Monday, August 5, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time for That

Today we'll compare two dating services that take the minimal amount of time to use - Coffee Meets Bagel and Tinder. They're perfect for people who are super busy or aren't quite ready to dive into the full-blown world of online dating.

Setting up a profile

CMB: This service links with your Facebook account. The site pulls over a little bit of information so your profile already has some parts filled in. Like all of the sites, there's a part for your basic info like age and current city. It also asks for your occupation and education details. The next section is fill in the blank with prompts like "I like" and "I am". The last section is hidden from the public view of your profile and asks for what kind of person you want to be shown based on age, gender, ethnicity and religion.  CMB let's you add up to 4 photos. You can import from Facebook or upload a photo. Overall, pretty simple.

Tinder: It's as easy as it gets for setting up a profile. Like CMB, you link your profile with your Facebook account. You confirm you gender, add up to 5 photos from Facebook and write a one liner "About you". It pulls your age from Facebook, and apparently some people have the wrong age from Facebook and that's what their one liner says. It's strange. The photos can look kind of grainy so you have to check what the public view looks like. Lastly, you pick your settings for what type of person based on how far away from you they are (it can be set as close as one mile) and age range. For some reason it shows me guys well outside my age range. Not sure why. That's it.

Cost of an account

CMB: The account is free and there's no premium service. The site has a currency, "beans", that you can earn by inviting people to the service, answering questions about your matches, and a few other things. You can also buy extra beans. The beans can be used to find out which Facebook friends you have in common, rematch with a bagel you missed (didn't respond within the 24 hour time limit) or find out where you rank on the site.

Tinder: Free. No premium services.

The website

CMB: Every day at noon the service sends you an email with your bagel for the day (I don't always get the emails for some reason). Each day you can view one guy. You click on the email to open up the website and view your bagel. You can like or pass. If you like you get matched up over text. On the site you can also view your bagel history.

Tinder: No website.

The mobile app

CMB: No mobile app. I think this is one negative about this service. You can view your bagel on a mobile browser, but it doesn't look great. With a mobile app, it's likely more people would view their daily bagel within the 24 hour window.

Tinder: When you open the Tinder app, you first see a basic view of a guy's profile. You get the primary photo and see the number of Facebook friends and likes (any page or activity that you've liked on Facebook) that you have in common. You can open up the profile to see all of the photos and the details on common friends and likes. You swipe left to pass and right to like. Once you pass there's no way to see the profile again since there's no search function. The swiping is a little sensitive and I've accidentally both passed and liked people I didn't intend to. If you both like each other, it connects you via the messaging service in the app.

Quality of the guys

CMB: The service was started by a Harvard Business School alum and her two sisters. The site so far attracts relatively successful people, including a lot of MBAs, some of whom know each other. Most of the guys I've passed on because I haven't found them attractive. Of the 35 bagels I've gotten to date, I've liked 6 and been matched with 3. Two of the others I've liked later did the second chance option, but I passed the second time. One of them I found on Beautiful People, which is so sleazy, and the other I already connected with on OKCupid and he kept disappearing and reappearing. I'm not sure why he didn't just message me again on OKCupid. Of the 3 I've matched with, I've only met up with one. Another I may meet up with at some point. The third I texted with for awhile, but we could never make schedules work and we eventually stopped trying. I have two hypotheses why it's been tough to meet up with these guys - 1) they're successful and therefore quite busy and 2) when you're communicating over text message, you don't see the guys' photos and it makes the interaction a bit more impersonal since you forget who they are exactly and what they look like.

Tinder: I played around with the app for about a half hour on Saturday. I matched with 14 guys and got messages from 8 of them. Most of the messages just said, "Hi, how are you?" Two of them were trying to meet up that night, probably looking for a girl to go home with. I only responded to one message so far. Hard to tell the quality of the guys since you get so little information and I haven't met any of them. Everyone seems to be on multiple sites. Two guys I matched up with I had already seen on OKCupid. One I recognized the photo of, but I can't remember if we talked. I have to check my message history. The other I didn't recognize, but he recognized me and sent me a message. I also came across Climber Guy and accidentally passed when I tried to open his photos. It felt a little awkward to see his profile. I'm not sure if he had already seen mine or not.

The integration with Facebook is an interesting twist. It clues you in on a little more information about the person, and you can also ask your common friend who he is. On Saturday I took a screenshot of one guy's profile and sent it to my friend who was our mutual Facebook connection. Her response - "run". Good thing I asked before swiping right.

Update on Climber Guy: Things have been going well. We spent most of the weekend together. We packed in a lot of stuff - bonfire at Ocean Beach, impromptu party at a winery, concert at Stern Grove, mini-hike around the Baker Beach area. It's starting to feel a little weird to keep talking to other guys and especially to still have dates planned. I already canceled one date because I wanted to keep hanging out with him. But since he still has profiles on at least two dating services, I have to assume he's still talking to other girls until he tells me otherwise.


  1. Nice comparison! :)

  2. At which point do you befriend them on Facebook? Does that blow up your spot since you're posting your links to your blog on there?

  3. Good question. I haven't figured out the right time to tell someone. It's likely that a guy from Tinder or CMB would find out if we have mutual friends. Not sure when I would tell a guy from match or OKC. I haven't added anyone on FB yet. We'll see how that conversation goes.