The pricing would be reactive - as popular attractive people get more messages, the more it would cost to message them, growing exponentially in order to limit incoming messages to approx a few a day. Unpopular people who got few messages would have a price that would go down to zero. This would hopefully solve the problem of women getting hundreds of messages a day, and men getting neither any incoming messages nor any replies to their outgoing messages.
It shouldn't be much of a problem to get women on board, as they rarely send messages anyway and it would always be free just to put up a profile and receive messages. And for men it would hopefully be a fair an transparent way to have confidence that their outgoing messages would be received and read (and have fewer immediate competitors), rather than just lost in the noise.
I don't have time for it now, but it's always been something on my mind.
Edit: Thanks for your comments. This is interesting. Lots of hypotheses worth experimenting.
I imagine it's not great either if, on current dating apps, the number of messages women receive becomes public information. The problem here is less that different women cost different prices to message. The problem is that it's visible. If you can overcome this there might be some merit to the idea. This is just me being open-minded though. It still feels like an icky idea.
1) Let people set their own price. Then it's not the platform valuing you, it's how much you value your own time.
2) Provide "auto-pricing" as an optional feature. Use an imaginary unit - call it "stamps" and provide ways to earn "stamps" on the platform besides just buying them.
"How many stamps should it cost for somebody to send you a letter? Or you can use one of our auto-managers - do you want to receive lots of letters or only a few?"
You could still have some kind of invisible credit score under the hood even for users that don't use the auto-pricer - people with good credit get plentiful free stamps.
Then you'd have to get into a whole Google-style graph-based-ranking but for people, which I assume sites like Twitter are already doing under the hood.
Of course, the problem here is that you'd have a plethora of alts to farm free stamps, which would clutter the search list...
Everything is hard.
Instead, how about a different approach: You get say 10 stamps/day. There is no way to purchase them. Any message you receive can be replied to once with no cost. Also, the cost to send to someone is adjusted by the cost to send to you. (Another poster suggested ELO ratings, which makes sense.)
You have a choice between occasionally contacting the hot ones or fairly routinely contacting those at your level or below. It will make people much more realistic in who they choose to contact, taking long shots means not having any shot at the ones you might actually get.
The app should be tied to your identity (although I wouldn't require real name use in the prospect-facing side) so you can't just create a bunch of accounts to get extra stamps.
Isn't that how it normally works out anyway?
I've got a better idea. Have a swiping system, but also have a simple indicator to see how often people respond to messages after first swipe. There could also be an indicator for how long those conversations typically last.
Or you could just make it extremely simple: just have something saying "this person is X% likely to respond after a match."
Or an opaque "conversation score" which is hard to game, but indicates whether or not they're actually talking to their matches. You could categorize them as "great conversationalists!" and then allow people to filter out those who aren't.
Of course, that could be gamed too but it would be better than just matching over and over with people who have no interest in actually talking to you.
Better I would have thought to kick such guys off the platform, raising the level for women, which would in turn make it more appealing for more evolved males.
Every woman who's gone on online dating can give you a list of stories of creepy, scary and/or off-putting experiences.
My point here isn't to start an online debate about gender equality, but to say: one of the main things that would help bring users to an online dating app is making it safer for women. If the women come, the men will follow.
- Disgusting new dating app literally puts a price on woman. When will woman objectification stop?
- In this racist dating app it costs more to message white woman than black woman.
It will be a disaster, and the author will lose his job.
I loved The Guardian but it became "world misery and outrage daily, and BTW all men are terrible" in the last year or two.
It would also go a long way to not have these prices be listed on a catalog page, but only when clicked into an individual person, so it's less of a feeling of comparison shopping.
The psychology of these UI design things matters a lot.
It would be all the weirder for first contact messages for instance.
The person would not know how much the sender "paid" for the "postage" for that message. From ANYONE's point of view, they are not receiving more than N messages per day, as N+1 would become exponentially, prohibitively more expensive.
You will have people who start with a profile in both sides to see how it works. It’s done for fun on free platforms, it will done for research on any paying platform.
If they don’t do it personally they’ll ask friends that will spill the beans.
People will rant online on how much they paid for a single text sent.
It’s just endless, the service will need to be transparent and forthcoming about the system or it becomes a PR nightmare.
Humans are incredibly good at putting a price tag to potential mates. It takes milliseconds to form a base appraisal.
Every single mid to high end restaurant, every single successful lounge and a nightclub and the likes of LVMH disagree all the way to the bank.
People would rather do without than do something unpopular.
The people with the low prices would still not get messages, because who wants to message someone so unpopular that you're the only one interested in them?
Alain de Botton has an illuminating documentary about status (2h30m version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1MqJPHxy6g, 5m version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iipn6yM43sM)
It really doesn't take much to realize that this pricing scheme would exclusively benefit the rich and white, right?
Like for a successful, white, male, software engineer like myself I could afford to reach out to whomever I would like anytime I want, this would be heaven! But for someone in a worse social position they would be basically blocked from talking to more than one person, regardless of their looks, personality, or ambitions.
That’s the very specific point we are discussing, and my claim is that race is irrelevant in this discussion. If you have evidence to the contrary on exactly that point then I’d like to hear it.
Not some hand wavy vague generalisation on a tangential point, how would a pay to play messaging system benefit a rich white more than a rich black?
However, one could start arguing that because there are more rich white people than rich black people then the system favors whites more because whites hold more money to message people. Therefore, because of that, then the people who are messaging the most desirable will more likely be white (even if split of race in the country was 50/50 white/black - whites will be messaging more because their wealth on average is higher).
I don't think such a pay to message system should exist (even though many dating apps do implement a roundabout way of doing this - lol - they all implement some throttling mechanism that you can get around if you pay $$$).
Because white people are more wealthy than those of other races. That is a hardcore socioeconomic fact in the US. In pure mean and quantity.
This idea is simply an admittance of what we're all already collectively doing. Only difference is the blame is centralized to the app, versus spread out to each user.
If you don't believe me, take a look at statistics on dating app success for unattractive minorities versus the aforementioned "cream of the crop". We're all pretty blatantly <something>-ist when it comes to dating.
A woman getting dozens of low-effort messages knows that the next message she receives could be from her next amazing relationship. Great people are less common than low-quality pussy-beggars. That's just life.
Charging for messages just optimizes for the sort of loser desesperados who are even open to the idea. It really is just a sugardaddy-finder.
Other users are free to message if you two are a "match", or directly - unless they are new or receive too many messages, to "protect their inbox". This information is hidden from the popular users themselves, who often have no idea that others have to pay (directly/in-app virtual tokens/premium subscription) to message them.
Sometimes there is also the mechanic that if you are popular enough yourself, you can message other popular users, working around the problem of the people you most likely would want to connect with being drowned out by the crowd.
Edit: I should mention, this was about paying for the _ability_ to message someone, not paying per message. I think paying per message is largely avoided by legitimate dating apps because it is mostly employed by scam "hookup" sites.
not sure pricing messages is a good idea, but it's a fun thought experiment.
“I’ve got a lot of money and you’re young and have great tits”
I wonder if that market would find equilibrium.
Edit: I guess the "purely a thought experiment" disclaimer got dismissed by everybody looking for a little outrage today. This is not a business plan, I just think it's interesting to think about these things.
"Hey, you're so ugly people get paid to message you! Thanks for using our service!" There is no way this would go over well.
Alternatively something like a monthly allowance of credit and then an auction style messaging system would be interesting.
I suppose this leaves out the potential for unswiped men to differentiate themselves with an interesting initial message, but I suspect the success rate for that is pretty low.
Tinder kind of offers something like this: super likes which cost a small amount of money (users get one free one per day) which notify the target that they've been super liked and highlight the super likers profile.
It's basically a way to pay to stand out from the crowd. There are also other things like boosts which maximise the number of people seeing your profile for a short amount of time.
I honestly can't see anything replacing Tinder for the next few years. Besides the matching thing being a really clever, its biggest asset is how socially acceptable it is. It's made online dating "cool"
Beside classic like/dislike/match there is possibility to look who is around and directly message person. Depending how person is popular it could be free to start conversation or you will have to use "coins".
Make the service completely free, but require a credit rating above a certain threshold. Possibly apply that to men but not women.
You don't need or want a filter to determine who is desirable; you just want to eliminate everyone who is completely unacceptable and provide a fairly large number of options that are all decent.
It might also be necessary to provide some sort of clever cover, so it didn't seem like the business was doing what it was doing. From a marketing perspective, I don't think it would sell, but from a results perspective, I think it would.
Little known fact about dating apps is that the churn is pretty high. Users try and leave within a few weeks, or a few months for the most persistent.
The former might be solved, but I highly doubt the latter would be.
I'm not sure what the benefit the service you are proposing is to the attractive, popular people.
One idea I've had is to disallow conversation in the app, and instead focus on making date plans if there's a match. Another idea is to introduce a payment aspect to make spamming economically unviable, except that the payment goes to the recipient instead of the platform. Some apps have tried things like this, but they kind of suck because it's not real money so it's not useful.
You should likely run this idea past a few women. The typical reason they want to converse before meeting is security: Meeting strangers is dangerous and they want to "sniff test" to see if it is safe enough to even go that far.
Your app idea largely seems to exist to solve issues men have with dating apps but it doesn't really address why women avoid them/prefer direct social interaction.
That never worked out well for me: I'm a person of words, and while I really do want to meet, I'm unlikely to click with somebody who doesn't love conversation enough to chat before that. So I stopped meeting women who weren't interesting online; it seemed that the hope that they might be interesting in person never panned out. I hope they met somebody more to their taste.
Meeting strangers is dangerous, but if you arrange it in a public place, that's reasonably safe. And probably at least as good as trying to feel out whether they're dangerous via chat.
I guess it's just a lingering bias that makes us think "dating app people are creepy" even though today the people you meet in a bar are probably all on dating apps too.
Consider the "social contract" of both situations.
With the bar situation you can literally leave immediately with no social expectation that you should have to interact with that person again.
With the "date" typically they're alone (i.e. she cannot bring friends, unlike a bar) and there's a social expectation to stay at least for whatever constitutes an entire date.
I think it is less irony and more that we have complex social expectations.
There are plenty of first date options that make this easy. I was fond of minigolf because it goes relatively quick and you can either opt to play more rounds or hit the eject button with a half decent excuse.
Meanwhile, a date you eject from still consumes most of your evening. ...And it's extremely uncomfortable and emotionally taxing to be in that position for both people.
That said, I think almost everyone would be better served if they shot out a "wanna grab drinks at X at 8:00?" much earlier into the conversation. The sort of "Tinder convo" I see on r/tinder is almost exclusively men sabotaging themselves instead of making a move.
I mean, once you've established you're not one of those "send pic of vagene sex sex sex pls" people, I'm not convinced there's all that much more rapport you can build over text.
Then again, I imagine men who are able to talk themselves into a hole over Tinder chat are sending useful signals to women.
Couple possibilities I can think of there. First and foremost, it could be that the people being described before the comma, and the people being described after the comma, are not the same population. There may be some overlap, but I can at least say that the friends I have who've used (non-Tinder) online dating services in any sort of serious way were also very much not the kind of people to go to bars to meet people.
Another is that talking to a stranger at a bar is most decidedly not a date. Evidence: Once upon a time, I did that fairly regularly, and my partner didn't mind at all. (I think that there was only ever one person who was obviously only interested in a hook-up, and, it being a bar, it was pretty easy to gracefully exit that conversation.) I think they would have felt very differently about me signing up for OkCupid.
But as soon as you walk into a bar, every woman in that place is taking in broad bandwidth data on you. Do your mannerisms look natural? Are you acting aggressive? Are you friendly? What are you wearing, and are your clothes clean? Do other women seem comfortable around you?
All of those assessments are based on very finely honed intuitions that they rely on every single day to stay safe.
You can easily do a social proof check on a stranger in a bar by checking out their friends. That’s why it’s such a successful strategy to go on the pull with a wingman/winggirl.
Talk to women sometimes about how they approach personal safety, and how many scary situations and too-close calls they've already had.
It's a law of truly large numbers thing. Even if a tiny tiny minority of guys are actually dangerous, over the course of even a relatively young life the average woman has encountered quite a few of them. They make life decisions accordingly, for understandable reasons.
The app could certainly facilitate "safe" dates by helping guide people toward certain places. That could even be the business model where you would book reservations at certain restaurants, coffee shops, or wherever through the app.
Frankly I don't think gatekeeping a person's comfort level when meeting a stranger is very constructive. In fact I think it would invoke quite a negative reaction (justifiably).
Meeting strangers may not be a high risk for you but it is for other people.
While you can't guarantee a good date, you can at least eliminate the worst and unsafe-est dates by a little messaging.
I dated for a while on various services before choosing OKCupid and sticking with it. I talked to and dated several women before I met the woman who is now my wife.
That included some chat up front, then picking a safe, public location to meet and do something. I'm lucky to live in Orlando, so it was very often a theme park. If either of us were unhappy, we could just go our separate ways and be done. (Thankfully that never happened to me.)
Creeps have a hard time hiding the fact that they're creeps. If I'm talking to a guy on a dating app and he immediately tries to steer the conversation towards sex, my body, how horrible women are, and shows zero interest in actually getting to know me then I know he's someone to avoid.
Even taking a shower, putting on decent clothes, and showing up in person to a bar is a massive filter that dating app conversation doesn't have. This is one of the fundamental trade-offs of meeting people online vs in person.
As an added bonus, you also get to screen out all the people that don't really care enough about their potential date's feelings to exchange a few messages, and all the people that are saying yes to too many dates to even notice conversation threads never mind show up.
Shooting from the hip, I'm guessing this would not do much to even out that male:female ratio.
This is such a ridiculous thing to say. A significant disadvantage compared to _who_? Other men? That sort of negates your statement? The women on the platform? Men aren't competing against women on the platform to find a date, for the most part.
I think you're sort of dancing around the issue that attractive people on the platform are going to attract more attention, but that applies to both genders equally. If you don't want 'competition', try seeking out people who aren't conventionally attractive.
I believe you just described escorting/prostitution. Not that I am against sex work, but that app would be DOA.
Most amazing spin ever. Here's the ad targeted at women https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK2MrUOfAPE and the one targeted at men https://vimeo.com/21179683
Also https://misstravel.com and their pitch
So as a man you're primed thinking your date will cost you on the order of $20, but the woman is expecting offers in the order of $100. Expectations are already mismatched before you've even signed up!
I could think of a gentle spin where the money would go to pay the date (restaurant/drinks/activity), which is expensive anyway, but the way it's framed I am speechless.
So you’ll have many frustrated users who are simply being gamed for messages.
And since this is built on top of Facebook the spam ratio is pretty low.
Some of the features it has: You can always see who has "right-swiped" on you, even if you didn't match with the person. You can see everybody on the app in Facebook groups you share. If you accidentally swipe left you can go back.
This obviously doesn't change anything about the valid point that men and woman approach dating in a different manner. I guess apps made this even worse.
They just make obvious what otherwise we don't like to admit, like how important attraction is in the deal even though we don't have much control over it.
Usually when I see criticism of dating apps (like in this comments section), I wonder if the critic realizes that what they are complaining about is how dating already works. You are always sizing people up around you based on how attractive you find them, for example.
Swipe apps more-or-less turned dating into a game—you could provide the tooling to become a better player.
Dine: You match only by choosing a restaurant listed in their profile to meet at. They get a notification, "So-and-so would like to go to ABC with you". If they click "yes" the system puts up a list of times to meet.
HowAboutWe: You list only activities you'd like do together.
As a guy who has been on dating apps, being able to hold a conversation puts you at a significant advantage. I don't see how restricting the ability to have one helps, unless your intention is to help guys who can't or shoot themselves in the foot early.
I like that idea.
The business model is tricky to figure out. You'd have to ditch subscription fees and advertising (since both of those models disincentivizes real matchmaking in favor of long-term endless use of the app).
The app I was actually looking for with the search isn't in the top 10, but you can see that it's been tried more than once.
Do you mean paying a potential match? It would be a dating site for cam girls and professional escorts.
I mean, you might actually be on to something there :)
I wonder how many people in these sorts of HN threads who complain about the crapshoot of dating have taken it seriously enough to try these sorts of things.
I highly recommend them. Speed-dating itself is really eye-opening.
Exactly, which is why apps that work in the same way, based on exactly the same input (just superficial visual appeal), seem redundant to me. I'd much prefer something that actually makes use of modern technology, for example: upload 3 photos of your exes and we'll find someone similar for you. Or, match people by professions and lifestyles that are compatible in some way (in addition to ML-rated visual appeal).
Datings apps aren't men vs women, where a woman wins and a man loses (or vice versa). Any real life connection that gets made is mutual. So what you mean is MOST or SOME men are at a disadvantage, and then you must ask which ones and why.
>One idea I've had is to disallow conversation in the app, and instead focus on making date plans if there's a match
Why not just do this yourself? It's not a bad strategy for a guy. Why does making this a rule forced on others do anything?
doesn't sound like a dating app, more like "uber for escorts"
I've now been with someone I met my second day on pof after being stalked on okc by an ex I met irl. I preceded to message with over 100 individuals on pof and met more than a dozen of them in person. Better than 80% of them had lied in their profiles in some way or another.
I focused on the most honest and compatible one. I fall more in love every day of the 2 years we've been together.
Online dating works. It's hard. But it works.
If your profile is not as desirable or just average they start hiding your profile so you don’t get as many matches. Then you pay and start getting slightly more matches. Since you’re average you’ll keep paying for a while till you get matched or maybe not.
They keep a few of the desirable people visible without paying to make the app look good. But those people may never even see you unless you pay.
Edit: yikes, it looks like you've repeatedly been posting unsubstantive and/or flamebaity comments. We ban accounts that do that. Can you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use HN as intended? The idea is: if you have a substantive point to make, make it thoughtfully; if you don't, please don't comment until you do.
If there were a drastically better solution, then it would take over the market. The last major innovation was when Tinder invented swiping and went mobile-first, a genius move which drastically cut down the spam women deal with and made it actually feel like a fun game instead of a chore.
The fact is, despite all the work of psychologists and technologists, nobody's come up with a better, more efficient way of matching people. Personality profiles and questionnaires are a poor predictor of chemistry -- they can help with filtering compatibility in basic ways, but they're not going to find you your soul mate.
Photos reveal potential likely chemistry more than anything else. Swiping works. Messaging works. The apps can't perform magic, though. If you're looking to find more success on them than you would with the same group of people at a bar or meetup or wherever, that's not gonna happen. They're not changing whether people are attracted to each other or not.
What they do do is give you a pool of users far larger than you'd ever encounter in a single night out, and you know they're mostly all single, also different from when you go out. And they're honestly pretty good at that.
If the paradox of choice is actually true (as with anything in psychology, it needs further research to be sure), then this could be a major negative instead of a major positive.
1. Be unattractive.
2. Don't be attractive.
It enables a habit of bailing at the first sign of trouble.
I've lost the attribution, but someone said that "dating is a numbers game. The goal is to go on as many first dates as possible, to get in front of as many people as possible. At this, tinder (and associates) absolutely excel. There is no other way to reliably find a lot of single people to go on dates with."
Most people commit to one person eventually so you'll need to make a choice.
Go online, suddenly the pool is so large that you see dozens of 9-10's and swipe right on them, suddenly the 6-7s seem less attractive so you start swiping left when in a social setting you'd probably at least talk to them, you become more picky, and you end up getting fewer matches because the wealth of choice leads to you being pickier about physical attractiveness than you'd otherwise be IRL.
I think the issue here isn't one of what does a person wants, but what they benefit from. Sometimes people are harmed by what they want. In many cases this is obvious (think any addictions), but in others it belabors the mind as we struggle to see how something that looks harmless and helpful is actually harmful.
Sure they are. Good photos, filters, Photoshop, sometimes even fake pictures, make a huge difference.
Though eventually you could upload any image.
Either way, I don't think it's such a big problem. Most people know that the feeling of betrayal is the last thing you want your date to feel when you walk into the room. It's just not a winning strategy.
Even if they started from another reason, they'll at some point want to grab the data.
OkCupid's problem, and the problem at Match Group in general, is that you learned something about 100% of OkCupid users instead of 0.01% of randomly-sampled real world people, and maybe that something that you learned was 200% wrong. And then, you think your answers are 1,000% more correct because 100% - 0.01% = 99.99%.
Granted that logic is great for equity investors. It just isn't necessarily great for users.
Nobody pushed back on the assumption that online dating was a representative sample. Nobody pushes back on whether the right questions were being asked. Match didn't even choose the right engagement metrics, choosing things like message reply rate which can rise while active users fall. The style of how these metrics were chosen and what analysis was done papered over serious issues. And all the people who would have, by now, the maturity and tenure to admit they were wrong are gone.
Photos reveal potential likely chemistry
I worked at OkCupid 8 years ago
With apps, though, there is plenty of data (the OkCupid blog has tons of great posts about this) that attractiveness is what counts far and away the most. And that's not surprising given the modality of how apps work, and I don't really see that changing.
I think people are generally unhappy with online data because it has a tendency to commoditize an interaction, and that's very unfortunate IMO.
Her initial expectation is that, with her inside understanding of female thinking, she will have an easy time courting. But she finds that in person, many women perceive and are uncomfortable with her lack of masculinity. Relationships usually fail quickly once they reach the point of in-person contact.
But there's a major exception to this rule: she also found that women usually required an extended period of online correspondence before agreeing to meet face-to-face. And during this period, her initial expectation was completely correct -- women appeared to judge the man according to how much they liked his writing, and what they were looking for was feminine, not masculine, writing. She experienced unusual success in getting to the first date in the first place.
We can make a small interpretive leap to say that this suggests women are actually looking for the wrong things when they use online dating apps, proactively selecting men they are unlikely to be attracted to in person.
That is quite the claim!
> For a little contrast, I went on a few dates with men as a woman during the course of my time as Ned. The men I met on the internet, and then subsequently in person, didn't require this epistolary preamble, nor did they offer it. They were eager to meet as soon as possible, usually, I found, because they wanted to see what I looked like. Their feelings or fantasies would be based on that far more than, or perhaps to the exclusion of, anything I might write to them.
Say what you will about this attitude, I wouldn't say that the men are looking for something different online than they are in person. Rather, they think online interaction is getting in the way of what they want, and they do their best to avoid it.
This is the most interesting information from this thread so far. Thanks for the idea.
I’ve been with my girlfriend three years, just bought a car together. It’s going well! We met on OKcupid.
I’m a happy customer, though I don’t think I’ve ever paid them anything.
I met my wife online after a year of fruitless first dates. Maybe I'm just unappealing or something but it was truly a miserable part of my life.
Edit: I'm gonna add in here that most people don't have the stick-to-itiveness that most readers of this site do.
I was grinding away on tinder/going on dates for months before I found success. But that's not the dating app's fault - I was seeing the same thing using non-app strategies.
So the grandparent comment did use the term correctly. Unless they were responding to someone who never “won” at the dating game.
The ultimate statistical issue is about the outcome of a task biasing the incentive for testifying about the task. It’s usually winners who are more prone to speak to their approach to the problem than losers, so we don’t know if the winning solution is representative of success or an aberration from the norm.
I don't believe that. It depends on the task and how much of it is chance vs. skill. Winning the lotto is literally 100% chance, 0% skill. Odds are worse than 1 in a million, so yes, I agree with your assertion that a lotto winner who played for 40 years and finally won is exhibiting survivorship bias if they claim the key to winning is playing every week.
However, if I have a goal to run a 6 minute mile, and I fail 100 times before I finally succeed. Does that mean I have survivorship bias if I say that I found running a little faster every day and not giving up to be the key to success?
Dating does have an element of chance, yes, but it also has an element of skill - you get better social skills the more you use them. It's a bit disingenuous to compare "the dating game" (which billions of people "win" every year) to lotto (which probably < 100 people win per year).
If I had to start the dating game all over knowing what I know now, I'm confident I could find a wife much faster than my first time around - especially with the help of online dating apps. I'm older and wiser and I understand females now way better than I did when I started out.
I ended up in a now-ended relationship with someone I met in an online forum, and now in a very happy relationship with someone I met at a board game Meetup.
Dating sites made me feel miserable when I used them. Constantly fruitless, frustrating. Any success I've had with them is survivorship bias.
This shouldn't be a numbers game. The fact that it is exacerbates the "inbox bloat" attractive people get.
This is almost exactly how it is in real life though. The more people you approach for a date -> the more chances you might have. And forget actual dating apps - people are using regular social media like Instagram to "meet" people too.
Oh, and if you think you're using it for free, think again. They are collecting all kinds of personal information about you
Dating apps sell you on showing you more people you otherwise would never meet. The chemistry and "good match" are left to the two people to figure out via chatting and a date.
Dear God why would you do this to someone?
If that is not the case I agree with you.
I'll tell you why: Why be content only meeting the subset of women I can meet face-to-face in my free time when I can complement my social life with a dating app that helps me meet more?
I can do both.
I can only understand your confusion if you have zero success on dating apps and assume nobody else has any success, either. And there are people obviously having success on dating apps.
Show me the data that says meeting many more potential partners leads to happier more fulfilling relationships, because I certainly haven't seen it.
Also on the data collection front, the business model is more based around advertising, and just knowing you're single is all the info they need. They can bombard you with ads for events to go to, clothes to wear, etc. You're the most lucrative market if you're 18-35 and single.
it sounds like you wanted to find a long term/partner for kids/etc. type thing. that's fine, just realize not everyone on these sites/apps are looking for that, and there's no motivation to give you that bc your value to them ends when you're off the platform.
If you found them all to be so fruitless, never enjoying yourself at all, then yes that does sound kind of unappealing. Sorry to come in here and bust your chops while knowing nothing about you :) But shouldn't dating be enjoyable?
If you've given up the game, and I can certainly empathize -- it's a real crapshoot --, why do you feel the need to share such a strong opinion in these types of threads as if nobody else is having any luck in the dating world? Isn't this obviously a personal problem?
It's not surprising that you got the same results all year. The matching algorithms don't change very quickly.
It's why we date instead of picking our spouse from an Excel spreadsheet.
Dating apps cannot fix this, but they can make it easier to meet more people.
I thought a great take on this was the Black Mirror episode where your dating-app compatibility score with someone was the percentage of times your virtual clone escapes the simulation with them. How else can you predict chemistry?
It's really not the same as okcupid from 4 years ago
I used the old OkCupid for years and met a few new friends through it.
It tended to match me up with people already in my "friends of friends" extended circles, with good quality common interests and attitudes, and was great for expanding those circles. I thought it was one of the best sites on the net for getting to know new people. (Way better than, say, Facebook, where you exchange comments but never really get to know new people one-on-one.)
And with people I already knew, we would have fun checking out how well OkCupid thought we matched up.
I want back a couple of years ago, after a few years break, and OkCupid had removed everything that made it useful before. I mean everything. It just wasn't any use. Sadness.
Never been back since.
It's a shame there's nothing else on the net like the old OkCupid. It was socially useful and unique.
Hopefully someone will come along and replicate the good parts in a new site someday.
OkCupid was based on knowledge and attitudes as well, using a type of machine-assisted learning that deduced what people really find important to know about each other. Rather than what someone designing a questionaire assumes. And rather than people relying on looks, impulsive attraction, and random early conversations where people are winging it.
The central idea, in addition to free-form profiles, was users submitted a lot of answers to multiple-choice questions, as well as the answers they would like a potential match to have (because they might be different), and how important each answer was to them. So this worked well for people who were looking for attributes that complemented theirs, in addition to other attributes where similarity was what mattered.
In addition, users could submit questions, and over time the system grew to mainly ask those questions that were found to be statistically useful in matching people up.
This meant great questions for matching would rise to the top of the pool, while poor questions, or badly written ones, or unhelpfully ambiguous ones, would not.
This also meant that the kinds of things people ended up matching on were more diverse than any other site. So it really helped people find matches on non-mainstream attributes that mattered to them personally, that were not generally reflected on other sites (such as match.com...). Things like how much do you like your partner to dress as a goth, do you mind if your partner sleeps with other people too, and if not what about cuddling others without sex, not just what's your orientation, but effectively what subtle aspects of orientation that haven't been formally enumerated, does it bother you if your partner supports a particular type of politics, what about bedtimes, what is your approach to raising children (smack or never smack), do you like drugs and if so what kind, etc. Basically anything you can think of which humans actually care about.
It was an excellent way to find people that shared your attitudes and worldview, especially if you had non-mainstream interests.
Tinder will give you none of that.
I suspect a lot of people would be far more interested in a "pay us $X, money back guarantee if you don't get a date" kind of service. At least that way your and the company's interests are aligned.
In fact, if a dating app worked very well, non-monogamous and short term relationships would probably be more satisfying.
They used to be very critical of other dating sites, but I think those posts have been removed, now that they're owned by Match.
Besides, aren't we presumably on Tinder because of the logistical downsides of meeting people otherwise? Nothing stops us from using Tinder as a supplement. If dating was so great and without trade-offs, we wouldn't have downloaded Tinder to begin with. :)
They got bought out by Match a few years ago, at which point it suddenly became swiping and now you can't message (or see messages) without having first matched with each other.
tldr: Once sold, it went from an interesting place to a cesspit quite rapidly.
Okcupid now works like a slightly modified Tinder. It's awful.
Or maybe it's just me.
Can also confirm that online dating is a horrible, confidence-destroying nightmare (presumably for both sexes).
It is, though it's more the overall culture it has created than online dating itself. The culture where there's always more and better options so you shouldn't commit to anything, where cancelling plans is just a text away so nobody takes them seriously. It's infested even non-dating relationships and is quite confidence destroying to have people cancel on you constantly.
Also, when I changed genders the dynamic did shift a lot, but it's still confidence destroying. As a male-identified person it was very hard to get matches and the whole process was a tremendous amount of work. As a female identified person (though still dating women) the number of matches I have is basically infinite. Most of the other steps are easier too, though it is still a fair amount of work to get someone to show up. But when they do, it's rare to find people looking for emotional intimacy. It's much easier to wind up feeling used (as an experiment or otherwise). Queer drama is crushing in its own unique way.
Even if you are reasonably attractive and desirable, people still want to invest the minimum, play the numbers game, and not commit to anything. Even if you're 90th percentile, that still means 1 in 10 are more <insert trait here> than you, so you can keep re-rolling; why not? I'm absolutely not immune to doing this myself; my standard for "Someone for tonight" is worlds apart from "Someone to have a relationship with", but it's not exactly like I'd disclose that up front, even if I immediately know what category my date is in.
After watching over my single-mother sister's shoulder while she used her okcupid account, I highly doubt it's anywhere near as confidence-destroying for women as it is men.
For her, she could login to okcupid any time she wanted an ego boost. She was constantly barraged with messages and likes, it was a completely different experience for her to login vs. me. I didn't even know those notifications stacked up across the screen, for her it was a maelstrom of attention.
Likes are cheap; they literally cost nothing. So are message that say "hi", with no indication that they've even read your profile. Logging into a dating app and discovering thousands of people -- all of whom seem to know only that you're female and therefore approve -- is as soul-sucking as getting no attention at all.
I was very popular on online dating sites, because I knew how to talk to women as if they represented something other than a place to put my dick. All of the women I spoke to were incredibly discouraged by quality of attention they received. Ask your sister what fraction of those stacked-up notifications consisted solely of the word "hi".
Most women seem to get tired of the attention that merely tells them that they're attractive. It's an ego boost for a while, and I'm sure some retain it, but it's the kind of thing you get inured to, and you want something else.
The experience for women is different, but not necessarily better, and the things that a man might crave simply because he doesn't receive it will feel empty to a woman precisely because she does. There's a cultural asymmetry that doesn't lead either side to what they're after. But men can do a lot better simply by treating women like human beings, and understanding that they've got problems different from yours.
We ended up discussing her dating experience at length at the time. Honestly it was plain ridiculous. Sure, many of the OKC messages were short "hi" or other thoughtless one-liners. But the content didn't matter, she treated them all as signals for a live one which drew her to their profiles where she would then hold a little impromptu trial of eligibility based on their photos and profiles. Most of the time she wouldn't respond, and it had nothing to do with the content of the messages. It's the photos, age, race, married/divorced status and religion that matter to her. The message notification just made her look.
What I saw was the polar opposite effect to "confidence-destroying". She became increasingly superior and picky with all the interest. And when she did go on real dates, she would find the smallest flaw as fatal because she had the impression that there were an effectively unlimited supply of competitors.
It does sound as if she got "gamified", taking pleasure in the app giving her pings. Such things afflict most of us in one way or another (including me). I suspect she'd find it more satisfying to seek out thoughtful men who are interested in her as a person -- but like I said, she should do whatever she wants.
My understanding of women's take on dating apps is, of course, heavily informed by the fact that they were usually dating me, and selected for that.
One of them said that for some women, it was pretty good if you like incoming messages and interest.
But for the other women, it was horrible because you'd get ignored, except for those weird cock shots most women get, which adds a bit of creepiness to make the experience worse.
Basically, women are sorted into attractive and unattractive by whatever arbitrary standard of the day, and the latter cohort had very little interest.
The statistics also indicated that skin colour made a big difference.
The real tinder, the tinder investors actually give a fuck about, the tinder that’s about one night stands and casual encounters, that tinder is doing fine and has always been doing fine, regardless of the dying puritan tinder the media solely focuses on. Simply put, no one has offered a replacement. Long tinder.
But, there may be other reasons why it doesn't work for some people: supply and demand. Those demographics that are in high demand will find that they have a lot of dating choices, for instance (women in their 20s are in extremely high demand) whereas older women have a much harder time. You can see this reflected in the # of profiles per age group. In the 20-30 group there's almost 3 to 1 ratio of males to females, at least in SF, when I last did the count. On other hand male to female ratio is almost even in the 40-50. and for over 50 males will have a big advantage because there's more women than men.
There are the same number of 40/50 year olds but males will target younger females. Where women will stay in there age range so they have less choices and the 20 year old female has more. So the 40 male who sticks to his age group would have more choices. The 20s male will have more competition but should come out on top. The 40 male who sticks to 20 year olds must strike out a lot.
Some regions like san antonio or san jose simply have more males than females ~ roughly 2-9% more. That doesn't sound like a lot, but run the numbers on this. If 80% of the population is already coupled up, that leaves 20% single. Now if you have 29% males and 20% female, it means single males outnumber single females almost 3 to 2, which is quite a large margin.
For me the hard part was just finding new girls outside of my immediate social circle. Tinder just helped me meet lots of new girls I would have normally never met.
I was on online dating for years and it was a huge waste of time, but met my fiancée through the local improv community.
If something works for you by all means do it, but if nothing seems to be working it's definitely a worthwhile step.
But you can also use Tinder alongside this. And if you can't meet anyone by nature of your job, then you're not left with many hours of daylight to meet people more organically. That's why dating apps are so helpful.
Somehow in these conversations though, people seem to reveal that they were under the impression that a dating app like Tinder was a completely replacement for a social life instead of a useful supplement. I think your advice is in this category.
If you are unable to take it a step further than the dating, it's not Tinders fault.
My wife is a dating coach, and it always amazes her (and me) how unwilling men are to learn and improve themselves. It is not working for them, yet they don't accept advice that could drastically improve their chances. Women are way different in this.
And yes, my wife and I met on Tinder ;).
As for self-development, I agree with you that men tend to be unwilling to learn a lot of the time. But from what I've seen from women, they also don't really want to learn. It's how people are.
Tinder is, for the most part, heavily reliant on first impressions with regard to looks. If you are a man and you are seeking women on Tinder, you better have your shit together when it comes to that, or you're not going to get anywhere.
This means high-quality photos, clothes, haircut and so on. I'm not saying this is a lot, because dating can be expensive anyway. It's more so that men are not really encouraged to invest in their looks and wardrobe as much as women are.
If you're getting matches and you're not converting them to dates, well, that's another thing entirely.
Here is what I'd like to see:
First-name only user names, real names/account names should be hidden or opaque
No association with or dependency on external social media accounts
Reasonable monthly service fee (around $10/month) with the promise of no advertising, tracking, geotracking, or selling of user data
Pull only notification
Strict never-match criteria
Hyper-local geographical matching, with ability to turn on (I'm heading out tonight and am available) and turn off (the rest of the time)
One of the (many) major flaws in capitalism is that it incentivises the elimination of competition.
I think capitalism might be better off without corporations.
Sorry for being brash, but I've been seeing a lot of unjustified "just bring in the anti-trust hammer, that will fix all the problems in tech" posts lately, and most of them are fairly baseless.
If Match owns all of the dating sites/apps and intentionally makes terrible matches to keep people engaged and buys out any competitor that challenges that, well we call that abusing a monopoly.
If you've been seeing "anti-trust" mentioned a lot with the tech industry lately, it's probably because the tech industry is a huge unregulated market just overflowing with anti-trust concerns.
My point is that competing hotel brands did not need the government's help to come into existence, and the barrier to entry for a new hotel company is insurmountable compared to writing a dating app.
Plenty Of Fish was launched in 2003. They were bought by Match in 2015.
Hinge was launched in 2012. They were bought by Match in 2018.
Meetic was launched in 2001. They were bought by Match in 2009.
I agree, why don't we give other firms the chance to compete organically with Match? And maybe the right way to do that is to block Match from buying them.
I mean, in your scenario, if I had a successful dating app and wanted to be acquired by someone, I could end up being prevented from doing so.