"What are your strengths and weaknesses?". "Levels of study?" "Income per year?" These questions could be framed in a job interview, but they are far from that. Here the one who pays is the one who answers them. The questions are part of the questionnaire that must be filled in to open a profile in the EliteSingles appointment application. If you want to start a conversation or read what another user wrote you must contract a minimum plan of 90 dollars (78.50 euros) for three months. For tastes, colors … and apps to flirt. There are some for those who do not feel attractive, for the followers of Donald Trump or for those intolerant to gluten. Even if your goal is only to conceive a child, you can download Just A Baby: "Connect with other people who want to have a baby".
The more than 2,500 dating applications in the United States are the muscles of an upward market that moves more three billion dollars a year, according to the consultancy IBIS World. "Ten years ago you were apps they were one of the many ways to meet someone, today they are the main one, "says Matt Lundquist, couples therapist in Manhattan. Lundquist attributes the flourishing of new platforms to which initially minorities were ignored and often beaten. "African-American women they were not successful in Tinder and they created their own app", exemplified. So did lesbians, Jews (also those who would not convert to Judaism), Latinos, and a long list of 50 million US citizens, according to a Pew Research Center study conducted in 2016 – that with the dizzying evolution The phenomenon has become old.
The platforms have proliferated along with a sophistication of the menus they offer with cases like OKCupid (more than five million users) that allows you to choose between 12 gender identities. According an article of The Economist entitled Modern Love, 70% of same-sex couples are known through this type of applications. Kaushik, a 35-year-old heterosexual, "open to trying everything at least once in a lifetime", created a profile on OKCupid a month ago. I used to use Coffee Meets Bagel -famous for conventional- in which only women can break the ice. Kaushik got bored waiting. "The apps Dating is for women to take control and feel their desire to be treated in a super special way. Relationships are not like that, they are couples ", he says by chat. Just as there are options for the most open, there are also options for those who embrace their tastes as commandments: lovers of the beards (Bristlr), farms (FarmersOnly), or professional success (The League).
One of the most effective strainers is Donald Trump. Yes, he also gets into the Americans' bed. Following the frequency with which the message "If you voted for President Trump, slide to the left (action to discard an encounter)", Emily Moreno created DonaldDaters. "It is regrettable that the growing intolerance of the extreme left is forcing the supporters of President Trump to abandon the applications of conventional appointments," laments the entrepreneur, who has joined the new wave. Between the boxes "Describe yourself" and "A Saturday night usually …" you have to fill in "My favorite president is …". On Twitter, with Washington covered in snow, the application posted: "Very cold out there? Stay at home with Fox News tonight [la cadena de televisión que simpatiza con el mandatario] " Moreno, who avoids answering how many users the app, maintains that the platform is a meeting point for the Republicans, where politics "is not a reason to break relations, but to break the ice".
The product is the average orange
Opening an account in one of these applications is no longer a simple procedure. Uploading a profile picture and publishing the basic personal information is something from the Old Testament of apps of appointments. Now it is necessary to devote at least half an hour to answer forms of up to 100 questions and hypothetical situations. The idea is that the logarithm knows enough of the user to fine-tune as many as possible the candidates with whom it could converge. OKCupid's first question helps warm up: "How much do you want your next relationship to last: one night, a couple of months, several years or a lifetime?" Those who get complicated with this question should be warned to abandon the questionnaire because they will face dilemmas of the caliber of Sophie's decision.
"A survey does not let you know what a person is like in a fight, how he responds to stress, how he smells or how often he shaves. I think it's a difficult lesson, but we have to learn that technology will not solve the problem of dating, "says Holly Michelle Wood, a Harvard sociologist and author of an article on the behavior of singles in this type of apps. Wood adds that many, when they start dating, are obsessed with reaching their full potential as a couple, "but they spend some years dating their 99% coincidences and realize that the algorithm is flat, the questions do not help you to know to nobody".
The entry questionnaires resemble the ones that have to be filled in to choose a product when a purchase is made on-line. The difference is that Amazon, for example, there is the certainty that the more details are granted, the less chance of failure. Also, if after 30 days the product does not satisfy the customer, it can be returned with a refund. "We are consumers and Tinder did the best job of capturing the essence of the product: the human being. A photo, a couple of words, and that's it. Now the idea is being dehumanized, "says therapist Lundquist. A criticism shared by Wood: "Ideally, apps they allow wonderful connections with people we would never know, but the slide function is inhuman, since it turns a person into an object that can be thrown away. "
In 2017, the money users spent on the five most popular dating apps on iOS and Google Play almost doubled that of the previous year. Without taking into account apps of games, Tinder, the queen mother of this market, was the app in which consumers spent the most, being in second place only after Netflix, according to the annual report of the data analysis company App Annie. In 2018 Tinder diversified its offer with products such as Tinder U, to meet university students, or Tinder Swipe, with testimonies from singles that tell how exciting it is to have a first date – as if to forget how disastrous the second or third parties can be. The company also created Tinder Social for users to leave as a group, but it failed and they eliminated it. "It was evident that the design features did not fit with our future direction, which will focus largely on the video, the user's location and the characteristics driven by artificial intelligence," they advance from the platform.