Paris – 67 per cent of prosumers agree that dating apps are good for finding a partner from a likeminded community, according to a survey carried out by BETC and Havas Group amongst nearly 17,500 aged 13+ in 37 countries. And that’s not the only interesting outcome. The results also show that Chinese prosumers, in particular, choose science over their instinct to find love. 50 per cent of them trust an algorithm to find their soulmate, 56 per cent believe artificial intelligence will be able to tell them if they are really in love and in a sustainable relationship, and 57 per cent would like dating apps to incorporate a DNA match analysis.
There is no denying that dating habits have changed drastically as a result of technical innovation. And Tinder is one of the driving forces behind these shifts. So when Magasins Généraux, the creative hub of advertising agency BETC, was looking for a suitable partner for their cultural season themed Futures of Love, the choice was simple. When we visited to learn more about Tinder’s artist residency with Andy Picci, Ben Eliot and Johanna Jaskowska, we met up with the brand’s business development manager Élodie Fagan. She explains how artists inform the app’s innovations, what empowerment means in a digital age, and how singledom could inform the built environment.
What does the tagline ‘Single, not Sorry’ say about the way young generations view relationships?
ÉLODIE FAGAN: Our users are not necessarily looking for their soulmate to settle down with, but are actually very comfortable with being single and exploring. I think there is something empowering about the idea of being single and having the freedom to make your own choices. Especially for women, who actually feel stronger about advocating single life than men. It’s really important to them to be independent and not to be ashamed of being single – to move away from the ‘Bridget-Jones-eating-ice-cream’ stereotype. On Tinder we give women the opportunity to choose when and where they meet people, on their terms.
If people stay single consciously and choose to take more time to explore, will we require a different approach to spatial design, whether that’s for a hospitality venue or residential development?
I think the way this attitude translates in design – in interiors and fashion – is a growth in the attention to personal space and in enabling the ability to express yourself in it. It’s not a completely new idea. One of the first people to write about this was Virginia Woolf: everyone needs their own room. And on top of that, people today increasingly need opportunities to retreat, to disconnect. So, it’s important to us as a player – an app that people like to spend time on – to also help users to disconnect when they need to and make things happen in real life.
Everyone needs their own room
We are seeing more fluidity when it comes to love and relationships. There are less labels – we no longer necessarily long for a defined relationship status. Although I’m not an expert, I think in design we will see that as well. How do you create spaces that offer more openness, more fluidity, but at the same time allow people to retreat and reconnect with themselves?
When a connection is made on Tinder, what are the type of spaces people usually meet at?
It’s mostly in public spaces. I don’t have very specific data, but I can say that from a survey we ran last year, Tinder is actually very much used to discover new restaurants. A lot of respondents to our survey said: 'Actually I use the app because it’s such a great way for me to explore my city and try new restaurants.’ So even if someone doesn’t 'match' with the person, they are still able to enjoy good food.
It’s also used while travelling, to discover new places through the eyes of a local.
Such surveys offer you valuable insights that are translatable into services, but what do you gain from an artist residency?
For Gen Z, art is much more fluid. It exists at the intersection of digital usage, at the intersection of brands. In the digital realm, we see artists with large followings creating Instagram filters and the like. And more importantly, they are very passionate about working with brands. And that is not a given for artists. It was important that the creatives we selected for the residency – Andy Picci, Ben Elliot and Johanna Jaskowska – were from Gen Z (our core audience) and authentically interested in the message that we were pushing. It needed to resonate with them.
We asked them to go beyond the surface, and questioned what is dating today, why is it important? The reason why we did this residency is because we need artists to learn to understand what we do as well. Seeing the world through their lens brings a new level of understanding of our product.
Artists help us build for the future
What I think is interesting and indicative of the future of love is that one of the artists didn’t really think in terms of single versus in a couple – there was a lot more fluidity. That fluidity and lack of judgement, inclusivity, and diversity of experiences is something we actively integrate into the product. This year, you can choose between 40 different genders on Tinder and 15 different sexual orientations. If you are part of the LGTB community and you travel to a country that’s dangerous for you, we will deactivate your app. We are always trying to understand what matters to our users and artists are always ahead of their times. They help us build for the future.