With the spirit of Valentine’s Day still lingering, love was on our minds when selecting this week’s Digital Darling. Just as meeting “the one” seems to be the work of fate, it was just our luck to be introduced to the co-founder and marketing director of new matchmaking app Tinder. Meet Whitney Wolfe, a California native whose appetite for fashion (think Celine, Isabel Marant, and, of course, Rebecca Minkoff) is as inspiring as her vision for social media and networking. We got the DL on what this Tinder talk is all about and how personal style can really influence your perfect match.
Tell us about Tinder: How and when did it all begin? What sparked this idea?
Tinder is a mobile app for the iPhone that shows you interesting people nearby; if a mutual liking takes place it connects you to the user. Tinder began because we realized that social discovery was broken. There are so many ways to keep in touch with your existing network but there was a missing link in terms of meeting new people. The idea behind Tinder is to never miss an opportunity to break the ice with people in your area. It shows you shared friends and interests so there is an automatic level of comfort. It’s a great way to meet people regardless of what you are looking for.
How does it work?
Tinder gathers your basic information (profile photos, age, shared friends and interests) and creates a card that people around you can see when you’re within range. They can “X” or “heart” your photo and if a mutual liking takes place, Tinder tells you that “you have a match” and you are able to chat with the user within the app. The beauty of Tinder is that there is no rejection involved, and all of our users will have a safe and real experience.
What’s your role at Tinder?
I am a co-founder and the Director of Marketing at Tinder. I handle events, college outreach, and other marketing initiatives.
Give us a glimpse into a day in your life.
I live in L.A. so everyday is warm and sunny. For the most part, I spend the majority of the day in the office keeping up with emails and going over marketing plans. We are a start-up so it’s a very friendly environment, we are always on our toes and running around trying to come up with the next step for Tinder. It is definitely a very exciting time – never a dull moment!
Is Tinder more about matchmaking or networking?
The best thing about Tinder is that it is really whatever you make of it. For some it could be strictly for a romantic connection, for others it could be strictly a friendship connection, but at the end of the day each user has given the green light to spark conversation. I personally love that we show mutual friends. It goes back to the idea of blind dates, the reason they tend to work is because a mutual friend had something to do with it. This gives an automatic sense of approval and security – it’s also a great conversation starter. However, it can be used for networking or making new friends. It’s a great way to see friends of friends around you that you haven’t had the opportunity to connect with yet.
Should people expect to find love on Tinder?
People can take what they want, it’s similar to a night out. It’s whatever the individual is looking for. You go out with your girlfriends one night and you may find a cute guy you like or you may meet new friends. It is all how you want to spin it. We have heard of love stories stemming from Tinder, and now we are even getting videos of marriage proposals, but by no means is it restricted to a romantic relationship.
How would you describe your personal style? Who and what inspires it?
I would say my personal style is classic. I like to mix edgy pieces with classic basics. Rebecca Minkoff is a go-to for me. Romantic and flirty but always refined. A typical outfit for me would be a pair of skinny Rag & Bone jeans, a t-shirt, a fun jacket or blazer from somewhere like Maje and a pair of Chanel flats. I thinks it’s all about the bag and the shoes, so whatever you do in between can range from casual to dressy. I have an obsession with bags, so I’m a huge culprit of workout clothes with a Celine oversized tote.
Do you use Tinder?
Tinder is my work life. It is kind of like working in an ice cream store…you look at ice cream all day and the last thing you want to eat when you are off work is ice cream, although I love watching other people eat ice cream (using Tinder). I am noticing more and more people randomly on Tinder, and it’s ironic because the same people who said they would never use the app a couple months ago have become the most active users. The other day I was at a fashion show and even spotted models on Tinder in the fitting room.
Pretend you’ve just met your match on Tinder – what’s your go-to date outfit?
If I meet my match I would say a go-to outfit is a good pair of skinny jeans, pointed Isabel Marant studded heels, a classic black top and a great jacket with a classic bag.
Do you think personal style affects who we’re best matched with?
I think personal style plays a huge role in who we are matched with. Our personal style largely defines our personalities. I think if two people’s styles match up there is a good chance they will click! Who knows, maybe one day we might even add style into our algorithm.