It’s hard to imagine what life was like before dating apps made it so easy (in theory at least!) to meet someone new, with just a few swipes on your phone.
And yet back in the day, people would actually (gasp) have to go outside into the real world and chat someone up. It might be much simpler now, but there’s a whole new set of dating rules when you’re doing it all online.
Meeting someone via an app isn’t exactly new news – Tinder is now seven years old – so it’s easy for some people to feel a bit stagnated in their swiping. That’s when it’s time to consult the experts: like Jenny Campbell, chief marketing officer at Tinder, so she knows a fair amount about dating trends and what does – and doesn’t – work on the app.
Curious? These are Campbell’s dating tips for anyone wanting to get the most out of finding love, friendship or anything in-between online…
Use more video
Generation Z – the group which is younger than millennials – is the first generation which hasn’t really ever experienced dating without apps. This means they’re basically pros, and one big trend we’re seeing is a love of video. Campbell thinks this is great, saying: "It shows so much of your personality, it’s very authentic. I think at this point everyone knows you can retouch a photo to look different than in real life, and videos are a lot harder to do with that."
She also thinks it’s an opportunity to be even more "playful and flirty" – so it’s definitely something to experiment with.
Fill out your profile as much as possible
Filling out a dating profile can feel like a chore – who can really be bothered with it? And does anyone actually care what you write? However, this is one thing Campbell really advises you dedicate a bit of time to. "What we find is that people get a much higher match rate when they’re really specific about who they are, what they’re looking for, what they like and don’t like, and their interests," she explains.
There are various reasons for this. It means, says Campbell, "you immediately know more about that person, and you can see right off the bat they’re someone you want to connect with". Think about it – you’re far more likely to swipe right on someone who has similar hobbies to you, or at the very least if something quirky on their bio piques your interest.
It also makes the awkward first date go that bit more smoothly. As Campbell says: "Having context about them makes the conversation so much nicer – if you know what music they’re into, or their pictures show they’re into dogs. Then you actually have something to talk about, so the engagement is much more rich and fruitful. If you start from an empty profile, it’s much harder to grab onto things to be able to talk about."
Be clear about what you’re looking for
Dating apps like Tinder have revolutionised the way we date – but they do come with some stereotypes and it’s easy to think you have to wade through a lot of jokers. However, Campbell thinks this can all be solved if everyone is crystal clear in their bios about what they’re looking for.
"It’s great to be really clear about what you want and what you’re looking for, which tends to weed out people who have different intentions," she says.
For example, if you’re on holiday somewhere, Campbell suggests you update your profile to say something like: "I’m going to be in London these days and I’d really love to meet someone to show me around the city – I’m not looking for romance, I just want to see the city with someone who lives here." That way people will only swipe right if a casual meet-up is also something they’re looking for.
On the other side of this, Campbell has also seen "people getting very specific around if they’re looking to find ‘the one'" – and if that’s what you’re after, then why not be upfront? Of course, it doesn’t mean you should put that pressure on the very first date, but at least your overall intentions are clear and you can minimise time-wasters as much as possible.