Swiping right or left has become a mark of youth with its permeation of the media, literature, marketing tactics and the overall English language through its connotations of liking, disliking, rejection and approval.
Yes, swiping is everywhere. There is even a definition “swipe left” and “swipe right” in the urban dictionary so you can use these phrases in your daily life. In a recent Marvel comic issue revolving around “Deadpool”, our favorite anti-hero tells his adversary, “I’m just going to swipe left on this whole fight if that’s cool”. Apps like Bark Buddy, Stylect, and Weotta are popping up every day that bases their entire design on swiping left or right.
First appearing in 2013 with the release of the ever popular dating app, Tinder, swiping has become more than a simple finger action for touch screens. For millennials it has become a way to express their interest in something, anything, from a new product to a significant other.
So what makes “swiping” so captivating? The question and the answer seems to revolve around how this generation uses this tool to not only enhance digital platforms and experiences but also implement it’s connotations and it’s phrasing into their real lives.
Flicking your finger right or left across a screen is simple, easy and takes about 2 seconds. In those two seconds you can express exactly what you want from another person, a brand or a product.
Part of what makes swiping so easy is how accessible it is. Tinder was born as a mobile dating app, letting you filter your dating choices by swiping left or right on a single or a few images that take up a screen. Being mobile compatible is extremely important in order to reach the most consumers all throughout their daily lives. In 2015, U.S. consumers spent 51% of their time with digital media on mobile devices, by the end of this year that number will have likely increased.
Swiping right or left is convenient, accessible, and has been built with our mobile focused digital future in mind.
When reading or writing in English, we move our eyes and our pens left to right. These actions, according to Dr. Jim Davies of the Canadian Institute of Cognitive Science, influence our other preferred actions or movements. He argues that a character in a movie or a play typically moves left to right to indicate something positive is happening, like winning an action-packed fighting sequence. This is the case in Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone’s iconic sword fight from “The Adventures or Robin Hood” or in a majority of the fighting sequences in “The Matrix”.
To swipe left to right to express your interest or your favoritism can be labeled as a natural action that causes a positive reaction for people who read and write in English. For languages that perform right to left, the swiping right action might feel awkward and have a more instantaneous negative reaction allowing them to think the action has a negative connotation.
You’re Never Actually Saying No
As everyone knows rejecting someone or a thing can be awkward. Swiping left takes that entire process away and replaces it with the touch of a finger.
Millennials have often been accused of taking the romance out of relationships with the hook-up culture phenomenon and the fear of commitment that seems to plague nearly every generation. But this generation seems likely to avoid any kind of uncomfortable personal interactions that will end with one involved party or all involved parties being hurt or feeling awkward. This may be why the impersonal swipe to the left or right, that doesn’t have any concrete meaning, can be so charming, no matter whether it deals with real people, brands, products, celebrities or opinions. The simplistic action leaves you with the power to say “yes” or “no” without the painful repercussions.
Eliminate the Bad Choices
Arguably the greatest thing about “swipe to like” content is that it narrows down the choices for the consumer. And with so many choices from different brands; a clear, concise method to trim all the extra and unnecessary options is extremely helpful.
Like everyone else, millenials have other things to do; get their hair done, meet friends for lunch, work overtime, etc. They want to be able to find what they want in a brand quickly and easily. Swiping with the flick of a finger to narrow down which products will and won’t work allows them to accomplish this.
It also allows marketers to get a clearer idea of what this targeted audience is specifically looking for from their brand or their products. It offers them specified data that will allow them to better their marketing campaigns, their content, their customer experience and maybe even the product they sell. So both parties can trim the extra fat off of their digital experience and focus more clearly on what is important.
In 2017 millenials are estimated to spend more that $200 billion annually and about $10 trillion throughout their lifetimes. But where they spend that money depends on the marketing techniques and marketing platforms that mainly digital marketers will utilize. “Swipe to like” interactive content is the best and easiest place for you to start your millennial focused digital marketing campaign. Learn what they like, dislike while implementing yourself into their daily digital and physical lives.
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