Tinder sparks half a billion matches

Like Hot or Not but for dating, the 15-month-old app is matching young people left and right.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
2 min read
Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

LOS ANGELES -- Just 15 months after launching, mobile dating app Tinder has already made 500 million matches, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder Justin Mateen told CNET at the service's headquarters in West Hollywood on Friday.

Launched last September out of media conglomerate IAC's Hatch Labs, Tinder is a smartphone app for meeting new people, dates in particular, with the swipe of a finger. Swipe right on a photo to like someone and if he or she does the same, then you're a match and the two of you can start chatting. Otherwise swipe the other way to move on to an endless stream of potentially more appealing mates.

Swipe right to like. Tinder

Coupled with a strategy of targeting cool college kids in cities around the world, this playful format has quickly made Tinder a go-to, daily habit for millions of young people. The service continues to stay mum on just how many people use it, but Mateen wasn't shy about talking about some of the app's other impressive stats.

During peak hours, for instance, Tinder processes 50,000 requests per second. A request includes all Tinder actions like a log-in, photo upload, or swipe. Every day, there are 400 million profile ratings -- aka a swipe left or right. And, on average, the company makes 4.5 million matches per day. Tinder, which insists that it's less about dating and more about making connections romantic or otherwise, is also responsible for at least 100 marriages, CEO Sean Rad has said previously.

Perhaps most interesting, or troubling if you're a parent, is that teens have become one of Tinder's fastest growing audiences. Kids 13 to 17 years old represent around 7 percent of Tinder's population, Mateen said, and the segment is on the upswing. Young adults 18 to 24, meanwhile, are the largest bunch of Tinder users, representing 53 percent of the population. But the slightly more mature demo of 25- to 34-year-olds is also growing fast and stands at close to 32 percent of users, he said.

A subsidiary of Match.com-maker IAC, Tinder insists that its parent company is really just its largest investor. Independent or otherwise, Rad's and Mateen's mobile dating machination has, in just over a year, made its mark on pop culture by turning the Hot or Not fad into a mobile game with benefits.