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.”


Reigns is a Game That Combines Innovative Storytelling With Tinder

Reigns is a Game That Combines Innovative Storytelling With TinderReigns is a Game That Combines Innovative Storytelling With Tinder
Reigns in a choose-your-adventure game with a touch of Tinder
It’s available for iOS, Android, and PC via Steam
The game is great for mobiles thanks to the swiping mechanic
Reigns is a new mobile game where you play as a king who has to make decisions that will determine the fate of your kingdom. It’s brilliantly suited to mobile gaming because the interface is like Tinder – you’re presented with cards that have different advisors’ faces on then, and you typically have to swipe right to say yes, and accept what they are saying, or swipe to the left to say no. There’s a little more going on, but that really is at the core of Reigns, and despite the simplicity, this game is addictive.

Though Tinder is an obvious point of reference – after all, it’s a game about swiping left or right and then living with your choices – another way of looking at it is that the developer Nerial has stripped away all extraneous layers and drilled down to the core of what a game is – there is no disjoint between the story and the gameplay because the narrative choices you make are (almost) all there is to the gameplay.

The events of the game are taking place thanks to an ill-conceived deal with the Devil, and when you start your reign, the game will hold your hand for a little while, and lay out the bare details of the plot. The rest of it is something that you will discover as you play, and there are a lot of different possible ways for things to play out, including what feel like dozens of ways to die.

Death isn’t final in Reigns though – it’s merely the end of one chapter, and the start of another, as your successor takes the throne and must go through the same kind of choices that you face. Actually seeing the game all the way through is going to take multiple playthroughs, and the “good” ending is incredibly hard to reach.
In the game, the Devil makes three appearances – once in the year 666, then again after 666 years in 1332, and 1998. After that, he’s gone and he’s not coming back – you can keep playing, to try and achieve some of the other goals of the game, or you can just reset the game and start over to try and beat the Devil in 1998.
The interesting thing about Reigns though is that the journey definitely matters as much as the destination. Although the swipes are usually simple yes/ no decisions, some of the requests can have more nuanced answers, so you want to read the text carefully to make your decisions. Some of these can be quite tricky – for example, when monks start biting people, do you have the Church look into it, or do you call for the army? Should you send spies to foster unrest in neighbouring kingdoms? And when is it a good idea to charge money from the people to allow them to watch you use the bathroom?
To help guide you in these decisions, the game has four different factions (Church, People, Army, Merchants) you must balance in order to stay on as king – the leaderboard just shows how many years you ruled – and whenever you are about to make a decision, you’ll see a little symbol above the icons of the factions letting you know that it’s going to be affected. The symbol doesn’t tell you if the effect is going to be positive or negative until you’ve made the decision, though it’s generally (though not always) easy to figure out.

But it’s not enough to make everyone happy all the time. Make them too happy and your people are going to turn on you, the church will martyr you, the army will stage a coup, or the merchants will choke you to death on cake. Make anyone too unhappy and you’ll meet a sad end soon enough as well. Each of these endings comes with a hilarious card that shows your fate, before the next king takes the throne, and seeking out the different cast of characters who will present you with questions, and finding all the different ways to die, are strong motivators to keep playing.

The gorgeous art of the various cards, with the highly stylised yet instantly recognisable figures on them, is another reason to play, as is the backing audio. There is no voice recording – no doubt as a cost saving measure, since there is a lot of dialogue – but this works in the game’s favour. The different characters all have some nonsense noises that they make when their cards are presented, and this makes them fairly universal, without getting in the way of swiping through quickly when you feel like it.

The catch is that with a finite number of cards at hand, at some point, things start to get repetitive. Luckily, the developers thought of this too, and there are a couple of unique twists that they bring into the game that keep it feeling fresh. For one thing, there are a lot of mysteries to solve and these can only be understood after exploring the written dialogue many times – this encourages replay without things getting boring. There are also special events – eating different mushrooms you find can have special effects, while old age can make it really hard to progress, and taking a lover can restrict your choices in some ways.
Beyond that, there are special events, such as setting up colonies, or starting a crusade. While typically the amount of time you take to make a choice doesn’t matter in the game, these types of special events cause second by second changes in your popularity with different factions, and too much or too little support from any one of them can lead to your death, so you suddenly have to start swiping at breakneck speed, while trying to avoid outcomes that will lead to you losing your neck. Dying doesn’t fix things either, as your heirs will inherit your crusades or colonies. It’s a great decision by the developers that keeps you on your toes even after you’ve played the game a few times.

Overall though, the real strength of the game is the crisp and enjoyable writing that’s full of sly jokes, which play on your expectations and tell a novel story in a completely new way. Reigns might be a choose-your-own-adventure novel by way of Tinder, but it’s a great match, and it feels incredibly comfortable on a mobile device. You can also get the game on Steam to play on your computer, and it will not lose much in the process, but there is no denying that this game feels at home on your phone or tablet.

We played Reigns on an iPad Pro. It is available for Android (Rs. 200), iOS (Rs. 190), and PC via Steam (Rs. 169).

Great story and narrative style.
Gameplay is well suited to mobile.
Stylish art and music make a complete package.
Can get a little repetitive.
Randomness can make completing objectives difficult.
Limited gameplay might not appeal to some.
Rating (out of 10): 10
For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Devolver Digital, Game review, Mobile games, Nerial, Reigns


Is Swiping “Tinder Style” the New Trend in Ecommerce Apps?


You don’t have to be a frequent user of Tinder to understand the popular dating app’s impact on popular culture. In fact, one of the app’s most popular features is actually making its mark on the business world.

If you are unfamiliar with Tinder, the app allows users to “swipe” the screen to indicate whether or not they are interested in a person they’ve been matched with. You swipe right if you are interested in talking to the person. And you swipe left if you’re not interested.

So you can probably see how that concept might also work for shoppers. In fact, some ecommerce businesses are already taking the concept of swiping and applying it to their own sites or apps. So instead of simply browsing through a sea of products or potentially favoriting some of them, customers can specifically indicate whether or not they would consider buying each product they come across.

The appeal of a feature like this for businesses is that it can offer you even more insights about the items customers like. And that could potentially lead to even more personalized marketing efforts in the future.

For customers, the appeal lies in a shopping experience that gives them something to do. Swiping is an easy way to indicate your feelings about a product. It’s different than your typical online shopping experience. And it can improve the shopping experience in the future by only showing the most relevant products based on past swipes.

Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce, thinks that the trend aligns itself well with today’s impatient ecommerce shoppers.

He said in an email to Small Business Trends, “Our digital attention span is short-lived. We want quick, easy, and visually intriguing while browsing the Internet. It takes an extremely shiny piece of information for someone to want to be engaged. Allowing users the ability to flip through content, see an image and instantly make a “yes” or “no” decision is what gives the dating app such a strong appeal.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect model for every business. For example, if you don’t offer a huge variety of products or don’t plan to actually use the information to personalize the shopping experience, using this concept probably won’t help your business.

In addition, you should think about whether or not your products are something that customers are likely to enjoy really browsing through. For example, those shopping for interesting fashion accessories are probably more likely to spend time browsing than those shopping for something like toilet paper.

Caporaso thinks it would be a mistake for businesses to assume that adding this type of feature will make an immediate impact on sales. In fact, it probably won’t lead to a lot of buyers right away, since it’s not an activity that’s really aimed at those customers who are ready to buy.

He explains, “However, the model does not necessarily parallel with a customer who is ready to make a purchase. It is very well structured for browsing, and perhaps if an item stands out to a user on a significant level, he or she will follow up with a purchase. But when we are online, and we’re already ready to make a purchase, we use search tools to specifically target exactly what we hope to find. The search term ‘jewelry’ is a whole lot less likely to result in a purchase than the term ’24 karat white gold diamond ring.’ The model eliminates the user’s ability to deeply specify exactly what they’re looking for, hence targeting users who are simply looking to browse and pass the time.”

So what do you think about this latest trend in ecommerce apps? Is swiping a concept that you’d consider adding to your business’s mobile site or app?

Swiping Photo via Shutterstock


Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo

Tinder Smart Photos Launched; Helps Find Matches by Choosing Your Best Photo


  • Tinder claims users saw a 12 percent increase in matches
  • Smart Photos alternates your profile pictures to test success rate
  • Tinder says algorithm will maximise your match potential

Tinder has quickly become one of the most popular dating apps around the world, but there has been one constant complaint that has plagued the app since its launch – the difficulty in finding a match. Now the app wants to address this issue and has introduced a feature called Smart Photos to increase your chances of finding a match by choosing your best photo to represent you.

The company says that it has implemented a brand new algorithm that maximizes your match potential. “It’s simple: Smart Photos alternates the photo first seen by others when you’re shown on Tinder, notes each response as others swipe on you, and reorders your photos to show your best ones first. In testing, users saw up to a 12 percent increase in matches,” Tinder said in its release.

(Also see:  Tinder’s New Boost Feature Helps You Skip the Line, Puts You on Top of the Pack)

The app will essentially be using what in the publishing world is best known as A/B testing to help you make your profile as attractive as possible with the photos you uploaded. It will constantly test your profile photos and then arrange them in a manner that increases your chances of finding a match.”We all Swipe Right for different reasons, so everyone on Tinder has a distinct swiping pattern. Smart Photos take into account each individual’s swiping pattern when selecting which of your photos they’ll see first. It’s a system that gets smarter with more input: the more you swipe and the more you’re swiped on, the better the algorithm serves you. Yes, there’s science behind the swipe,” the company said.

Tags: Tinder Smart Photos, Tinder Dating App, Apps, Android, Apple, Social