Tinder has become one of the most popular apps among college students, especially on UNC Wilmington's campus. However, its reputation is not necessarily a good one. Across campus, it primary use is for finding"hook-ups."
"When I think of Tinder," student Caroline Waters said, "I laugh because of the bad reputation it has, even though I use it myself."
Regardless of Tinder's associations among college students, this "hook-up app" has a special connection to the famous dating website, Match.com. The organization InterActiveCorp The Match Group is leaving a large footprint in the world of online dating, owning both Tinder and Match.com.
Match.com is known for helping individuals create long-lasting relationships, mainly for users beyond college-age. With Match.com and Tinder, IAC The Match Group is spreading the love among all ages 18 and older.
Unrelated to the apps' identical purposes, Tinder and Match.com have attained very different connotations. In general, online dating sites have not always had the best reputation--they are typically associated with desperation, and they have been deemed as dangerous.
"It seems like [dating sites] are successful for some people, which is great for those people," student Audrey Pontin said, "but I personally wouldn't use them."
These websites can be useful for some people, without hazard or ambiguity.
"When I think of Tinder, I think of an episode of Conan," Pontin said. "In the episode, Conan O'Brien and Dave Franco created fake Tinder accounts to pick up dates around Los Angeles. They met up with a girl that Dave met, and ended up proving that it is possible to meet decent people through the app."
Students have been successful in using these sites as well. They have met some nice people on and started relationships through Tinder.
"I think its reputation makes it seem worse than it is. It's not as bad as people make it out to be," Waters said. "I don't know if Tinder could be considered trustworthy, I think anyone who uses it should always be careful of what they do and say on there. I've been lucky enough to have only good experiences with the people I've met, they've all been decent."
Furthermore, IAC The Match Group is setting out to prove these sites, particularly their site Match.com, are legitimate. On Feb. 13, Starbucks and Match.com hosted the "World's largest Starbucks date," according to the Newsroom on the Starbucks website.
The website gave a quote from Sam Yagan, Chief Executive Officer of The Match Group: "'Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,' said Sam Yagan, Chief Executive Officer of The Match Group. 'Match is a ubiquitous part of singles' lives generating more dates than anyone else and more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else.'"
With the option of "Meet at Starbucks," couples on Match.com have been given the opportunity to plan a first date, complete with specials on pairings of treats and coffee, at Starbucks--just in time for Valentine's Day.
Sites such as Tinder and Match.com may not have the best reputations, but they have the same goal--promoting love.