What the CEO of Tinder, Air Asia & Giphy had to say at RISE!

The CEO of Tinder was asked to share the big secret. How can users increase their chances to get matched? Spoiler: it’s not really a big surprise and hardly a secret.
Hong Kong

RISE – the largest tech conference in Asia!

3 days, 3 nights, 16,000 attendees & 350 speakers!

Where? In Hong Kong – where East meets West! Truly.

When we attended RISE from July 8th – 11th, we did not only introduce our latest venture BotBase but also got a chance to listen to some highly influential speakers, founders, CEOs! I would now like to share some interesting insights with you!

Tinder CEO – Elie Seidman

Launching “Lite”

Some months back the dating app announced its plans to expand to the Asian market. At RISE the CEO mentioned, that the next expansion was going to be in Vietnam with “Tinder Lite”. This version of the app would have almost the same features but would use less battery and data (up to 20% less than the full version). However, in order to ensure that the app works with slow internet networks, it will have to remove the “Tinder Feed”.

Elie Seidman, Tinder CEO at RISE 2019

A similar announcement was made by the Spotify Global Head of Markets, Cecilia Qvist, who spoke about launching Spotify Lite in Asia and also spoke about the successful expansion to India, where they were able to acquire 1 million users within the first week of launch.

The two are following the footsteps of Facebook, which launched Facebook Lite in 2015. Great examples of companies not only customizing their products in terms of content adaption to local needs but also thinking about solving issues that prevent users from having a good user experience.

Now let’s talk about the real reason why you came to read this blog post. Secret tips about getting more matches by the CEO of the most popular dating app himself, right? No, of course not. We know that’s not why you are here, but just in case you were wondering, here you go:

Increasing your chances to get matched

The CEO of Tinder was asked to share the big secret. How can users increase their chances to get matched? Spoiler: it’s not really a big surprise and hardly a secret.

He said that from looking at the data, it is very clear to see that people talking about their passion in the biofield have a higher success rate than users who simply upload a headshot image. There you go. He confirmed something that has been a long-time rumor. Uploading a picture alone apparently is not enough.

He also mentioned how “the desire to create a human connection is not a new idea” when he was questioned what intentions he had while founding the company.

Besides launching the Lite version of Tinder, GDPR has also been on Tinder’s agenda in the past months. “We choose to comply with GDPR globally”, he explained. They have aligned users in protecting their data while helping them find online connections.  It seems that GDPR compliance is becoming a feature rather than it just being about privacy.

AirAsia CEO – Tony Fernandes

The Malaysian low-cost airline is headquartered near Kuala Lumpur and is the largest airline in Malaysia by destinations. What makes the company as successful as it is? The CEO Tony Fernandes shared his secret to success at RISE with the audience and wow, he is one of the best storytellers I have ever come across.


People are at the core of innovation and success, Fernandes explained. He shared that keeping an open door and ensuring the development of his staff is what enabled AirAsia to reach the height of success that it has. Caring for the staff is critical and not something you do because it’s “nice”.

My personal highlight – him mentioning how you have to look worse than your employees in order to be approachable. By that he meant “dressing down” rather than showing up to work in a suit and tie every single day. 

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia CEO at RISE 2019

Simplified Branding

What played an important role for AirAsia was also the evolution of its brand identity, Fernandes explained. “Coca-Cola only has one logo, so does Shell or Apply” – then why invest in multiple images or logos? Keep it simple. He simplified the branding and created a strong identity by sticking to one color and one logo only.

Giphy CEO – Alex Chung

Another really great speaker, Alex Chung, CEO & Founder of Giphy. If you are ever at a conference where you see his name on the Agenda – make sure to attend!

In a round-table session, that he was leading he was asked about his secret to success. His answer: “I worked on 200 different ideas, this one worked out and took 5-6 years to become successful”.

Well, that was a very honest take, people thought, who were hoping to hear something more magical. I guess the magic lies in the product and the ability to integrate it on different platforms. Starting from Facebook, Whatsapp to Zendesk. Alex Chung explained how messages that include gifs have an 80% higher response rate than text-only messages. Everyone talks about the growth of video, gifs are part of the same medium.

Alex Chung, Giphy CEO at RISE 2019



When asked about whether users would use “local” gifs more, Chung explained that emotion-based gifs would work equally well if they weren’t local but when looking into action-based gifs, local content would work better.

Here are some fun-facts:
  • There are differences in the use of gifs in the morning. In India for example, there is a huge spike for “morning gifs”, since Indians tend to send each other “good morning” messages on a daily basis.
  • In the United States, the coffee gifs are most popular in the mornings.
  • In Korea, people don’t send gifs in mornings at all.


To sum it up

3 very different companies, 3 very different CEOs. What do they all have in common? Their focus is on creating better user experiences, strong brand identities, and thinking globally by adapting to the Asian market needs.

More blogs from our Asia trip:

Also, have a look at which Tech Trends were discussed by Uber & Google and what we learned about Innovation in Hong Kong & China.


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