What happens when a married woman goes on tinder?

We investigated Tinder’s defensive claims in reaction to the Vanity Fair article to find that many users might not be single and swiping in North Korea gets lonely

Tinder fire off about 30 tweets in reaction to a Vanity Fair article that painted the dating app as causing a ‘dating apocalypse’. Photograph: Alamy
Tinder fire off about 30 tweets in reaction to a Vanity Fair article that painted the dating app as causing a ‘dating apocalypse’. Photograph: Alamy

Tinder fired off a series of intemperate tweets on Tuesday night in response to a Vanity Fair story that alleged the dawn of the “dating apocalypse” is upon us.

“We have a passionate team that truly believes in Tinder,” a spokesperson for the dating app told the Guardian a few hours later. “While reading a recent Vanity Fair article about today’s dating culture, we were saddened to see that the article didn’t touch upon the positive experiences that the majority of our users encounter daily. Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted.”

The handle
Tinder sent about 30 tweets during its social media rampage, and in doing so made a series of claims. But do they stack up?

How many Tinder users are married?

nancyjosales — that survey is incorrect. If you’re interested in having a factual conversation, we’re here. https://t.co/SLWlTLvJuf

— Tinder (
Tinder) August 11, 2015

Nancy Jo Sales, who wrote the Vanity Fair piece, said on Twitter (but not in the article) that 30% of Tinder users were married.

Watching: What happens when a married woman goes on tinder?

“That survey is incorrect,”
Tinder replied. “If you’re interested in having a factual conversation, we’re here. We have lots of data. We surveyed 265,000 of our users. But it doesn’t seem like you’re interested in facts.”

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Tinder hits back at research claiming 42% of its users have partners
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The Tinder account added: “Our actual data says that 1.7% of Tinder users are married – not 30% as the preposterous GlobalWebIndex article indicated.”

What the GlobalWebIndex survey actually found was: “Globally, about half of the Tinder audience is single, whereas just over 45% are attached (34% saying they are married and another 11% being in a relationship) … In the UK and US, for example, it’s two-thirds of users who are single. Among married users of Tinder, the global gender split is about 55% men to 45% women.”

The report was based on the answers of about 1,282 active Tinder users.

According to a recent piece in Marie Claire UK, there are more than 50 million people on Tinder. These surveys represent a fraction of the app’s users.

Furthermore, the problem with all of these surveys and all the data is that it relies on Tinder users telling the truth, which a married Tinder user might conceivably not do.

Are there Tinder users in North Korea?

“hi is this tinder i can’t swipe right on this phone help pls”

Tinder pic.twitter.com/dqUU1Uh6fq

— darth™ (
darth) August 12, 2015

Tinder may well have users in China, but there are probably not that many in North Korea. As Vox reporter Max Fisher points out, North Korea makes its own phones – Arirang – for its citizens, and these reportedly cannot download extra apps such Tinder.

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There could, however, be Tinder users in North Korea if they are foreigners and have brought their own phones with them. So swiping left or right in North Korea is possible but only for a select few.

How to survive the dating apocalypse
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“So while North Koreans are almost certainly not using Tinder, it is possible that some foreigners – say, Chinese tourists or businesspeople spending the week in Pyongyang – are using Tinder,” wrote Fisher. “This might be why Tinder thinks it has North Korean users: perhaps its staffers looked at geolocation data for Tinder usage, saw some pings within North Korea, and concluded that they had brought romance to the hermit kingdom.”

Joseph Cox, a writer for Vice, attempted to use Tinder in North Korea on Tuesday night, only to be told by the app that there was just one result: a 22-year-old California woman 97 miles away, who was in North Korea until later this month.

Trying again, Cox got the following message: “There’s no one new around you.”

Sam Biddle, a reporter at Gawker, was slightly luckier when he used Tinder’s premium features to set his location as North Korea. He got a total of three results.

“We have users in all 196 countries, including China and North Korea,” Rosette Pambakian, a Tinder spokeswoman, told the New York Times. “We cannot disclose additional information on our user base there.”

Could there have been 8bn connections?

“Tinder creates experiences. We create connections that otherwise never would have been made. 8 billion of them to date, in fact,” the app boasted on Tuesday.

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As mentioned above, there are an estimated 50 million people on Tinder, which would mean an average of 160 connections per person. But we don’t know how many people have used Tinder since it launched in 2012.

It is unclear whether a connection means a message, a face-to-face meeting, or even sex.

Has Tinder resulted in a ‘shit ton’ of marriages?

It’s about meeting new people for all kinds of reasons. Travel, dating, relationships, friends and a shit ton of marriages.

— Tinder (
Tinder) August 11, 2015

While many have tried to quantify the phrase a “shit ton”, there seem to be no accepted metric to convert the measure to number of marriages.

Was this all a PR stunt to have us write more about Tinder?

Possibly. At least one reporter has come forth to say that they were tipped off that the Tinder tweet storm was coming.

summeranne I in fact got a pitch from a PR person that Tinder was about to tweet storm, and I should watch for it.— Claudia Koerner (
ClaudiaKoerner) August 12, 2015

“I in fact got a pitch from a PR person that Tinder was about to tweet storm, and I should watch for it,” Claudia Koerner, a reporter for BuzzFeed News, tweeted on Tuesday.

Tinder did not respond to the Guardian about whether the tweets were premeditated or just a genuine impulsive overreaction.

Did Tinder invent sex?

VanityFair Little known fact: sex was invented in 2012 when Tinder was launched.

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— Tinder (
Tinder) August 11, 2015

We are going to chalk this one up to sarcasm.

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