Tender dating

AUSTIN — When the doors open at some University of Texas fraternity parties, young men and women need to hand over two items: a state-issued ID and their phone, with their Tinder University profile pulled up. ,” read a poster outside one party this spring, referring to a scannable QR code printed below a burnt-orange Longhorn.

If the students do not have a Tinder U profile, they are asked to create one, even if it means downloading the app for the first time — and even if they are in a steady relationship. “Must: be within five miles of campus, be ages 18-22, have an existing Tinder profile, have UT Austin in your profile.” As they race to sign up young adults who present their biggest growth opportunity, Tinder and Austin-based Bumble have stepped up their game on college campuses across the nation.

Beyond appealing to their target audience, the sponsorships are successful because they are not school-sanctioned and do not occur on campus, Close Scheinbaum said.

Bumble and Tinder recruit campus ambassadors — college students who promote the app on social media and in real life — including by helping to organize a sponsored fraternity party.

“More than half of our users are between the ages of 18-25, so college students are one of our core demographics,” a Tinder spokesman said in an email.

“We encourage students to download Bumble in order to attend Bumble-sponsored events during Round Up,” she added.

“Not only does this give them an opportunity to connect with other students who may be attending the same event as them, but it also gives them an opportunity to connect outside of Round Up.” While the sponsorships go mostly unnoticed by those outside the college crowd, researchers say college-aged people are now more likely than any other age group to use dating apps.

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