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Tinder's Twitter 'Meltdown' Appears to Have Been a Planned PR Stunt

BuzzFeed writer says she was tipped off in advance

One of Tinder's many tweets aimed at Vanity Fair journalist Nancy Jo Sales.

Tinder threw a very public tantrum on Twitter last night, and it's roundly being described as a cringeworthy meltdown. But was it really posted in a fit of passion, or was the whole thing planned?

The 30-tweet rant was meant for Vanity Fair writer Nancy Jo Sales, whose feature "Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse"—which paints a rather bleak picture of young dating in lower Manhattan—was published last week. In Sales' reporting, her sources pointed to the app and the part it has played in the disappointment of single life today.

Though the piece was published a week ago, it seems Tinder decided to set the record straight after Sales tweeted a stat featured in Adweek's weekly digital stats roundup

Vox described Tinder's tweet storm as a "meltdown" made up of "bizarre, defensive tweets" and noted that "the whole rant, hundreds of words long, is pretty bad."

But instead of being the off-the-cuff ramblings of a frustrated Tinder employee with keys to the Twitter account, it looks like the whole thing was likely a planned PR effort by the dating app. BuzzFeed reporter Claudia Koerner tweeted that she was tipped off in advance about Tinder's pending tweet spree.

According to Koerner, the pitch was from PR firm Rogers & Cowan which said "they worked worked with Tinder and to keep an eye on the brand Twitter account—they'd be firing back at the Vanity Fair article."

Adweek has reached out to Tinder for confirmation of who wrote the tweets and how (or if) they were routed for approval before being published. We will update this story if we hear back.

Here's the full Tinder tweet rant (read from the bottom up):

Some say the zealous response was a sign of how today's tech brands have gotten used to dealing with the press on their own terms and often react with righteous indignation to coverage that is written without their consent.

In any case, the app is standing by its tweet storm.

"While reading a recent Vanity Fair article about today's dating culture, we were saddened to see that the article didn't touch upon the positive experiences that the majority of our users encounter daily," a spokesperson for Tinder told Wired.  "Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted." 

Adweek staff writer Patrick Coffee contributed to this report.

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