One swipe to the right, and Elizabeth Wytas found herself heading down the aisle.
Wytas, a senior civil engineer major at California State University, Long Beach, and her husband matched and fell in love on the popular mobile dating app, Tinder. After six months of dating, the couple decided to get married.
“Tinder is embarrassing, because it’s mostly used for hookups,” Wytas said.
The app allows users to set up a personal profile for other users to see, which includes their age, location, pictures and a small description of themselves.
Users only need to swipe right on the profile photo of someone they are interested in to hopefully initiate a conversation and discover a potential match. If the sparks fail to flicker, the user may swipe left, adding to their digital pile of rejection.
If two users swipe right for each other, it is considered a match, and the two are able to message each other through the app.
Tinder’s demographics include a variety of ages, and have changed since its origin. When the app launched in 2012, 90 percent of its users were aged between 18 and 24, but now the number is closer to 51 percent, according to a 2014 article on the Huffington Post website.
Although she admits the app is entertaining, Chrystina Schwartz, a 21-year-old political science major at CSULB, cites Tinder as the “most shallow way to meet people ever.”
“People are either trying to hook up or actually make some connections and it’s totally obvious who is who,” said Schwartz. “If you have any sense of judgment, you can tell [them apart].”
Freshmen Sam Hernandez, a kinesiology major, used Tinder for a year before he eventually deleted the app on his phone.
“Why would you match me if you don’t even say hi?” said Hernandez, who considers the app shallow.
“You’re judging people on a two-second look at their photo,” Hernandez said.
Mobile dating apps are not new, but mobile dating overall is still in a growth category. According to Juniper research, the mobile dating market is expected to be worth $2.3 billion by 2016, up from $1 billion in 2011, according to the Washington Post.
Tinder is predicted to be worth $1.1 billion in valuation by the end of 2015, according to Market Watch website.
Having over 50 million active users, Tinder went from 5 million swipes a day in December 2013, to over a billion swipes a day in September 2014, while reaching 12 million matches a day, according to Dating Sites Review web site.
“Finding Alex was a fluke,” newlywed Wytas said. “Tinder just happened to be where my soul mate was waiting for me.”