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Tinder users are looking for long-term love, not just casual sex, according to the dating app’s chief executive, Sean Rad.

“We just conducted a survey of over 300,000 of our users. What we found was over 80% of people on Tinder are there to find a long-term relationship,” said Rad, at the Web Summit conference in Dublin.
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“So something stable and long term. 20% are there for things more short-term: either friendships or … dare I say hook-ups. Very brief friendships!”

In the past, Tinder has talked down the hook-ups aspect of its app – meeting people for sex – but Rad was more relaxed about acknowledging this aspect in his Web Summit appearance.

“It’s a part of life. All Tinder’s doing is we’re connecting people. We’ve built the most efficient way for you to meet somebody new,” he said.

“What you want to do with that connection is completely up to you. Sometimes there’s marriages, friendships and everything in between … There are Tinder babies. There are many Tinder babies!”

Rad said that every week, there are more than 1.5m dates – meetings in the physical world, with 1m first dates, and 500k follow-on dates.

“There’s no doubt that Tinder is increasing the number of connections in this world. We are bringing the world closer together, and at a scale that no platform has ever been able to do. In that sense it’s changing the world. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Rad added that Tinder is approaching 9bn matches, and every day there are 30m new matches and more than 1.8bn “swipes” as people browse potential matches.

Rad criticised some of the media coverage of Tinder, including Vanity Fair’s Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse article, which focused on the sex hook-ups aspect of Tinder.

y … The press is always going to focus on things that are controversial. Eventually that story’s going to die, and they’ll focus on things with more substance,” he said.

“If you want an angle, you’re going to find that angle, you’re going to find the supporting evidence to prove what it is that you’re trying to say, just because it gets more eyeballs.”

Tinder recently refuted reports based on a survey by research firm GlobalWebIndex claiming 42% of its users already had a partner.

“Whenever you have a huge change in culture – and Tinder is a huge change in how people are meeting, and is changing society – you’re always going to have your pundits. If you didn’t, that means you’re not doing anything of significance,” he said.