Tinder Growth Engineering with Alex Ross

Tinder is a popular dating app where each user swipes through a sequence of other users in order to find a match. Swiping left means you are not interested. Swiping right means you would like to connect with the person. The simple premise of Tinder has led to massive growth, and the app is now also used to discover new friends and create casual meetings.

Every social network knows–if you are not growing, then you are dying. Growth is so important to Tinder, they have a large engineering organization devoted to five facets of growth: new users, activation, retention, dropoff, and anti-spam.

These five segments cover the entire Tinder user lifecycle, and there is a sub-team in charge of each of the five areas. No matter what kind of Tinder user you are, there are growth engineers focused on your experience.

Alex Ross is the director of engineering for the growth team at Tinder. His job requires a mix of data science, data engineering, psychology, and setting proper KPIs (key performance indicators). Each subteam has KPIs that determine how well they are doing with growth–and if the wrong KPI is set, it can create bad incentives. For example, a growth team that is focused only on getting users to spend more time engaging with Tinder would have an incentive to create so-called “dark patterns” that trigger addiction.

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