Tinder Isn't A Superficial Dating App -- If You Think It Is Then Its Founder Thinks YOU'RE Superficial

Tinder is a popular meet-up app that resembles Hot or Not.

Its CEO Sean Rad doesn’t like to say it’s for dating, even though that’s what most peoplethink it’s for.

Rad even met his girlfriend on Tinder.

Still, the company has never called itself a dating app.

Rad prefers to let people use it for what ever they need, be it finding new friends or meeting someone special.

He says investors often compare Tinder to location-based meet-up app Highlight, not other dating companies.

One criticism Tinder battles is that its superficial.

For a lot of people, the point of Tinder is to judge someone’s looks by swiping right to say “yes,” they’re attractive or left to say “no,” they are not.

Tinder parties have even started to emerge where a guest will hook up his or her phone to a TV screen and everyone will vote yea or nay.

But Rad feels strongly that if you think his app is superficial, you should do some self-reflecting.

“People are smart when they look at pictures,” Rad told Business Insider.

“If a girl sees a guy who looks like an Abercrombie model, there’s a good chance she’ll swipe left (“no”) because he looks full of himself.”

It’s not all about looks on Tinder, Rad says.

It’s about finding people you feel you could connect with; appearance is just one of a few ways Tinder users sort through each other.

In the past year, Tinder has established itself as one of the most popular social apps in the world.

Its growth is a hockey stick and if you put it on a chart with fellow Los Angeles app Snapchat or Instagram, the sharp growth curves would all look similar.

Tinder is about the size now that Snapchat was last year, Rad says.

But while Snapchat took a year or so to catch on, Tinder caught fire quickly.

In December 2012, Tinder launched and 20,000 people downloaded it.

The next month, the app had 450,000 downloads. Rad did the maths and determined that if he maintained that growth rate for all of 2013, he’d have more than 1 billion people using Tinder by year-end.

When we saw Rad in Los Angeles in early December, he showed us a photo of half a football stadium, packed with fans.

“More people than this sign up for Tinder everyday,” Rad said. He says 65% of Tinder’s monthly active users use Tinder daily. By comparison, 50% of Instagram’s monthly active users use it daily.

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