Partnerships

Grubhub And Tinder Reveal The Impact Of Food On Modern Dating Etiquette

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Is dinner and a movie still a go-to date, or is that passe in a world of swipes? Two of Millennials’ favorite services - Tinder and Grubhub - teamed up to uncover the dining and dating preferences of modern singles.

"Most first dates involve food, so partnering with Grubhub to learn more about how eating preferences affect compatibility was a perfect fit for us," said Rosette Pambakian, vice president, global communications and brand of Tinder. "The findings are interesting and highlight the important role food plays in dating."

The poll surveyed more than 2,000 Tinder users across the US. Participants used Tinder’s signature swiping system to indicate their food-related dating preferences, revealing a significant divergence from longstanding stereotypes.

Coffee Meets Bagel Partners With Yelp And Spotify For New Products

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Coffee Meets Bagel has launched two new tools to help its busy singles find love.

Since 2012, Coffee Meets Bagel has strived to stand out from the swipe-saturated mobile dating crowd. The app makes dating efficient and accessible by presenting members with one curated match each day at noon, eliminating the need to sink hours into searching.

The stripped-back strategy won over users around the world, and Coffee Meets Bagel has steadily expanded its reach and offerings over the years. The company secured $7.8 million in a Series A financing round back in 2015 and has introduced an array of new features, including Photo Lab and Send A Woo, in the time since.

The latest additions to the CMB family come courtesy of collaborations with Yelp and Spotify. The pair of web apps, called DateSpots.co and Mixtape, are designed to ease the awkwardness of getting to know someone new.

Tinder And Spotify Partner To Turn Up The Volume On Your Love Life

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Tinder & Spotify Partner
Tinder & Spotify Partner

Tinder has swiped right on a relationship with Spotify. The online dating app and music streaming service are partnering to launch a handful of new features for musically-inclined singles.

“Tinder already suggests matches based on your swiping preferences, mutual friends and common interests, but we know we can always add more to the equation,” says Tinder’s company blog. “That’s why we’ve matched with Spotify to integrate music into the swiping experience.”

Two big changes are on their way for Tinder users. First, users who connect their Spotify accounts to Tinder are now able to display their top songs on their profiles. All Tinder users can play previews of other people’s top songs via Spotify, without leaving their Tinder profiles. If you have your Spotify account connected, you’ll also be able to see which artists you have in common with potential dates.

Dating app Grindr hooks up with Chinese gaming investor

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The business of online dating continues to grow, as more apps enter the market and compete for funding from investors ready to cash in on the next Tinder. The latest financial news in the industry involves popular gay dating app Grindr, who just announced that Chinese online gaming titan Beijing Kunlun Tech has taken a “majority investment” in their app.

According to The New York Times, Beijing Kunlun’s stake in the company will be about 60%, with the remainder to be owned by Grindr employees and Joel Simkhai, the company's founder. The valuation of Grindr seems to be about $155 million according to the same article, although the actual amount invested was not disclosed.

Interestingly, Grindr had not raised capital from outside investors prior to their deal with Beijing Kunlun. The company was started and funded by Simkhai himself, who began with only a few thousand dollars. He grew the company and the brand: according to PC Magazine, the average user spends up to 54 minutes a day on the app – a figure that exceeds Facebook’s 42 minutes and Instagram’s 21 minutes.

According to leaked documents back in August, Grindr predicted pulling in about $38 million for 2015.

According to Financial Review, Carter McJunkin, chief operating officer of Grindr said in an interview: "We have users in every country in the world, but in order to get to the next phase of our business and grow faster, we needed a partner," McJunkin added that the relationship made sense for Grindr because of Beijing Kunlun's digital expertise, and because the company agreed to let Grindr's founders continue its operating structure and retain its current team.

Beijing Kulun saw Grindr as a good opportunity to expand beyond its core gaming focus, into more of an overall “lifestyle” brand. 

It’s interesting to note that Beijing Kunlun’s choice to purchase stake in a gay dating app seems incongruous, since homosexuality is still a taboo subject in China, and many gay people face widespread discrimination. It is not clear if Grindr intends to expand its business into the Chinese market, but there would be social stigma to overcome.

Beijing Kulun might see Grindr as a sound investment above all, despite its target market. Or perhaps they are paving the way for other Chinese investors to expand and reach out to invest in more diverse, successful brands outside of China. "We have been very impressed by Grindr's progress to date and are extremely excited about the future of the company," Yahui Zhou, chairman of Kunlun, said in a statement. "We will continue to seek out and invest in high-quality technology companies led by top-tier management across the globe.” For more information on this gay dating app you can check our our Grindr Topic.

Are Facebook’s Friend Suggestions Linked to Dating Apps?

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Let’s face it – our information is out there digitally for all the world to see, or at least those who are interested in Googling our names. But we like to know what kind of privacy controls are still in place for our social media accounts. We don’t want Facebook sharing our posts with just anyone, and perhaps you keep your Instagram account private, too.

But what happens when Facebook starts to encroach on what you like to keep separate? For example, Facebook has a “suggested friends” page where it connects you with people in your social circles – maybe someone you knew back in high school or through a previous employer, and you would like to friend him/her. But what happens when the suggested friend is someone you don’t care to see again – say a Tinder date gone wrong?

Apparently, this is happening more and more, but strangely, no one really knows why. News website Motherboard investigated the link between Facebook and dating apps like Tinder and OkCupid, to see where the connection lies and if they are sharing information unbeknownst to their users.

According to Motherboard, Tinder, OkCupid and Facebook all deny sharing information with each other. Plus, most of these unwanted contacts that are suggested to Facebook users share no Facebook friends nor do they have a shared workplace history or any other connection besides being a potential or previous date.

So exactly how are these apps and Facebook tracking movement (and connections) we don’t necessarily want them to see? Shouldn’t your online dating life be kept separate from your social media circles until you meet someone special and YOU want to include them in your circles? Probably the last person you want to see as a Facebook friend suggestion is your one-night stand from two weeks ago or the date who stood you up.

So why does this keep happening? The answers are unclear. As the companies deny sharing information, there are other ways that your connections can leave a digital trail that makes its way to Facebook.

One such way is through your phone. If you message one of your dates, even if you don’t save the contact information, depending on your Facebook settings the service is able to pull contacts you have messaged and called on your phone to help expand your social circles. Motherboard found one such notice from Facebook while testing this out. The article says: “Facebook does say it bases its suggestions in part on ‘imported contacts,’ but this is something users have to opt into on the mobile app or desktop... I don’t ever remember agreeing to import my contacts, and yet when I checked my “invite history” page I had 900+ contacts saved, apparently were continuously syncing and updating, that I promptly removed. Facebook warned this could make my friend suggestions ‘less relevant.’”

Another reason could lie in Facebook searches. Chances are before a date you want to look up some information about a person over social media, doing due diligence to get to know the person you were about to meet. Perhaps you searched for them on Facebook, which would mean they could show up as a suggested friend – after all, Facebook knows you looked for them, not that you were interested in dating them.

At any rate, these digital connections will continue to increase, so it’s important to be prepared to see people you may not want in your suggested circles. If nothing else, just delete.

Another Revenue Stream for Tinder: Music

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Recently, Gap came under fire from Tinder executives by posting fake profiles advertising their wares on the dating app, hoping people would swipe right to participate in a new campaign. The problem was that Gap didn’t get Tinder’s permission, so Tinder ordered Gap to take them down.

But Tinder isn't cracking down on fake profiles or spam-like ads for all companies looking to promote (though it did hire an agency who is cracking down on their spamming issue). Tinder only allows companies who are actually paying to post their fake “profiles” - and these companies are reaching their target audience of young consumers in a really big way.

Native advertising on Tinder works like this: the company creates a "profile" targeted to its audience, and uploads to Tinder. From there, users will come across the profile and swipe left or right, depending on if they like what they see. Companies that have done this recently include Starbucks and Dominos Pizza.

But now, it's not only companies looking to advertise - musicians are taking advantage of Tinder’s user base, using the service to promote new videos and album releases. Because musicians are constantly looking for new ways to reach their audiences and gather new fans, they have become more creative in their online promotions. Tinder is the latest tool, and recently did a campaign with singer Jason DeRulo.

Forbes reported that Jason Derulo became the first musician to use the Tinder promotional strategy to launch a new single. When users swiped right, they were given in link to a YouTube page where they could watch the brand new video for his new song, which was also getting a huge push via radio. The campaign was a success: over 1.1 million people swiped right (meaning they liked him) – in three days. The song became a top 40 hit, with 14% clicking through to purchase his song on iTunes.

Of course, it helped that the song was speaking to his target market – daters who are looking for a late-night hook-up, a la Tinder. In the video, DeRulo is shown fantasizing about a woman he had sex with, jumping out of bed in the middle of the night to go to her apartment, where she is of course fantasizing about him, too.

The success of the campaign will surely capture the attention of other musicians and companies who want to appeal to their target audience: young singles. These companies are also finding that effective advertising means meeting these people on their own turf – social media, rather than traditional stuffy ad campaigns. People are much more mobile, and looking at their phones more than looking up at a billboard.

One thing’s for sure, Tinder doesn’t have to worry about meeting revenue goals through subscriptions to its premium (and pricey) service. Companies will likely be more than willing to offer money for campaigns that have this type of success rate.

For more on this popular dating app you can read our review of Tinder.