating or forming relationships,” Kapoortold Gadgets 360 before the launch of Tinder Social “[Tinder] Social is a part of that vision. Sometimes we interact with people one on one, and at other times we make friends in groups. With social we bring another part of the experience to the app.”

That’s why Tinder changed its app based on the feedback it got from Indian users, perhaps the biggest change being the addition of educational and professional qualifications to user profiles.

Other companies are exploring more ways in which they can accommodate Indian users. Parooz, an app that was recently launched in India by US-based Shekhar Yadav, looks like a generic Tinder clone. Yadav was in Bengaluru recently and spoke to Gadgets 360 about what sets Parooz apart from Tinder, and plans to grow the app in India.

One thing that he believes is that simply letting people swipe and connect is not enough. The app needs to be custom-built for India, which is why he regularly makes trips here to connect with his target audience.

parooz_app.jpgGoing offline
The overall flow of Parooz is very similar to Tinder, though it comes with an anonymous mode to allow people to browse through profiles without making yourself public. By doing this, you can look at people in your area, though you can’t match with or talk to them without signing up.

“We’re looking at different ways to make the app more user-friendly,” said Yadav. “One of the things that we are doing is offering suggestions about conversation topics to users, so that they can get a conversation going.”

Another thing that Parooz wants to do is help you to plan offline events. “Suppose you’re both fans of a particular music act, and you’re chatting and you decide to go for a concert,” explained Yadav, “We want to be able to help you to book your tickets and make the plan to go for the concert together.” To accomplish this, the company is looking at ways to organise the bookings, though it’s also looking for partners to create a “social ecosystem”.

(Also see: How a Dating App for Burrito-Lovers Exposed One of Online Dating’s Biggest Myths)

Other apps are also trying to focus on offline-dating. Companies like Sirf Coffee focus on setting up one-on-one interactions offline; others such as Floh, founded by Siddharth and Simran Mangharam, function more like the online membership to an offline club, which includes many successful startup founders.

Mangharam pointed out that Floh has conducted over 500 meetups in the last five years. They authenticate profiles by vetting people over telephone, and the focus on events means face to face meetings instead of anonymous browsing online.

floh_events.jpgWhat do users want?
Offline meetings and professional and educational status might be ‘made for India’, but the users we spoke to raised fairly universal problems. One user who spoke to Gadgets 360 said that his biggest issue was that many of the profiles are not genuine.

The companies talk about using Facebook for authentication – Yadav says Parooz analyses user behaviour over time to see if the metadata being generated looks like genuine activity or spam – but fake profiles are prevalent across nearly all apps.

One female user who spoke to Gadgets 360 described the apps as being a bit of a video game, saying, “I like having the meat market to browse through. We’re [Women are] use to being stared at by men, so it can be a kind of stress relief to be the one doing the leering instead.”

The companies can talk about algorithms that empower modern matchmaking and social discovery, but it seems Indian users aren’t that different compared to their global counterparts – some people are looking for dates, and others are just messing around.

Tags: Apps, Dating, Floh, Parooz, Tinder