You know what’s cool? A billion dollar valuation.
Facemash isn’t supposed to be a billion dollar company and it never was, because it was shut down after a couple of days. However that initial hack that led to the creation of Facebook and one of the biggest IPO in tech of the last years has left something behind and it seems that someone wanted it back.
I am talking about Tinder.
Tinder is an app that shows you people nearby that you might like or not. It’s up to you, liking the person or passing onto the next one. If someone you have already liked likes you, Tinder makes an introduction and lets you chat within the app. The concept is pretty straightforward and it reminds me what we all have seen in the social network movie and what other people at Harvard have already experienced.
You face a person for as much as you want and it’s up to you to decide if you like or not. By logging in through Facebook, Tinder automatically gets your bio, interests and friends in common. What you have to choose next is to upload a main picture and five others that will be seen by the people who are looking at your profile.
Tinder is simple, it’s just a matter of a yes or no, there is nothing else behind this app. However the potential that it has its massive. University is all about connecting with other people in many different ways, including sex, and that’s why this app has got a huge potential on campuses. For the first time, they have created a service that doesn’t let the girls be shy.
I have been using the app for the last week from time to time and I bet there are more girls from The University of Manchester than guys. People are already prepared to share who they are on the internet. The spread of Facebook has removed the awareness about privacy and the problems regarding your personal pictures. At this time, no one cares anymore. If we had introduced an app like this before Facebook, no one would have ever signed up; but this is the right time to try to push a product like Tinder.
People want to connect, it’s all about letting people know each other in a friendly an non sexual way. Everyone has failed until now. Social dating sites don’t implement what Tinder does. They drive introductions or personal messages without the approval of both people. On the other hand Tinder introduces you to a person who has liked your profile and that you have already liked. That’s the real power, that doesn’t make the whole thing awkward.
Teens are already used to talking to strangers in chats, so what Tinder does is implementing something we have been getting used to. There is nothing more. Simplicity is the key thing here and the number of people is the value behind the product. After a couple of hours, you end up finishing the database in your location (if you live in a small city) and that’s what it might stop Tinder to take the next step and becoming a sustainable business.
On the other hand, as usual, there is no business model behind Tinder, which is free to everyone. What they might implement in the future is a freemium model, driven by credits, which is what every social dating site has done till now. Even though it’s a simple solution to the problem, I strongly encourage them to find another way, because credits make the whole thing uncool.
At the moment, they need to focus on the product and use the power of the word of mouth. The more people sing up, the more interactions they have on the app. Even though the number of people is not limitless, they should try to give to the user a limitless experience. Saying that there are no more people to “rate” is what makes the app dead.
The team has just released Tinder 3.0 on both Android and iOS with several different updates that make you handle the conversations more easily. They still have a mountain to climb, but they seem to be on the right path, if they don’t end up like Snapchat.