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Why I moved from Tinder to Joiner App

2024-06-18 / By Joiner

Former Tinder chief designer Yaroslav Zubko on the frustration of dating apps, and the potential solution. 

The era of explosive growth in the dating app industry may be reaching its zenith. As a seasoned veteran who once spearheaded product design and monetization efforts at Tinder, Yaroslav Zubko now charts a new course, placing his bets on an unconventional contender – “Joiner App”, a Lithuanian startup poised to change how people connect and communicate in the digital age.

I initially discovered the Joiner App through LinkedIn, which led to my acquaintance with its founder, Eduard Titov. From the moment I learned about their concept, I was captivated.

Joiner App is a socialization platform that makes it easy to find like-minded people anywhere in the world. In Lithuania, the test market was officially launched 2 months ago and has since grown tenfold, now boasting more than 13,000 active users. The app has also attracted over 0.5 million euros in investment from angel investors.

In the Joiner App feed, users can scroll through and find nearby activities that match their interests. Additionally, anyone can create their events or activities. A standout feature of the app is the chat function, which allows participants to communicate once they’ve joined. Users can also follow each other, and the most active members have the chance to become influencers. As an enthusiastic traveler, I’ve often stepped out of my comfort zone to adapt to new environments and cultivate social circles from scratch. Thisproject resonated deeply with my personal experiences and challenges.

As the startup began to gain traction, I was compelled to contribute to developing a high-quality product that would make socializing in the US as seamless and accessible as envisioned.

In the dynamic and competitive US market, new dating apps emerge daily, each touting unique features. However, amid this digital proliferation, the essence of live communication and genuine social interaction often becomes lost. For me, authentic connections and meaningful social engagements are paramount, especially in the context of romantic relationships.

That’s why I was happy to join the team as Head of Product Design and leverage my expertise from Tinder to drive the growth of the Joiner App.

I am convinced that many dating apps create unrealistic expectations. On a first date, there is an implicit pressure to evaluate the other person as a potential life partner, leading to stress, tension, and misaligned expectations. This mindset obstructs the natural process of getting to know someone authentically.

I have long envisioned an app that bridges this gap—a platform designed to connect like-minded individuals for casual meetups and shared activities. Unlike the more formal and complex MeetUp, this would be a relaxed, user-friendly solution aimed at fostering spontaneous connections and leisurely social interactions.

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