Hacking Tinder For Local Knowledge

I’m a single guy and I’m on Tinder, so inevitably when I came to San Francisco I pulled it up to see who was about. Lots of people, that’s who! That’s when in struck me that here in my pocket was access to a near endless stream of local people with local knowledge!

Swipe Right #

From this point we just started rigorously swiping right, the goal was to get as many matches as possible, so we could start as many conversations as possible and get as varied a view of the city as possible.

It’s Easy to Talk to Girls When You’re Not Hitting on Them #

Unsurprisingly girls are so much more responsive to having a conversation when you’re not hitting on them. The response rate to things like “We’re new in town, where should we go out tonight?” got a much better response rate to any other lame opener.

And this wasn’t a creepy trick to get them to talk to us we were genuinely interested in hearing their advice about the city.

People Love to Talk About Where They Are From #

People are opinionated about where they live, and mostly in a passionate positive way. You do have to be aware of this bias, but if you have enough varied conversations it balances out.

Female Perspective #

My cofounder and I are both guys so all the conversations on Tinder we were having was with females. Tinder accounts need Facebook accounts, so it would have been a ball ache to create a fake female account to get a male perspective.

We could have changed our preferences to view men as men, but honestly we didn’t think of this at the time. I’m sure that too would have led to some great local knowledge from a completely different perspective.

Talk To Real Life People #

I’m not suggesting for a second that your should learn about a city from your phone sat in a motel[1]. This was just a really convenient way to cast a really wide net and quickly talk to lots of different people from right across and beyond the city.

We also took every opportunity we could to talk to as many locals as we could while we were out and about. San Franciscans aren’t as open as I was expecting, there seems to be a certain amount of the “don’t make eye contact” that you get in London. If you engage people though they are really friendly and happy to shoot the breeze with you.

We all have egos and most us are more than happy to give other people our opinions. If you start a conversation with someone by asking theirs, in person or online, chances are they will chew your ear off.

[1] Or that girls on Tinder aren’t real people.

 
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