In less than two years, two young entrepreneurs turned a fun dating app into a cultural icon, a part of the everyday conversation, a household name—Tinder. Here’s how this little startup blazed a trail for itself in the startup landscape, against all the odds.

What is Tinder? It’s a smartphone app that uses your location to scout out potential dating partners in your area. If you like what you see, you swipe to the right, and if they liked you too, you get a match! Consider it like a version of hot or not, only you’ll be prompted to send them a message if and only if you both swiped in the right way. If you don’t like what you see, swipe to the left, and that person won’t be able to contact you. Easy and simple to use, addictive, and fun!

So how does Tinder stand out in comparison to the other hordes of mobile dating apps out there?

 Tinder Stats


  • An estimated 50 million people use Tinder every month.
  • There are more than 1 billion profile swipes per day on Tinder.
  • Tinder makes 12 million matches made per day.

So how did Tinder become so huge?

Founders Rad and Mateen turned it into a GAME. One that was fun, addictive, and didn’t even really matter if you had a match, because the swiping action would be enough fun for the user.

“We always saw Tinder, the interface, as a game,” Rad said. “What you’re doing, the motion, the reaction.” So Rad and Badeen modeled the original stack of potential matches’ faces after a deck of cards. When playing with physical cards for inspiration, their natural urge was to interact with the top card by throwing it to the side. Thus, the iconic Tinder swipe was born.”

Gamification is a sure-fire way to engage users, and especially considering the low-retention spans of people on mobile dating sites, Tinder incorporated that into its platform very successfully.

Tinder’s Worth

Bloomberg set out a controversial statement that Tinder is worth $5 Billion, which stirred up a lot of discussion about that far fetched number. It’s likely to be valued closer to $1 Bil, which is generous as well considering that the online dating world is not as large as most would think.

If anything though, two guys who met in high school set out to create a gamified dating app that would become part of our everyday lexicon. That’s certainly a big feat.

Have a chuckle and listen to what some Tinder users endure. Remember to Tinder respectfully.

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