#AllTypesAllSwipes for all genders

When it comes to gender, we live in a world where the definitions of male and female are not black and white. The gender spectrum fills in the gray space, encompassing more than 30 gender classifications, including transgendered, bigender, non-binary conforming and androgynous.

In early November, Tinder created the #AllTypesAllSwipes campaign, introducing 37 gender options for Tinder users. The new feature was unveiled on the company’s official blog, in a post explaining the app’s desire to be all inclusive and to allow everyone to have the opportunity to meet new people.

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Swipe The Vote: Tinder gets political

By now, if you’re on dating apps you’ve got the definitions down pat. Left is for reject, right is for ‘hey, let’s hang out one night!’. Outside of the dating app realm, though, left and right still have larger connotations, and one that should be on everyone’s mind this year: politics.

In March 2016, Tinder made headlines with it’s Swipe The Vote feature during the primaries. While users weren’t matching with a political candidate, per-say, a right swipe directed users to a quiz that allowed them to swipe on hot topics in the realm of politics and find out which candidate their values matched with most.

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Love at First Swipe

In a technology based world, how do millennials find love? It’s no secret that for a good amount of millennials they aren’t spending so much time actually looking for love… but more time swiping for it.

In 2014, Tinder released user statistics that revealed a shocking truth: the app has accumulated nearly 50 million active users that log in about 11 times a day. For women, an average swipe session lasts about 8.5 minutes, with male counterparts swiping for 7.2 minutes.

According to 2015 quarterly reports, Tinder’s traffic reaches 9.6 million active users each day, with 583,000 users paying for Tinder’s premium paid features. Since it’s no secret that the app has  plenty of users – one thing is still a mystery to most users: is there such a thing as love at first swipe?

For Kent State seniors Kate Schwanke and Sawyer Dilyard, Tinder led to a relationship that has now lasted a year and a half.

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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.

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So many apps, so little time

While each dating app serves the same basic purpose, the user experience varies greatly from app to app. From Tinder to OkCupid, no two apps are exactly the same. Based on research published by Business Insider, I tested five of the most commonly downloaded dating apps to compare and contrast the features and user experience so that you don’t have to!

Sick of looking for love in all the wrong places? Save yourself a few hand cramps from endlessly swiping and use this guide to figure out which dating app is best suited for you.

Tinder

TinderReleased in 2012, Tinder is a free, swipe-based dating application. There is a paid option within the app called Tinder Plus, allowing users more enhanced features such as setting a custom location, controlling what profile information is public and allowing you to ‘rewind’ your swipes if you think that left swipe may have been a mistake!

The gist of it: Tinder users swipe left or right on other users in hopes of making a match. If you’re swiping to the left, you’re following Beyoncé’s footsteps and kicking someone to the curb. Swiping right means you’re interested in the user. If they swipe right on you, too, you are able to privately message.

Features:

-Tinder must be connected to your Facebook. No Facebook? No swiping.

-Users can also link their Instagram accounts, allowing potential matches to see learn more about each other through images on the ‘gram.

-Tinder allows you to set a gender preference, age range preference and location preference. The app allows you to interact with users ages 18 to 55+ up to 100 miles away.

-Messaging may be started by either party and can be initiated with texts or GIFs, provided within the app… no images allowed!

-Can’t get a specific user out of your mind? Send them a Super Like! By Super Liking a user, they get an instant notification that you are interested in them and your profile is highlighted with a blue border in their stream of user options. Without Tinder Plus, users are limited to one Super Like a day – so use it wisely!

-In 2016, Tinder unveiled two new features: Recommend to a Friend and Tinder Social.

Tinder Social allows you to connect with friends who are also on Tinder and make a group. This group appears in a separate stream from those looking for individuals. If one member of each group swipes right, a group chat is activated. Tinder Social even allows you to set categories of going out, such as going to the bars, a sporting event or going to the gm.

The Recommend to a Friend feature allows users to send profiles to their friends on Tinder. Maybe you don’t think John Doe is your type, but he fits the description of your best friend’s dream mean… now you can send John Doe right to her profile! No need to frantically swipe until your friend can fine him in your feed, now you can play virtual cupid.

Bumble

Bumble description

Released in 2014, Bumble has the most similar user experience to Tinder. What caused all the buzz around Bumble? On this app, women have control. While users still swipe left or right on one another, once a mutual match is made only the female user can initiate a message. Don’t hesitate for too long, though, because matches disappear if messaging isn’t initiated within 24 hours.

The gist of it: Bumble users are still swiping away, with the same left / right mechanism as Tinder. Once a match is activated, the female users must initiate messaging within 24 hours or your prince charming will buzz right out of your match queue. There is no paid version of Bumble, all services are free within the app. Buzzin’ on a budget? Give Bumble a try.

Features:

-Users must link their profile with a verified Facebook account.

-Only women can initiate messages, but start snapping those selfies because on Bumble, picture messaging is allowed.

-Bumble’s ‘backtrack’ feature allows users to get a rejected swipe back… it may not have been love at first sight, but backtrack can help you from having a missed connection.

-Users can set a custom age range from age 18 to 80+ and interact with users up to 100 miles away.

-Looking to dance the night away? Bumble allows users to connect their accounts with Spotify, so you can view their top artists.

Bumble BFF: Trying to reach #squadgoals? Bumble has you covered. With the Bumble BFF feature, users can swipe on people simply looking for friends. This stream is separate from those on the app for romantic reasons. The best things in life are free… just like this feature on the app.

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