Meet Tinder – aka the 'shy Grindr'
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Monday 21 January 2013
Last night saw the first episode of a new MTV show called Catfish, which follows the travails of people who have fallen in love on Facebook, Twitter and other social media – but have never met. The name catfish is the term for one who inflates their social status or appropriates someone else's visage for the purpose of ensnaring an online mate.
A new app, though, might be about to thin out the catfish population. Tinder is a free, anonymous dating app that uses your Facebook details and pictures to pair you with someone in your area. It's actually a bit like Mark Zuckerberg's first venture, Facemash – in that it shows you pictures of people close by, who you can then silently "like" or reject by touching the "nope" button.
If you give each other the nod, the app introduces you for chats, and more. In essence, it's like a shy Grindr.
Backed by the company behind Match and OKCupid, it has spread like glandular fever across college campuses in the US. Its popularity, one imagines, is down to the fact that it allows us to be cruel anonymously, while protecting us from the other end of the whip handle.
Having tried it yesterday, I must report I made not one single connection, but did discover… errr, a number of people who look like, and appear to share details with, the popular singer Rihanna.
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