Tinder or Tripr: Turkey’s 21st century dating scene

Published 25.11.2014 00:00
Updated 25.11.2014 00:54
Tinder or Tripr: Turkey’s 21st century dating scene

After a recent night scouting out Istanbul’s dating scene, I realized that the days of matchmaking may be over forever. Tinder, a new dating mobile app, is taking Turkey by storm. It allows people to connect to others within a specific radius based on age, gender and common interests

I recently tried my prowess at matchmaking once again by setting up two friends. As someone who is in a long-term relationship, my involvement in the dating scene has, understandably, been limited to trying to connect my friends, with my most recent match up ending in an engagement and me being asked to be "best man" or in other words, their witness. To introduce my friends, we all went out on the town; however, this matchup was not love at first sight, and instead resulted in an awkward night. Calling it an early one, we went back to a friend's home where the real fun began. We spent hours checking out hundreds of potential suitors on Tinder that my friends wanted to get to know further, which happened through texting into the early morning.

By using GPS technology to locate members according to proximity, Tinder presents compatible profiles, which the user can anonymously choose to approve of or not by tapping or swiping the screen. All you see on the screen are a photo, first name, age, gender and whether or not you have mutual Facebook friends and common page "likes." Hundreds of candidates pop up on the screen, especially in a highly populated city such as Istanbul and simply swiping back and forth through potential suitors has a trance-like element making even the motion truly addictive. Meanwhile, if others whom you have approved of also "like" your profile, then you become a match, which is announced by an exciting alert that grants you the opportunity to text chat with a potential new companion.

Using Facebook profiles, the sign up process takes less than a minute and suddenly you can be surfing through hundreds of potential soul mates or friends even while stuck in traffic. FOMO (the fear of missing out) is no longer applicable as you can now be part of an active dating scene while watching TV on the couch in your pajamas.

The factor of being able to find fellow users who are also friends of friends on Facebook gives this app a more friendship-based opportunity to get to know new people and to weed out those you know you are not interested in. The mutual friends function means people come with references and you can do further research into their background in order to make a more informed decision and is also a safer way to meet new people. While the element of only being matched up with those who approve of your profile eliminates both the embarrassment factor and unsolicited messages, it also lends an enticing element to find out who felt the same first attraction and interest, albeit on screen, that you did.

Plus, it's so easy, it's like ordering pizza. You select the gender, age range and how far or close you want potential mates to be, within a 100-mile (161 kilometer) radius. Tinder, which was founded two years ago by Los Angeles party kids, who first tried it out at the University of Southern California, is rumored to have 50 million active users. In just two years, it has been made available in 24 languages and is the must-have app for the young and single and is now peaking in popularity in Turkey.

Tripr is a new Tinder-style app for travelers to connect all over the globe without having ever met in person. It connects people who will be in the same place at the same time before they even get there. Users use Facebook to create a profile and enter information about their itinerary and sites and events they will be headed for, allowing travelers to maximize the social aspect of their trips. Users sign up and enter their preferences for who they would like to meet up and then can begin anonymously swiping through new potential travel buddies. If two users "like" each other's profiles then a Facebook connection is made. The Facebook connection means you can begin building a solid friendship through more background knowledge way before you have even arrived to your destination, taking mobile dating apps to a whole new level and transcending both geography and borders.

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