Tinder’s New Ad Campaign Promotes Real Life Love Over VR

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At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, dating app Tinder made quite a splash.

They released a video intimating an expansion into the virtual reality realm. It’s a 37-second ad that bares a resemblance to a typical Apple keynote presentation. But the reveal near the end of the clip shows that the Tinder VR headset is completely fake.

We see a couple staring at each other through either end of the “multi-user” headset, designed to give them a more realistic dating experience. You know, the opposite of what virtual reality actually does.

Tinder’s spoof is making light of the fact that seemingly everyone and their mother is entering virtual reality these days. They are also poking fun at the way their headsets are falsely promising an increase in social interaction, when that’s seemingly impossible.

There is some plausibility to using VR as a means of dating, or at least as a way of breaking the ice with your matches prior to meeting them in person. This could present an effective safety measure to prevent dangerous first encounters. It’s also just nice to see the car before you buy it.

Tinder is set for another big year, following a 2016 that saw them eclipse the 100 million download milestone. As of March 25, 2016, the dating app has reported 26 million daily matches, and an average daily use of 35 minutes per day.

But a new column in the Washington Post suggests 2017 could see a transition away from Tinder, in favor of more selective apps. Experts say that apps like Tinder are negatively impacting users’ expectations, causing them to become overly picky. The percentage of people cutting off all communication after the first date is at an all-time high (called “ghosting”).

Rather than wading through the countless array of matches, users are expected to demand a more precise variety that is more congruent with their personal sensibilities. Already, we’re seeing a bevy of new dating websites advertising on national television.

Others say that the opposite is the problem—that there are too many dating apps available. Plus, many users are dismayed in knowing that the person they like is probably chatting with an additional 20 users at any one time.

It’s remarkable to think that meeting someone in a bar is so passe in 2017, but it is. The percentage of couple who meet online is skyrocketing. With or without virtual reality technology, this trend will only continue.

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