Meet Twinder – a Tinder-like bot on Twitter by Nigerians


Twinder is a bot designed to match you with your Twitter crush(es) built by Helloworld comprising Timi Ajiboye (@timigod on Twitter), an experienced developer from Nigeria currently working at DavNetwork, and others.

If you are a frequent Twitter user, you’ll have heard the phrase “Shoot your shot” more times than your name. In fact, a part of many’s new year resolutions was the confidence to shoot shot in 2018.

Now, the problem with shooting a shot is that you might get curved, simply put, rejected. And no one wants to hurt his ego by doing that.

Enter Middlemen

Over time, people have used what Yoruba’s call an Alarina – a love broker, an intermediary to communicate their interest in another. With the proliferation of more digital platforms, the job of the Alarina slowly moved to anonymous (aka anon). On Twitter, people used accounts like now suspended, @SubDeliveryMan, to send anon, subliminal (sometimes hate) messages to people which could explain the reason for its suspension.

How SubdeliveryMan worked

  • User A sends a direct message to the Subdeliveryman Twitter account.
  • The Subdelivery man then screenshots the message and tags the intended recipient (s) without revealing the identity of the originator.

Upon its suspension, people moved to a full-blown QnA service that allowed people send messages with an option to be anon, CuriousCat (with 1 million daily users). This service also embedded social integration to allow people share their responses to the questions they get asked. Usually, people shared them on Twitter.

Since people tended to share their responses on Twitter, why not create a tool based on Twitter to allow this kind of transactions take place?

A Case for Twinder

Like Subdeliveryman, Twinder will maintain the trust of its users and protect their privacy.

However, they can only go so far to ensure the anonymity of the of their users. What if someone hacks into the Twinder account?

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Jokes. Hackers will rather spend their time hacking influential figures like John McAfee, a cybersecurity pioneer and Anderson Cooper, a CNN host. But yeah, it’s a probability just that it’s a very low one.

How Twinder works

Pretty simple. Follow the bot (it’ll follow back), send the handle of your crush to the bot (it’ll send an automated message), if your crush replies, the bot will send a success message: “Coast is clear”. Meaning, there is a mutual feeling and a match has been made. Hence, it is up to the parties involved to take things further (or not).

Remember, the fact that all this happens on Twitter, a favourite app for shooting shots, makes it all the more interesting.

Twinder’s Traction and controversy

Already, we know that the number of followers indicates the number of people that have used the bot (save for the disappointed people who might unfollow after not getting a response, LOL).

Yesterday, when I checked the site there were less than 50 followers of the account. Coming back today and there are over 500 followers, an over 90% growth in usage within 24hours.

Questions: Are people using the service as they ought to? Does the service even work? Are the users excited? Will the excitement be sustained? Let’s look at two different scenarios; a happy user and a not-so-happy user.

  1. Happy user: Here is the tweet from a user who got a positive response.

2. A not-so-happy user: *His caption is funny to me*

An “advanced” Twitter user, Ataul, thinks it’s a scam. That’s not surprising considering his background as a developer where he might have been exposed to all manner of apps malicious use of technology.

Our recommendation to Segun would be for him to exercise a little more patience, maybe, just maybe the bot has hit its API DM limit. Therefore, it’s taking sometime before it relays a response.

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Or maybe not, perhaps, the person just doesn’t like him and in that case, we’ll hand him an ‘L’ for being brave, LOL.

Controversy

It’s not uncommon for two (or more) parties to lay claim to an (already succeeding) idea. See Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss Twins.

While still in its early days, TwinderBot has faced (and is probably still facing) criticisms over stealing the idea from another Twitter user @Cherrell_Brown.

Ms. Brown claims she started the idea 2 years ago:

The developer, Timi, took to Twitter to narrate his own side of the story of how he came to the Twinder idea, dating it back to 2014 with documentation as proof. “It’s always been an idea we had, was supposed to be Android”, adds Ope (@fathermerry), a co-creator of Twinder.

Tinder is a location-based social search mobile app that allows users swipe left or right and allows users to chat if both parties swiped to the right. The app is used as a dating app or hookup app, depending on the user’s individual preference

He admits that he copied some features like “blind pairing” from Tinder, launched in 2012. Also, he doesn’t fail to mention that other people have built subsequent versions of Tinder-on-Twitter, see twinder.co. He submits that no party “can lay claim to a name that’s an actual rip off of Tinder”. Follow the thread below for the full disclosure.

In our opinion, Mr Ajiboye made a solid argument given what we have seen so far. Also, he offered to show proof to the “plaintiff”, Ms Brown via a Skype call. After they had already exchanged emails.

We hope both parties are able to solve this amicably between themselves. In the meantime, head over to TwinderBot and shoot that shot!

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Follow this writer on Twitter @DadaBen_.



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