Most people use Tinder for seeking love of some sort, be it of the “happily-ever-after” variety or the non-committal, hook-up kind.
But as the creator of a new TV series about people’s real-life experiences with dating apps has discovered, some are using Tinder in unusual and innovative ways.
Including the failing Australian band who, in a bid to attract more concert-goers to one of their gigs, took to Tinder to recruit female fans.
“The band members jumped on Tinder at the last minute, matched with lots of girls and invited them to the show,” says creator of the Tales From Tinder web series, Emma Watts.
The initial series attracted rave reviews, a huge global following and a string of awards, with the follow-up – No Strings Attached – to air on ABC iView in 2016.
“We’ve also had a few stories of uni students using various dating apps to get a free fancy meal from older women they’ve approached online, as well as trolls who use dating apps as a kind of amusement – targeting people they think are arrogant or full of themselves and ‘bringing them back down to earth’.”
Watts, a Melbourne-based TV producer whose CV includes The Voice, MasterChef and ABC TV’s Art Nation, created Tales From Tinder after identifying that popular dating apps were a breeding ground for good yarns – from the shocking and bizarre to the heart warming and heartbreaking.
“We get such a diverse mix of stories coming through,” Watts says.
“The disaster stories often make for the best content for our series, as they tend to be the really funny stories. However, we do have a couple of ‘happily-ever-after’, ‘with a twist’ stories that are really great.”
Watts quickly worked out people were more likely to spill the beans on their love lives if they could remain anonymous, thus the stories in Tales From Tinder – “part documentary, part comedy, part reality TV puppet show” – are performed by puppets.