Valentine’s Day – Tinder vs Bumble : What is the best app to find love?

Yes. Again this year. Valentine’s Day. This is the most boring time of the year for a single person like me. I decided to resolve a problem and find an answer to THE ultimate question: What the f*** are people looking at on Dating Apps?

The [genius] idea
I brought the idea to my colleague Jean-Philippe Romeo, Director of Owned Media and UX.  He suggested that I go to the Mediative lab, and run some actual eye tracking tests.  
Us single people need to know how people from the fairer sex use the app and what exactly they are, or are not, looking at. Do they even read the profile? Is it all about the picture?  As a marketer, I always make sure that I provide my target audience with multiple conversion options, and dating is no different. You want to maximize your chances of snagging a date!  
So we did it.
I had few hypothesis: 
  • I was convinced men were looking at the photos only.
  • I was convinced men were looking at 1-2 photos. Max. 
  • I was convinced men were not likely to read the description.
  • I was convinced women were more likely to look at the age. 
  • I was convinced women were looking at all photos.
  • I was convinced women were more likely to read the description.
To get a clear idea on behaviour and not only on apps functionality, I ran tests on Bumble and Tinder 
We used my profile and we created a fake profile (sorry ladies) with JP’s name. 
About Dating Apps
Downloaded by more than 100 million people, Tinder is responsible for some 1.5 million in-person dates each week, according to its creators.  (Source)
Tinder has some great data specialists working on their app and they keep improving it. For instance, users who have Smart Photos enabled get 12% more matches. (Source)
Tinder has a pretty fascinating Tech blog I invite you to consult. 
We ran really simple tests. We asked our subjects to use Tinder and Bumble for 2 minutes each. They were allowed to do whatever they wanted. If they would actually do it for themselves. 
We had 43% male respondents and 57% female, all of them were between 24-35 years old (we are in the agency world!)
We used a mobile Eye Tracker from TobiiWe have done some interesting research in the past with this eye tracker, like ‘How do consumers conduct searches on Google using a mobile device” launched in early 2016.  Tobii also manufactures desktop eye trackers that we use for many research pieces such as “Maximize dispay ad viewability and engagement – 6 factors to consider” launched in January 2016.  They also manufacture very cool eye tracking glasses. You can see Chris Pinkerton, our VP of Client Experience and Research wearing those during DX3 2016 here
From all the results we gathered, here are the ones that seems the most interesting: 
  • 14% of participant uses buttons in addition to swiping.
  • 57% of participants swiped Yes on the first profile on Bumble, but 0% on Tinder.
  • On Bumble, on average, male participants looked at 2.8 photos and female 2.7. 
  • On Tinder, it’s an average of 2.5 pictures for male participants vs  2.08 for female. 
From all the exercises, we achieved  an 18% conversion rate(100% unsolicited matches on my personal profile, by the way). Out of that, 16.6% started a conversation. All others just continue swiping and looking at more profiles (when the potential love of their life was just waiting there for them!!) 
Male participants looked at 28% of the profile description on average. 44% on Bumble compared to 8.7% on Tinder. Females are much stable and looked at description 31% of the time on both apps. If we add all the participants together, on Bumble, 68% read the description vs 40% on Tinder. 

Interpretation of Results
There are no specific behaviours we can assign to a group or age or to male vs female. 
After asking participants what they like the most from our experience, they all mentioned that it was “fun”. Like if dating was a game. The playfulness of “swiping” makes it more fun to play than to actually pursue a conversation further with a qualified prospect. No surprise here the ROI is lower than expected in most of the case. (investment here being time wasted on apps, of course.)
Based on these results, I would make some suggestions:
  • Keep your profile to 3 photos. This is all what you (we) need. 
  • Description is not necessary, but if you’re not Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie having a witty description could help. (Are they on the apps?)
And now, the answer we are all waiting for: Bumble or Tinder? From the results above, I would say that the UX of Bumble encourages content engagement more than on Tinder. Will you find love there more than on Tinder? That, i couldn’t say. 
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions or if you want to share a coffee. (A girl tries.)
Andreanne St-Pierre
Andreanne is the Brand Director at Mediative.

Andreanne est directrice générale de la marque chez mediative