CES Review 2: What was Tinder doing at the CES?

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While Virtual Reality was the highlight of this CES(and according to my prediction, it will remain the highlight for at least the next two CES), Tinder had something else in mind. In an almost Apple-esque video, with a pitch black background and a sleek device emerging out of the darkness, this 37-second video was believed to be Tinder’s foray into the Virtual Reality segment. With a really soft music and the narration track going like

“We’re always looking for new ways to bring people together,” the narrator says quietly, as more and more of the product is revealed. “Not in feeds or comment sections. Real together. Shared experience. The feeling of being truly connected.”

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But Tinder being Tinder, had something totally different in mind: The video ends with a girl and a boy staring through a tunnel (that looks like a VR device with a Tinder logo) in an old-fashioned way(Old fashion implying standing in the vicinity).For a company that survives on people swiping left and right, and is often under fire from old school “meeting and dating” crowd, Tinder obviously had huge balls to pull off a stunt of a magnitude as big as that, and that too at a venue no bigger than the Consumer Electronics Show, a field so unlevelled that only the big guns are actually able to step into it. But Tinder used CES like no one else; since they do not manufacture any “Consumer Electronics”, for them CES was only a marketing strategy getting them the popularity they had been craving. However, this was obviously a joke on the present day Virtual Reality scene, which was confirmed by a blog post which went something like this:

“It seems like everyone is launching a VR headset nowadays…As a tech company, we felt inspired to create one of our own. But here’s the thing: our mission has always been to get people together to have real experiences in the real world. So how do we reconcile the fact that VR is the antithesis of this?”

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It is very safe to say that Tinder has largely stood the test of time and clearly rules the online dating segment, and albeit it is early in the year to be making any predictions and dropping bombs, it is largely believed that Tinder is on course to have yet another successful year.According to Vector Media, a company based out of New York, Tinder was the second most used app by the motley crowd at the CES, only finishing behind the Facebook Messenger. Therefore, I believe it is safe to say, while the world was swooning over the Tangos and the Occulus, Tinder was propagating its own brand of VR, or let us say, “Very (much) Real”.

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