The Rise of Snap-Judgment Dating

If you haven’t heard of Tinder yet, you probably haven’t been hanging out with any single Millennials lately. The dating app has become big buzz in recent months, finding popularity on college campuses and in urban dating scenes alike. The basic premise of Tinder is to connect you with new people in your area (within a 50 mile radius) that you already have common interests with. Using Facebook information, the service presents potential matches to the user based on a rating composed from a combination of shared friends, interests, and networks. Once two users have expressed mutual interest in one another and a match has been made, they can chat through the app and then meet up in real life.
 
On one level, Tinder is a perfect example of the technology that facilitates Millennials’ real-life interactions. It connects people with common interests, and allows them to test the waters of communication by chatting casually through the app before deciding to actually meet. A useful service with a positive purpose: helping young digitally savvy people meet and find love, and one that some may say is especially needed in the modern dating world where old structures of courtship have broken down.
 
But on another level, Tinder puts the superficial snap-judgment front and center in the pre-dating process. The most addictive (and talked about) feature of the app is the ability to filter through potential dates with the swipe of a finger. Images (and the name and age) of possible matches are shown in a seemingly endless stream and then pushed into “like” or “pass” categories— mostly based just on their profile picture, and often in a mere few seconds. Think Hot or Not for dating. To use another comparison, it is essentially the digital version of the now-defunct MTV dating show Next, in which…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite online celebrity is Jenna Marbles because she is hilarious and weird. I like how honest she is.”

— Female, 22, CA

Millennials are looking for multicultural products. According to a new Harris poll, over eight in ten 18-34-year-olds say they love exposure to different cultures, and about 32% say that purchasing and consuming foods with “multicultural flavors” is very important, compared to 27% of 35-44-year-olds and 45-54-year-olds. Almost half of Millennials also say they’re willing to spend more on brands that understand multicultural needs, and 65% agree they’re more likely to shop with a retailer that offers a wide selection of multicultural products.
(Drug Store News

National Geographic Kids is joining the chatbot revolution with a T-Rex bot. Tina the T-Rex is one of the latest bots to join Facebook Messenger, and was created to answer kids’ questions about dinosaurs. Tina’s ultimate goal is to sell subscriptions—she prompts users to sign up for the magazine at the end of conversations—and to let the brand get “into the mindset of its readers,” to form more personal relationships. Since Facebook accounts are limited to 13-year-old and older, National Geographic Kids hopes that, like their magazine, parents will use the bot along with their kids. (Digiday

Universal has discovered the “magic formula” to bring in Millennial dollars. According to a Foursquare analysis of foot traffic to theme parks, market share for Universal’s parks increased from 11% to 15-16% between 2014 to 2016, and almost half of the visitors during that time were 18-34-year-olds. Wizards and zombies are reportedly drawing in Millennials: Universal’s 2014 launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter spurred a 25% increase in visits mostly from Millennials for several weeks, and a recently opened Walking Dead attraction bought in 35% more Millennials than usual. (Skift

Brands who have jumped into VR may be making a very smart investment. A new survey from Greenlight VR reveals that over half of adult consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR over a brand that doesn’t, most likely because 71% believe brands that use the technology seem more "forward-thinking and modern." Even consumers who have yet to try VR “had good things to say about the technology:” over nine in ten report “positive feelings” after watching an informational video on VR, 65% say they are interested in trying it, and 32% are surprised with its capabilities. (Adweek

GoldieBlox is continuing to go digital to spread the fundamentals of coding to kids. The educational brand “best known for its line of engineering toys aimed at young girls,” has launched their first paid app, GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding. The puzzle-centric game follows Goldie, a young engineer delivering cupcakes, and asks players to “execute a sequence of commands,” to get her from one destination to another. The company has begun splitting their product development efforts between physical and digital, because “kids are spending increasingly more time playing on devices.” (TechCrunch

Quote of the Day: “You want me to list every concert I’ve been to in the past year? Are you nuts? I've been to like 30 so far this year.”

—Male, 29, NY

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