According to our most recent survey, about one-third of all State students have, or once had, a Tinder account. The so-called dating app, Tinder, is probably best associated with being used to find a quick hook-up, although that’s not what we find students mostly use it for. Regardless, nearly everyone on campus knows about Tinder, even if not all students use it. In the poll, just 16% said they had never heard of Tinder.
The survey, which took place September 24th-29th, asked students about how they used dating apps. We found that 36% of students said they currently had a Tinder account, or has on in the past. These results seem to support Tinder’s claims that it “has amassed about 50 percent of its population through college-based users aged 18 to 24.”
We also find, though, that males are more likely to have a Tinder account. While 40% of males used Tinder, just 30% of females did. On the other hand, 88% of female students had heard about it, while fewer males (80%) said the same thing. These results suggest more women are choosing to not use Tinder, even though both sexes equally know about it.
Why do so many students use Tinder? The co-founder of Tinder, Justin Mateen, points out that college students are more likely to use an application if a peer is using it due to the highly social atmosphere on most campuses (even I can admit to having a Tinder, at one point in time). Yet, for any males who read the article titled, “High-Speed Digital Dating Gets You More Ass Than the L Train”, you might want to think again. While a slight plurality (44%) of male students agreed that their experiences on Tinder had been positive, responses from female students were more mixed. Female students were twice as likely to indicate that their experiences on Tinder had been negative.
Are students telling the truth? It is possible that more students use Tinder, but won’t admit to it. Or, that more students use it for hook ups, but don’t want to share that information due to social desirability biases in surveys. Social desirability is the idea that when people self-report an answer on a sensitive topic like sex, they answer in the most socially acceptable direction. The results suggest males and females have different opinions about Tinder, but maybe females are more likely to answer in a socially desirable direction.
Males reported to using the application much more frequently than females, and this led to greater satisfaction of the app. Of males that reported to using Tinder, 70% reported to using it daily versus the 30% of females. Of the males that reported to using Tinder daily, 51% stated that they were happy with the application. Females reported less use of the application overall. There is a possibility that females are more turned off by Tinder because of the way some are initiating conversation. For example:
This guy is not alone in not taking Tinder all too seriously. Among students using Tinder, 59% reported their primary motivation was, “for fun.” The New York Times published an article stating that, “On Oct. 1, the company surveyed the use of the app within New York City during the peak hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It found that during an average hour of use, 620,000 profiles were rated, 19,000 matches were made and more than 60,000 messages were exchanged.” This study was conducted over a year ago and since then Tinder has largely expanded. However, this survey still shows merit to the fact that most peoples’ motivations behind Tinder are one word, fun. Since there were such a large number of profile swipes and such a low number of messages to the 19,000 matches, it shows that Tinder users are more intrigued by receiving a match from the game of someone random, or the person next to you in class, swiping left or right based on your personal appearance. As reported in a SessionM survey of 456 Tinder users, 28% reported to getting receiving a match “making their day” and 30% feeling “very excited”.
The main motivation behind the “social dating app” seems to be to get a couple ego boosts (or the opposite depending on which profile picture you use). during those spare minutes before class starts, or late night entertainment for a group of friends. So whatever your motivation may be, Tinder on.
Click on the link below to download a PDF of the results from the our recent flash poll, and the SPSS file for the data. Feel free to email us if you have any questions.