— Adland (@adland) September 29, 2015
Tinder is great. It helps thirsty people get laid without the whole small-talk thing at bars. Hell, it helps some fall in love, which is great! How wonderful! It also helps people find a “third” for a threesome, find very aggressive hookers, and helps couples find randos to bang once-a-month part of mutual agreements. Cool! No judgement by us on that, yo. Craigslist Casual Encounters was always creepy anyway.
Let’s get down to brass tacks here: Tinder is dating app. It is also a hook-up app and has a remarkable market share in the hook-up app game until Hinde and Bumble eventually chisel away at it. Think the dominance of Coke before Pepsi and Dr. Pepper entered the market.
Tinder is also an incredibly successful business. It’s estimated to be worth about $1.6 billion as a stand-alone entity and the major stakeholder is IAC, a publicly-traded company with a snazzy headquarters on the West Side Highway. Apparently the suits at Tinder are PISSED about a billboard in L.A. from a non-profit that encourages people to get free STD checks. As you can see, it has silhouettes having sexy time reading “Tinder, Chlamydia, Grindr, Gonorrhea.”
In a statement, the non-profit defended the billboard. Via LA Times:
“In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally just be a few feet away—as well as the next STD,” Whitney Engeran-Cordova, the foundation’s public health division director, said in a statement.
“While these sexual encounters are often intentionally brief or even anonymous, sexually transmitted diseases can have lasting effects on an individual’s personal health and can certainly create epidemics in communities at large,” the statement continued.
But Tinder isn’t happy about that projected image:
“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization,” Tinder attorney Jonathan Reichman said in a letter to the foundation.
But the problem is that Tinder and other dating apps *have* been linked with the rise of STDs in some studies. Clearly this isn’t Tinder’s fault, but more the fault of users not being smart by having safe sex. It’s probably a double-edged sword for Tinder as an organization: On one-hand, it’s a sign the product is working to the populace at large. On another, no one wants to be associated with the rise of STDs.
Meanwhile, the non-profit is standing its ground and refusing the take the billboard down. It will be interesting to see how Tinder plays the card — continue going on the war path that it’s app isn’t actually for hooking up OR actually taking steps to encourage its user base to have safe sex. Kinda seems like a no-brainer rather than fighting the public’s perception of what Tinder really is.
[H/T: Death And Taxes]