Here’s How Tinder’s Co-Founder Came Up With Their Iconic ‘Swipe’ Feature

By 11.18.16
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You could make the argument that Tinder’s greatest gift to the world hasn’t been the ability to get laid with ease but the ‘swipe’ feature that Tinder has become so famous for. There were plenty of successful dating apps before Tinder and there have been countless app clones since then, but the ‘swipe left’ and ‘swipe right’ is something which has transcended Tinder. The swipe is also what keeps people coming back to Tinder because it made the act of searching for a date easier than ever before.

Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen is the man who came up with the swipe feature, and he recently penned an article on Business Insider in which he discusses the backstory of how he came up with Tinder’s iconic swipe:

I knew that if Tinder were to replicate human nature the user’s decisions would need to take effect instantly and feel second nature. But could an app keep up with human intuition? I put myself in the place of a typical Tinder user: a college guy, walking across campus, coffee in one hand and phone in the other, rapidly searching for matches between classes. In doing so, I realized that instead of the push of a button, what I needed was a gesture that wouldn’t require an exact target—something that wouldn’t require the user to be so precise. The gesture needed to allow for quick decision-making and fluidity of motion. But what would that gesture be? I racked my brain over the course of a few weeks.

Then, one morning, I jumped into a hot shower. It was a normal day in every way—I wasn’t even thinking about Tinder. I was just, you know, lathering up and getting ready for work. About half way through my shower I realized I forgot to turn on the fan. No big deal, it happens all the time. When I stepped out, the room was especially foggy. I wiped the mirror clean, but within a minute it was fogging up again. I wiped it clean a second time, only this time, I wiped in the opposite direction. I saw a familiar face looking back at me in the clear sliver of the mirror that my hand had just…swiped.

In his article on Business Insider, Jonathan Badeen discusses how early on in the building of Tinder he had a burning urge to gamify the app, which was pretty common of other popular apps at the time (ie., 4square/Swarm).

There’s nothing super profound about his story, his epiphany in the shower, but I do find it fascinating when brilliant people like Jonathan are able to open their minds and realize when the solution is right there in front of them. The answers to all of our questions can typically be found in everyday life, and sometimes it’s impossible for us to see them. I’ve always believed that one of the biggest indicators of whether or not someone will be successful is a person’s problem solving skills. If someone’s able to passively think about complicated problems and come up with solutions by observing everyday life then I think that person’s typically going to end up very successful in life.

To read the rest of Jonathan Badeen’s article on Business Insider you can CLICK HERE.

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