Tinder: The Friendship App?

Posted By Amy Rebecca on October 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm
Tinder: The Friendship App?

Tinder, casually known as a hook-up app, has garnered a bad reputation for facilitating unhealthy relationships among college students. However, a recent study by college jobs startup WayUp shows that the popular dating app might provide many different types of relationships, including new friends.

An article in CNN Money outlines the results of the WayUp study and the implications it has on how college students are really using the popular dating app Tinder. Out of 200 students surveyed about their use of online dating apps, 73% of students say Tinder is their favorite app, above Bumble and OkCupid. The results of this study were surprising: 53% of students claimed they are using dating apps to find friends, and 58% of students said that they had never gone on a date resulting from the use of a app.

Furthermore, 27% claimed that they were using dating apps to find lasting romantic relationships and only 20% admitted that they were simply seeking a casual hook-up. While 200 is not a very big sample size, the data seem to show that at least some students are using dating apps such as Tinder to foster platonic relationships.

Skeptics don’t believe that’s what Tinder is used for

If the survey results are accurate, the app could be a very effective way of finding friends. According to Inside Higher Ed, Tinder is estimated to have 50 million subscribers.

But there is room for skepticism about the results, including whether students would really admit that they used the app for dating.

According to a recent article in Inside Higher Ed, some believe the WayUp study is a bit of a stretch. After all, college is already known to be a great place to make friends based on shared interests. Why would students need a dating app to facilitate those relationships? Could students simply be embarrassed to admit that they use the app to find casual sexual relationships, and therefore claim to be using the app to find friendship? Perhaps, but there seems to be some truth to the claim that Tinder can be used for something other than finding hook-ups.

Further research indicates that there may be something to the “friendship” nature of dating apps if the students are careful to clearly state what they are looking for on their profiles. According to Lindsey Cummins, CEO of Wing, a social polling app for millennials, there are college students using Tinder to find new friends. Cummins explains that “56% of our users have used Tinder to find friends. Of those who have used Tinder to find friends, 63% of them say they’ve had better luck finding friends on the app than dates.”

Although Tinder may not be the parent-recommended way for students to find friends, it seems that Tinder may be more than just a hook-up app after all.

Amy Rebecca
Amy Rebecca is a writer and educator currently residing in Charlotte, NC. She received her MFA in creative writing with a concentration in poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles and her bachelor’s degree in English from Muskingum University.

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