It is undeniable that the growth and advancement in technology have helped people in various ways. It is not limited to the ability of getting acquainted with new people. Although the phenomenon of meeting new people through platforms that may lead to possible friendship and relationship is not a new concept, but with today’s technology, meeting new people can be done with just one swipe of a finger away.
According to statista.com, dating app usage in Indonesia grows exponentially, from 2.47 million users in 2017 to 3.04 million users in 2019. It is backed up by the penetration rate of these applications, which is at 1.12% in 2019. 50% of those users are millennials, ranging from age 25-34 years. However, according to a research conducted by YouGov.com, more than half of millennials who use dating apps are embarrassed to admit that they met their friends or partner from a dating app. These facts show that dating applications fascinate people in Indonesia, but the negative stigma of dating apps is still there.
Titled “Finding Friends in The Digital Age”, CoHive brought this fascinating discussion through one of its flagship programs, CoTalks. The event aims to give insights about the dynamic of using a platform to find and build friendships. The speakers are Giuliano Octavianos (Director of Marketing and Business Development of Tinder Indonesia), and Dr. Vivid F. Argarini (Youth Counselor, Motivator and Media Practitioner).
When hearing the name ‘Tinder’, most people would probably think that it is a dating app, specifically to find possible boyfriends or girlfriends, but Giuliano explained that Tinder is not merely a dating app; Tinder is a global social discovery app. He highlighted that Tinder can help single people to find new circles and friends with the same or different interests. The reason behind this brand campaign is because Tinder has been in Indonesia since 2012, but the stigma of dating apps has not been widely accepted among Indonesian. To break that stigma, Giuliano conducted promotional materials to introduce Tinder to a wider audience in Indonesia. These advertisements were in collaboration with Bujang Rimba and VICE Indonesia, and made to relate with Indonesian’s day-to-day life. One of the videos titled “Tinder Indonesia x Bujang Rimba: #CariJodohKondangan-mu” received 12 million views on YouTube, proving that Indonesian like anything that hits close to home.
To ensure user’s safety and trust, Tinder Indonesia has a specific product for that, which is ‘Selfie Verification’. This feature requires users to do a selfie, which then be matched with the pictures they post on their profile. When the selfies and pictures posted match, users will be verified through a blue tick on their profile, stating that they are in fact a real person and not a fake account.
Although in the past, magazines were used by people who are looking for new friends. Much like Tinder, people input their names, biodata, and any supporting information to attract their potential new friends; the difference between then and now is the platform used. Social discovery applications help people to build networks and friendship much easier, especially those who are afraid to make direct conversations with new people. Users can do ‘background checks’ on their new friend, figure out whether or not they can get along, prior meeting them in person. At the end of the day, the app is there for the convenience of finding friends, however responsibility of usage should be borne by every stakeholders.