Tinder should know, better than anyone, that rage-fueled rambling isn't very attractive.
On Tuesday evening, Tinder took to Twitter to attack a Vanity Fair article titled “Twitter and the Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse.'” The rant went on for more than 30 tweets, and criticized the article's writer, Nancy Jo Sales, for failing to reach out to the company and portraying users in a limited and negative light.
The company began by pointedly noting what it believes to be a statistical error, as well as that dating and sex were hardly invented with Twitter's foundation in 2012.
If the company had ended its tirade there, it may have even come out on top. Sales's article rehashed many troupes of articles about "hook-up culture" written in the last few years, with women complaining about men unwilling to commit to traditional relationships, a focus on users at elite colleges and a lack of same sex relationships. The Tinder spin mostly served to repackage this narrative, without interrogating changes the app may have inspired as it has grown in popularity in the past three years.
However, Tinder did not stop there.
The company went on to mention some more positive things Sales could have discussed, all of which seem far-fetched to be included in an article about 20-somethings' personal experiences with dating apps.
And finally, finishing up after the long-winded, rambling rant:
Sales was unmoved by the tweets, retweeting dozens of positive reactions about the piece, as well as writing a few zingers of her own.
As Twitter users mocked Tinder and came out in support of Sales, the company realized that its strategy had backfired. Tinder released a statement on Wednesday saying, "Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted."
To call more than 30 aggressive tweets from an account that normally sticks to posting memes an overreaction is an understatement. The tweetstorm represented a complete misunderstanding of what Tinder users want: a means of meeting others to date and hook up with, not a political revolution. Worse, it was also a misunderstanding of how to use Twitter as a social media platform. The 20-somethings that Sales spoke with might be failing to find true love on Tinder, but Tinder is failing at using Twitter to generate good PR.
The first tweet from Tinder after the tweetstorm was posted this morning, at 8 a.m.