There's reportedly a secret Tinder for rich, beautiful people - Are you SELECT?
I am privy to all kinds of benefits in numerous cities throughout North America and, in the company of friends who reside there, in the E.U. too. I receive automatic upgrades at a good number of 5-star hotels. I can go into the Hermes store and order a Birkin bag to my exact specifications without enduring the 2-3 year “wait list” tolerated by the masses worldwide. When I go clubbing with friends, we don’t wait in line, ever. These are just a little taste of the perks I enjoy on a regular basis. Regardless, I do not publicize my good fortune or have any desire to. Only those with a desire to be seen as part of the Elite broadcast receiving preferential treatment. Yes, for many reasons, favored social entre and preferential treatment is something you should keep on the “D.L” (for those of you who with a limited Urban vocabulary “D.L.” means “on the down low”). Given this, what I would love to know is who was the fool with the big mouth that “outed” Tinder “Select”?
Not that Tinder “Select” was the end all be all; of that, I can assure you. How would I know you ask? I know because “Select” is one of the privileges offered to me and longer ago that Tinder would care to admit to its general membership. The way Tinder presented "Select" to those they deemed worthy was rather cunning. Opportunity for entre came with little fanfare. It just pops up on your screen as an option with the banner “Swipe with Friends” beneath it and the opportunity to invite one friend. Following that you had a toggle switch allowing you to turn Select “on” or “off”. In hindsight, this low-key approach to the segregation of Tinder was, in my opinion, because Tinder felt that “Select” members were more likely to, as I stated was important earlier, keep it on the D.L. if Tinder didn't hype it too much. After all, Tinder built its business on 50 million “run-of-the-mill” members who, collectively, make close to 1B swipes per day. Indisputably, they have been the foundation of Tinder’s business and responsible for its enormous success to date. How would those members feel if they knew Tinder had decided to designate some members as more, um, "special" than others and therefore, by extension, some members we not of interest to or worthy of interacting with those in the “Select” group.
I do not know what you think reading this, but as I write it the whole thing just screams class-action lawsuit; don’t you think? Even the name, “Select,” which states the obvious (you are either “selected” or not) is inciting. Consider what kind of impact would there have been on membership if Tinder had disclosed they were in control of which members a User would see and which they would not? I cannot help but believe it would have been very significant. I would not have joined if that had been an upfront disclosure and, as we have already established, I like preferential treatment, but in this venue, it just seems wrong. Members now learning of this after the fact seems far worse. When considering the potential impact on Tinder’s current and future business the very first two words that jumped to mind were-- "catastrophic backlash." Tinder’s outing in the press with headlines like Mashables "Tinder is testing a secret version of the app for the rich, famous and hot" (http://mashable.com/2017/03/07/tinder-select-secret-app/#RFgJ.HG6C5qR) read like "Tinder has another version for people better than you." With press like that Tinder's reaction did not surprise me, but it did make me laugh. Some Exec released a statement saying that they have been secretly testing another version of its commonplace App. O.k., do these people think that most people are not only average looking and of average financial means but that they are also stupid too? Let’s consider the idea they are trying to sell the public on…. They say that the plan was to offer the most demanding, vocal, and influential portion of the population a service simply to test if it out. So if "Select" did not meet Tinder’s bar for success, they would just stop providing this new exclusive service to those “selected” members? I don’t buy it. From the moment “Select” commenced it was going to remain a service. Yes, I am certain it would be tweaked as necessary, but, not for one second do I believe Tinder would have thought it a wise business decision to use "the 1%" as guinea pigs.
Online dating has flourished because it fills a void. That void is the decrease in human contact, in socializing. It allows many people who formerly felt isolated a sense of company. Tinder must be acutely aware of how few members who connect through their service go on to meet in person. Given this, I think that they have handled their membership very callously, but I will let you decide: Google "Tinder made me sad" and read about the Apps effect on many people and then consider adding the effect of "Select" on top of that. What was it Tinder? Ignorance, callousness or greed?
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