Q. Let’s start with where you’re from and what you do.
I’m Leyla Guilany-Lyard, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Communications at Tinder based in Paris.
I’m Kristen Hardeman, and I’m the Country Director at Tinder in Sydney.
I’m Papri Dev. I lead Communications within the Asia Pacific region at Tinder, and I’m based in Singapore.
And I’m Rodrigo Fontes, Senior Director of Latin America, based in Rio de Janeiro.
Q. How do people use Tinder where you live?
Kristen: Tinder definitely met a need in the Australian market—that’s why Aussies took to the app faster than almost anyone in the world. At one point, 15% of the Australian population was on Tinder. It’s very uncommon for Australians to speak to an attractive stranger in a bar or club environment, so before we had Tinder, most people would meet romantic connections through their friends. It was pretty limited.
It’s important not to take yourself too seriously around here; we take on a cheekier, more lighthearted tone in Australia and never want to sound too cocky. I think that sets us apart, as a culture, and it definitely affects the dating scene. Also, having a work-life balance is a huge priority here. Aussies work to live, we don’t live to work.
Papri: Dating in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) is typically very private. It isn’t a dinner-table discussion. Young adults largely keep their romantic lives secret from their parents and even, in some cases, from their friends. The Tinder APAC team works within this context to make Tinder more mainstream. To that end, we put a huge emphasis on safety so that people feel completely comfortable on the app.
Leyla: During my time at Tinder, it’s always been clear that the desire to connect with someone new is pretty universal. That’s why this company has been so successful—it addresses a deep, essential human need. I think the differences in various countries have to do with the way people talk to each other, their expectations when they come on Tinder, and what they’re looking for. Whatever the unique aspects of a certain area, though, we always want our community members to come as they are, no matter their gender, their sexual orientation, or their cultural values. Tinder welcomes everyone.
Rodrigo: Latins, and especially Brazillians, are known as warm people who seek new connections and tend to be interested in new experiences. This is no different online, where Gen Z is very present on social networks with people looking for partners, friends, and new connections.
Q. Are there any obstacles that come up when making connections on an app?
Papri: Asia-Pacific is a huge region, of course, so connecting people in far-off areas can be a challenge, for sure. But we’re not afraid of time differences; we stay up at night to have global calls around here.
Kristen: Aussies love getting out, exploring the great outdoors, and having real-life adventures. That can be difficult when you’re using a digital platform to connect with people. So, our biggest challenge at Tinder is proving that digital and face-to-face experiences can work together to create magical human connections.
Rodrigo: We’re working across 13 countries throughout Latin America, and we’re trying to bring together diverse cultural, linguistic, and historical characteristics. It’s important to realize there are different values in some very important social fields when looking at topics such as relationships, gender conception, sexual orientation, and so forth. Many campaigns and tools need to be localized, even within countries, in order to be a good fit for people.
Q. How do you think people will connect in the future?
Leyla: I think there’s a lot to be hopeful about, and Tinder plays a gigantic role in that hopefulness. More than half the people who get married in the United States today met online first. But even though digital dating brings people together, the goal is always to meet in real life. In the end, human connection is always about reality. Seeing each other, sensing each other, touching each other—we can’t replicate that online. That said, we enable people to connect with others whom they probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, whether that’s because they live far apart or they’re just not in the same social circles. I’m hopeful for the way human connection can be enhanced with a mix of digital and real-life experiences.
Papri: It’s so incredible how much difference a connection with someone can make to one’s mental state. The experience of connecting with someone is enough to give you hope—it’s like an instant espresso shot of dopamine. Knowing that we continue to create those moments through Tinder gives me hope.
Kristen: We’ll always need human connection, no matter what form that takes. The beauty of Tinder is that it allows for so many different types of connections. No matter what you’re looking for, there will always be a place for you on Tinder.