Tinder not just for hookups or casual dating: Study

Not just for hookups and casual dating, some of Tinders over 50 million worldwide users are utilizing the platform for their own purposes – from multilevel marketing to political and health campaigning to promoting local gigs.

Tinder's meteoric rise in popularity has cemented its position as the go-to dating app for millions of young and not-so-young users.

The researchers from Concordia University explored this so-called "off-label use" – a term borrowed from pharmacology describing when people use a product for something other than what the package says – in a new research paper.

"When people encounter a new technology, they use it in ways that fit their needs and lifestyle," said Stefanie Duguay, Assistant Professor in Concordia's Faculty of Arts and Science.

"However, once you buy a hammer, it doesn't undergo regular updates or develop new features – apps do. They come with their own marketing and sets of features, which they regularly update and often change in response to user activity," Duguay added.

Duguay looked at dozens of media articles about people using it for purposes other than social, romantic or sexual encounters. Finally, she conducted in-depth interviews with four "off-label" users. She then compared and contrasted these different approaches.

"I found that a lot of the time, Tinder's expected use – dating and hooking up –informed or complemented their campaigns," she noted.

Many Tinder users who were on the app for its expected uses became upset when they discovered these profiles' actual aims.

According to her, conversations involving Tinder tend to not to be taken very seriously because of the app's association with hookup culture. This dismissiveness obscures a larger point.

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