Who are you really talking to?

Computer security (F)

Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Tinder, and many more are just simple ways of meeting your future soulmate in the new digital world. Easy, right?

Not so much if you encounter someone you didn’t expect at all, if someone lied about his or her identity, or event as of lately you come across “bots.” Marketing teams are now targeting these dating outlets in order to grab your attention.

This is becoming a concern among users who feel that even in their private life is being bombarded with advertising messages. Is your private life really private after all?

It’s in my strong opinion that advertisers should give some breathing space and for dating outlets to discontinue advertisers to invade the privacy of their users.

Tinder is my primary focus and the best example of this violation of privacy. Tinder was launched in 2012 and it quickly grew into a 50 million-user application. With 21 million matches each day, users are completely hooked to swiping left (not interested in the person) or right (interested in the person) on a profile. It also lists any mutual friends, common interests, distance, and of course a short biography.

This application has had it’s up and also it’s downs over the few years that’s it has been available. Though it was named the 2013 startup of the year by TechCrunch, it has also been connected with hackers abusing the matching system. Every technological system has it’s hackers, but now Tinder is encountering a new user; advertisers.

Tinder users try to market their selves to seem desirable and appealing to a prospective partner, that’s why we use certain profile picture and we have the best writer “about me” section. As we market ourselves to other individuals we are also marketing targets while using the application.

Marketing teams have realized that Tinder, being the fast growing application that it is, is also the primary place to reach out to their audience. A new way of marketing emerged earlier in March from South By Southwest and it had some users dumbfounded and in awe, more than any other marketing technique on Tinder or any application yet.

People at South by Southwest who were using Tinder realized something weird when you match with this particular woman name Eva. Once you start talking she asks a series of interesting questions; questions that you would think that any person may ask. When it seems to be a normal conversation, she then gives you her Instagram account that then gives you a link to a website.

Turns out the website is actually for a movie that is premiering at the Texas festival and some users were highly upset about this. This is a clever marketing technique that the majority of people saw was interesting and crafty. However, the public may not see the risk of advertising on such an application that deals with so much with one’s personal life.

In order to have a Tinder profile, you must have a Facebook account to connect it to. This allows a connection between a more public profile to a more private profile.  That means that when you match with a bot, they have the chance to see your interests, where you are, and your age. They potentially have the chance to access your information on your Facebook accounts too; at least see more information that could benefit them.

So why it is fair that advertisers have the right to infiltrate your private life?

No matter why people use Tinder, it’s private for a reason and not many Tinder users are public about even having the application. This is the risk with having advertisers and bots on Tinder; your private life is at the risk of being completely public.

These are interesting aspects that online dating, even including social media, that that are opening. The way I see it is that there are new protocols and screening of profiles to eliminate those that are bots, spam, fake, or even dangerous. We must protect our heart’s privacy in today’s day and age.


Kris Fuentes Cortes (F)


Kris Fuentes Cortes is a senior in communication, a Boston native, an active student around campus, and a dreamer of working in the world of music. She wants to become a tour manager for a band and travel internationally while she’s still young. She’s the assistant marketing director for UIC Radio.


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