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It’s Like Tinder For…

The mobile dating app’s success with young consumers has led to “the Tinder effect.” Swipe right/swipe left design is becoming a go-to design for apps that want to get the attention of Millennials and teens. Here are some of the “it’s like Tinder for” startups to know.  

These days, you know a company has found some success when you hear every new startup compared to it. For example, how many time shave you heard, “It’s the Uber of…” in the last six months? Tinder is the latest startup to be flattered by a slew of imitators, who are using the app’s simple “swipe right to accept, swipe left to reject” design and applying it to other ideas in order to attract young, mobile-focused consumers.

It started with other dating apps—as BuzzFeed pointed out, right now “there’s a Tinder for pretty much everything,” from threesomes to dog dates to cuddling. (Yes, we said cuddling.”) But we have quickly seen the Tinder Effect spread to other areas. When we wrote about the mobilization of job-hunting for the next generation of workers, we included the app Jobr as one example. This “matchmaking app” for employees and employers that lets users browse prospective companies or staff with a simple swipe. Jobr connects to LinkedIn accounts and surfaces relevant matches, and if recruiters and candidates choose one another they can make contact through the app.

We’ve also seen the Tinder browsing design adopted by shopping startups trying to make a mobile “window shopping” app that will draw in Millennials and teens who are already making purchases on their phones, but aren’t finding any apps to help them shop ‘til they drop. The most buzzed about these, Spring, gives users a visual feed of products, a la Instagram, which can be purchased through the app with a swipe, like dates are chosen on Tinder. Fashion brands upload their own looks, and users can follow any designer to create a customized feed of items they might want to purchase. “It’s like Tinder for…”has quickly become a phrase used to describe up and coming mobile startups simplifying processes and using the addictive swipe design to hook young users. Here are three of the Tinder-influenced startups to know: 

It’s like Tinder For: News

Newsly is Tinder for news stories, creating a feed of headlines that can be sorted through with, you guessed it, a swipe to the right or left. The app was showcased at the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe 2014 hackathon, and was “hacked” by a trio of UCL students overnight. The news stories are shown on cards with a main image, a headline, and a short subhead to tell them a little more about what it’s about.  After 20 swipes the app begins to learn about its users’ article preferences and surface more of the news it knows they will be interested in, but resets after a set period to prevent too narrow of a focus. The Newsly team is currently adding more features to potentially prep the app for launch. 

It’s like Tinder For: Politics

Votr gamifies politics, making selecting the politician you support into a simplified mobile experience. The app allows users to “evaluate all 161 candidates for the 36 open U.S. Senate seats, based on issues like abortion and the environment, and everything from military experience to pet ownership.” Users answer a few questions about their beliefs—with emojis, of course—then sift through candidates to find their  “Senate soul mate.” Votr is the brainchild of Vocativ, an online publication that wanted to get young people more invested in politics. The Vocativ team is also using the swipes to collect data on beliefs and get new story ideas for their site. 

It’s like Tinder For: Wedding Registries

Millennials have been bringing their tendency to create shortcuts and cut through red tape to the major milestones in their lives, including weddings. New app Zola uses a Tinder-like “swipe to reject” function to create modern wedding registries for young couples, a tool made for the generation that wants to complete tasks efficiently, and often digitally. Zola’s “Blender” feature surfaces various gifts from a database of thousands of products that users can add to their registry with a swipe.