Tinder Claims It Has North Koreans Users

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Tinder threw a public tantrum on Twitter earlier this week in response to a Vanity Fair article that criticized the app’s hook-up culture and its users.

In more than 30 tweets, Tinder argued in points of 140-character-or-less for why #GenerationTinder is a thing and why having users in China and North Korea somehow validates its product of “amazing experiences” and “meaningful connections.”

Tinder did release a statement acknowledging the outburst and overreacting. But the big question now is then, are there actually Tinder users in North Korea?

Vox Media is calling bullsh-t. For one, North Korea’s only legal smartphone, called the “Arirang,” is quite incapable of doing much other than running an old, probably crippled version of Android and a few rip-off apps. The hardware probably can’t handle Tinder, let alone run Flappy Bird at the proper frame rate.

Any foreign smart devices smuggled in won’t be able to connect to North Korean cell services or Internet-connected WiFi. Currently, only foreigners are able to access WiFi through their mobile devices by purchasing an overpriced SIM card from North Korean telecommunications company Koryolink. Most North Koreans use foreign devices as storage for (often illegal) content, including music, movies and TV shows.

Lastly, it could just be the foreigners in North Korea who are using Tinder. Chinese tourists, who are allowed to use smartphones, or businesspeople spending time in Pyongyang, might have opened Tinder out of curiosity or boredom. That might explain why Tinder was receiving location pings from the area. It could also have been Dennis Rodman.

In any case, the best thing about this has been the memes, especially ones showcasing Kim Jong-un on Tinder. Thank you, Internet.


Feature image via Run of the Web