Tinder’s ‘rizz-first redesign’ feels like a really cringe-worthy attempt at wooing Gen Z

Dating apps have been having a tough time connecting with younger users. It’s no wonder then that Tinder’s “rizz-first redesign” specifically calls out Gen Z as its intended target.

The new design — which features more animations, profile prompts, and compatibility quizzes — is meant to better fit Gen Z’s preference for respect and open-mindedness over looks, the company said on Monday.

As a Gen Z, I have to say: I cringed — hard — when I read a company use the word rizz, a slang term for charisma, in a public announcement. How does a user interface even have rizz?

But dating apps are right to be concerned about their appeal to Gen Z. An October survey by Axios and Generation Lab found that 79% of the nearly 1,000 US college students they surveyed either don’t use dating apps or use them less than once a month.

I can’t help feeling Tinder is missing the real point behind why Gen Z is falling out of love with online dating: Dating apps are deeply frustrating to use.

Keeping up with online dating can be overwhelming and cause decision fatigue, and the transactional nature of swiping can fill us with insecurity. Convenience features like seeing who’s interested in you are put behind a paywall.

In a telling move about the state of online dating, Tinder introduced a $500-a-month VIP tier in September that allows users to bypass much of the swiping process — and just directly message users or allow others to message them without a match.

It’s a frustrating time to be on online dating — and that’s something adding some rizz to a redesign can’t quite fix.

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