After a study by market research company GlobalWebIndex published some unflattering statistics about Tinder's users, the two companies have lashed out at each other, with The Guardian (opens in new tab) sitting in the middle.
First GlobalWebIndex estimated that 42 per cent of Tinder's users are either married or in a relationship. Tinder's spokesperson told The Guardian that the figures by GlobalWebIndex strongly contradicted its own internal numbers, and criticised the methodology of the survey.
“The results of this tiny, 681 person study in the UK is a totally inaccurate depiction of Tinder’s user base – this firm is making guesses without having any access to real data on our millions of users worldwide,” said the spokesperson.
"The single largest age group on Tinder, making up more than half of our entire user base, is 18-24. More than 93 per cent of UK residents in that age range have never been married, according to the UK’s office of National Statistics.
"Without revealing any data about our users, simple logic should reveal that it’s essentially impossible for any of these claims to be accurate. Their methodology seems severely and fundamentally flawed.”
GlobalWebIndex has defended its methodology, in its own statement provided to the Guardian: “GlobalWebIndex data is based on interviews with a panel of more than 170,000 internet users worldwide, the largest on-going study into the digital consumer - it’s not guesswork, and not just the UK, as Tinder has suggested,” said GWI’s spokesperson.
“Our Tinder findings came from a recent study of 47,622 internet users aged 16-64 across 33 countries.
"Reference to ONS marital data is irrelevant, and of the 621 who say they use Tinder, almost all are from the 16-34 age group. Tinder’s assertion that our methodology is severely and fundamentally flawed is simply not correct. We only publish statistically robust numbers, and self-reported survey data is widely recognised as an effective way of understanding consumer behaviour.”
After GWI's survey was published, Tinder has been trying to shake off the image of a hookup app for people who already have partners, and I'm guessing The Guardian was saying "You know what, guys? We're sorry we even asked. Why don't you work it out between yourselves, OK?"