Indians ‘swipe left’ on desi Tinder ad
In a new advertisement, Tinder suggests that even Indian parents approve of the dating app – but social media users aren’t convinced.
In the video, a woman is conversing with her mother as she gets ready to go out. She doesn’t admit to going out on a date, but says she is heading out for a theatre festival.
However, the mother sees a Tinder message pop up on her daughter’s phone and smiles.
The date has her “right swipe”, she says, offering her surprised daughter her stamp of approval. The video, uploaded on 7 May, has been viewed more than 400,000 times.
Facebook users have termed this advertisement’s portrayal of Tinder – which is largely perceived as a hook-up app – as “sanskaari” Tinder (which means “virtuous” in Hindi).
But there was a lot of scepticism about whether the advertisement reflected the reality in most Indian homes, where dating openly is not the norm.
Several joked that Tinder should collaborate with matrimonial websites like Shaadi.com.
“Hook Up to Matchmaking in 30 seconds flat,” said one user, while another asked: “Is Tinder the new Indian marriage matrimony??”
“Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep through a hundred years of mom evolution?,” asked one user, while another user commented cheekily: “Reality- Mom swiping right on daughter’s cheek.”
The new advertisement has been seen by some as a way for Tinder to change its positioning.
On Facebook, Tinder says its app “is how everyone today meets new, like-minded people around them – people who become friends, lovers, mentors, acquaintances, partners, movie-buddies or soulmates”.
Taru Kapoor, head of Tinder India, says the video shows the “changing dynamic” in Indian culture.
“Like every generation, the youth today have adopted strong Indian values while at the same time creating new norms and rejecting the ones that do not fit anymore in a shifting world order,” she says, in a statement emailed to the BBC.
“A mother catching a glimpse of her daughter’s Tinder notification is reflective of the future of dating in India, where youth and parents are open and honest about dating.”
Some users were supportive of idea behind the advert, despite not being completely convinced it reflected reality.
“Refreshing move by Tinder India to reposition itself as a ‘parent approved’ dating app. Although quite wishful but I hope reality reflects this ad someday soon,” said a user on Facebook, while another remarked: “Apt representation of all the people on Tinder with ‘No Hookups’ on their bio.”
India is currently the largest market in Asia for Tinder – it is where the US-based app launched its first overseas office. It was the most downloaded dating app in India in 2015 and Tinder says the app attracts over 14 million swipes each day in India.