After a Vanity Fair article described Tinder as the harbinger of the "dating apocalypse," the makers of the app went on an extended Twitter rant and made some outlandish claims.
The author of the article, Nancy Jo Sales, interviewed users of Tinder, the app that invites people to "swipe left" if a prospective date doesn't catch their fancy and to "swipe right" if they are interested in a match.
"'Tinder sucks,' they say. But they don't stop swiping," the article reads.
The diatribe on the official @Tinder account went on for nearly four hours and nearly 40 tweets. The account called the article, which was published online last week, "disappointing," "one-sided," and "biased."
The criticism began with a bit of sarcasm at Vanity Fair's expense.
-@VanityFair Little known fact: sex was invented in 2012 when Tinder was launched.— @Tinder
It's disappointing that @VanityFair thought that the tiny number of people you found for your article represent our entire global userbase 😏— @Tinder
It was when Tinder suggested that Sales should have contacted them first, rather than interview the app's users, that she responded.
Next time reach out to us first @nancyjosales… that’s what journalists typically do.— @Tinder
@Tinder not clear: are you suggesting journalists need your okay to write about you?— @nancyjosales
@nancyjosales We're saying we appreciate journalists who uphold their obligation to fair reporting.— @Tinder
@Tinder journalists are often called unfair for doing their jobs— @nancyjosales
Tinder's rant continued with the company referring to its users as the "Tinder Generation," the "vast majority" of whom are using the app for "meaningful connections."
The Tinder Generation is real. Our users are creating it. But it’s not at all what you portray it to be.— @Tinder
Our data tells us that the vast majority of Tinder users are looking for meaningful connections.— @Tinder
And our data also tells us that Tinder actually creates those meaningful connections.— @Tinder
Talk to the female journalist in Pakistan who wrote just yesterday about using Tinder to find a relationship where being gay is illegal.— @Tinder
Talk to our many users in China and North Korea who find a way to meet people on Tinder even though Facebook is banned.— @Tinder
That claim about users of Tinder in North Korea, where most people don't have internet access — let alone smartphones — was the source of much of the mockery the company subsequently received on Twitter.
Sales herself indulged.
Is Kim Jong Un on Tinder?— @nancyjosales
Man, Tinder in North Korea must be a sad place. pic.twitter.com/CjOWVn26ZQ— @DavidKenner
A company that runs regular trips to North Korea quipped that it hadn't yet tried using Tinder within the country's borders.
Before you ask, no, we haven't used Tinder in DPRK - yet. Our Liberation Day tour goes in tomorrow though, so we'll do some investigating!— @KoryoTours
Meanwhile, many observers pointed to Tinder's Twitter rant as a cautionary example of how not to engage in public relations on social media.
The Tinder tweetstorm should be taught as a case study in how NOT to handle social media PR— @AlexJamesFitz
It's good to know that a piece of magazine journalism still has the power to force a corporate Twitter account into an existential crisis.— @drmabuse
Aw, poor @Tinder, unable to handle rejection over the Internet from a stranger and hey wait a minute that sounds familiar— @myhairisblue
A few people suggested that they wouldn't have even known about Sales's article if it hadn't been for Tinder's tirade.
It may be easy to think of the Tinder rant as another corporate Twitter fail and move on, but a tweet from a BuzzFeed reporter suggests that the tweet blast was actually pre-planned.
@summeranne I in fact got a pitch from a PR person that Tinder was about to tweet storm, and I should watch for it.— @ClaudiaKoerner