tinder india seeks to be ‘parent approved’ route to matrimony
by Reena KumaR
The aunty network in south asian families has always been a trusted source of seeking out potential partners, but now In- dians are increasingly taking matters into their own hands by trying new dating apps.
Tinder has been available in India since 2014 and is often viewed as a hook-up-site, but a new advert featuring a mother who takes an avid interest in her daugh- ter’s love life is aimed at changing per- ceptions of the service.
The ad, which features the mum swip- ing right on her daughter’s phone as a profile pops up, has split opinion. So far, the video has notched up almost 520,000 views, and Indians have taken to social media to express their views.
On Facebook, users termed the com- mercial as sanskaari, which means virtu- ous in Hindi, because of the portrayal of the mother’s seal of approval.
Others, however, were more sceptical about whether it was a true reflection of what goes on in India, where dating openly is often not the norm.
One user questioned whether Tinder was the new Indian matrimony site.
“Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep through 100 years of mom evolution?” asked another dubious Indian.
Matrimonial sites like Shaadi.com are very popular due to the intended end re- sult of sealing the deal with a marriage.
The Tinder ad is an attempt by the company to change its positioning and tap into the huge Indian market.
The country saw a staggering 400 per cent jump in user numbers last year, and since last September, the amount of daily swipes has leapt from 7.5 million to 14 million. It was the most downloaded dat- ing app in India in 2015.
Male user Reem Belsare from Banga- lore, whose name has been changed, said: “India is still conservative when it comes to courtships. The unspoken rule is that you party while you can, but end up mar- rying someone of your family’s choice.”
Tinder user Preeti Sharma, who also asked for her name to be changed, explai- ned that “conservative culture takes a back seat when it comes to dating and flings. It is only when you have to take a girl home for marriage that all these rules apply.”
Taru Kapoor, the head of Tinder India, said the app allowed women to seek con- nections “without fear of unsolicited at- tention or judgment”.
She added that the video showed a “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 any more in a shifting world order,” she said
“A mother catching a glimpse of her daughter’s Tinder notification is reflec- tive of the future of dating in India, where youth and parents are open and honest about dating.”
Some users were supportive of the 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 someday soon,” said a user on Facebook, while another added: “Apt representation of all those on Tinder with ‘No Hookups’ on their bio.. .