Models or Matches?

Tinder allows companies to publish in-app advertisements

When swiping, you may me matching with more than meets the eye as Tinder allows companies to create in-app advertisements.

In April 2015, Tinder released its first ever in-app paid advertisement campaign through a partnership with Anheuser-Busch. The company’s Bud Light brand released a set of video advertisements that appeared directly in user’s swiping feeds, promoting the ‘Whatever USA’ campaign.

While this was the first paid set of advertisements to run on Tinder, other companies previously used the app to push promotional material. In 2014, The Mindy Project created Tinder profiles for characters of the show to promote it’s upcoming season. To Tinder users, it appeared as if they were swiping right on an actual person – whereas the Bud Light video series were a set of disruptive advertisements that did not look like user profiles.

The same year The Mindy Project took to Tinder, Domino’s UK got in on the swiping action. Users who swiped right on Domino’s Pizza advertisements received coupons and discounts through Tinder.

According to Tinder co-founder Sean Rad, 1 in 5 Tinder users swipe right on advertisements, proving companies using the dating app for advertisements are gaining high engagement.

Advertising on Twitter has also entered a gray space. While brands like Domino’s and shows like The Mindy Project have hosted advertisements on the app, other brands been kicked off the app.

In 2015, Gap launched their #SpringIsWeird campaign on Tinder, featuring profiles with pictures of Gap jeans for users to swipe through. Soon after its launch, Tinder deleted Gap’s advertisements citing a breach in the terms of service.

Oddly enough, though, the terms of service state that the app can not be used “in connection with any commercial endeavors” and proceeds to state that “organizations, companies, and / or businesses” can not use the app.

Industry leaders questioned why one company could use Tinder and others couldn’t – where was the line drawn with advertising on the dating app?

For users in 2016, it is rare to go more than 10 swipes without seeing an advertisement. Tidal ran advertisements to promote Usher’s new album, Sephora had a series of advertisements to swipe on and a movie trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar children even appeared on Tinder.
As a Tinder user looking for a date, does seeing a model or actress in your user feed throw your eye? Are you seeing models or potential matches?

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