Introducing Stitch: The older generation's answer to Tinder
Published 30/11/2015 | 10:12
With divorce rates skyrocketing among baby boomers and the idea of online dating becoming more alluring to the older generation (19 per cent admitted they've tried it at some point), it was only a matter of time before someone created the equivalent to the modern day phenomenon that is Tinder.
A reported 3 per cent of Tinder's 50 million strong user base are between the ages 45 and 54 , but if you're looking for an app with better odds of finding someone your age, Stitch may be the one for you.
It's been dubbed the baby boomer's equivalent to Tinder, though Stitch's CEO, Marcie Rogo, is adamant it's more than that.
In an interview with CNBC she said: "At first I was really offended we were being associated with Tinder, but then I realised that a lot of our users have found us by googling 'Tinder for seniors' because they know their kids are on it, and they're wondering if they're something for them as well."
While Tinder, and other dating sites and apps like it,puts an emphasis on 'hooking up', Stitch is all about companionship, both romantic and platonic.
The app hopes to capitalise on the three in 10 baby boomers who are currently single and the half a million older people who will be spending Christmas alone.
Stitch was created because "far too many mature adults told us that while they were fulfilled with family, work, and finances, there was still something missing in their lives.
"A partner, a friend, a companion. We built Stitch because everybody needs company, no matter what their age is."
Stitch user Deborah, from California, said she spent over $3000 (€2835) after her divorce on dating websites: "With Stitch, I feel like there is finally something that is made for someone seeking real companionship in their 60s, and not marriage. I've been waiting for something like this for years."
Rogo added that she was inspired to create the app after observing how the elderly community operated in America: "People felt like they were a burden on their families and that they were meant to be kind of just sit there and die.
"Grandparents are kind of seen as annoying, or a burden or they're far away and you never get to see them.
"This is not the way you're supposed to treat people that are going through a process that is inevitable."
Speaking to The Atlantic, co-founder Andrew Dowling added: "One of the inevitabilities of getting older is that your social circle eventually starts to shrink.
"Friends die or move, relationships break down. And many people find that illness can sometimes get in the way of doing the activities they love.
"There needs to be an easier way to meet new companions, no matter how old you are. As one of our users said to us, ‘I kept trying online dating sites because I didn’t have any other options.’ We’d like to be that other option."
Currently, Stitch has a global user base of 25,000 up from 18,000 just last month.
Similarly to Tinder, Stitch operates by presenting its members with supposedly like-minded people, allowing them the choice of deciding if they think they're a match.
Much like Tinder, Stitch presents its members with a number of eligible profiles to vet, and will alert users when a match is made.
As well as romantic matchmaking, users can find local group activities, make travel plans, and chat in the community forum.