Airbnb for dogs? Uber for vegetables? These comparisons are everywhere right now, and we’re not an exception. Is Teleport like Tinder for cities?

Who knows where the Tinder for cities thing really started. We’ve thought about it, we might have said it a few times, and then, suddenly, it was in nearly every article written about us.

There’s a bit of disagreement in the team about this comparison, probably based on our different experiences with Tinder. We discussed it in length the other day—a chat that nearly turned us all into angry German kids. So, naturally, we decided to make this very, uh… passionate discussion public.


The primary comparison is understandable—you tell us what you’re looking for in a city, and Teleport Cities matches you with locations. You mark down your preferences in Tinder, and it matches you with people. We’re both an app. Enough, yes? No?

Where did we end up with this? Is Teleport Tinder for cities? Short answer is “yeah, ‘suppose so”. Long answer is “not really”. Let’s discuss.

Is moving like dating?

Basically, yes. For the sake of an easy comparison, we can say that dating=choosing a city and moving=getting into a relationship. Scoping out the most attractive options that “match” you, and then making a decision to commit or not is the very, very generalized process behind both Teleport and Tinder.

Furthermore, if you do decide to go for it, then both a romantic relationship as well as a new living environment will become a huge part of your life and has the potential to change your life quality—hopefully for the better, but also potentially for the worse.

However, as much as the comparison technically, kind of holds true, we still cringe a little whenever someone says we’re Tinder for cities. Why?

You can’t unmatch a move as easily as a date

Let’s be real—Tinder is a pretty shallow platform (and we’re not judging shallow people at all—several members of team Teleport could own up to using Tinder at some point in their lives. We won’t. But we could.)

There are some places in Tinder where you can explain your preferences and interests—you can choose the age range and preferred gender(s) etc, but the main stress is still on swiping left or right on people based on mainly their looks, and then once you’ve matched, you’re on your own.

Basically, we take the pre-commitment stage a lot more seriously than Tinder. Shallowness is something we try to avoid at any cost when matching people with cities. We have 180 different data dimensions from 70+ different sources, with topics ranging from an active tech scene to pollution and travel connectivity. It goes pretty far down the data rabbit hole. And magical things have been known to happen in rabbit holes

Sure, Tinder can tell you that hey, this attractive person is in the 20-35 age range, and they also like long walks to the fridge and binge watching The Great British Bake Off—just like you! Great! But, that’s where Tinder’s done its job, and you’re on your own.

We’re not undermining Tinder’s ability to do great things. There’s a chance you’ll meet this random person, hit it off magnificently, get married, have tons of beautiful cherub babies and build a big house with a white picket fence. Just like there’s always a chance that you’ll move to the first city your finger touches on a spinning globe, and absolutely love it there.

And then there’s a chance you’ll meet them, they pick their nose in public, tell you they actually hate baking and have a weird Teletubbies fetish to top it off.

nopeYou know, as opposed to a normal Teletubbies fetish

This is why Teleport is not like Tinder. We want you to find out as much as you possibly can about your match with a city before actually moving—or even thinking about moving, to avoid any uninformed and rash decisions that can be very hard to reverse later, should you realize that you hate it.

On Tinder, the equivalent of this would be stalking your potential date on every single social media platform they have after matching them, plus asking mutual friends about them before even starting anything. And if three of your friends tell you this person has a weird Teletubbies fetish, you might decide to not date them. The same way that if data says that a city isn’t bike-friendly, and you freaking love cycling, you probably won’t move there.

And with stalking dates, you have to do it all on your own. We stalk cities for you. We have entire massive stalkbases on 250 locations around the world, down to every detail you could imagine. Tinder can’t do that with people. I mean, they could, but it would be so creepy.

Why is this “research” important for us with Teleport? Because this…:


…this doesn’t work with moving to a new city. If you meet someone through a dating app and then realize they’re a massive douche canoe, you can indeed just chug a few pints, or even the adult version of that—simply tell them you’re not interested anymore.

If you move to another city, however, and then realize you hate it, booze isn’t going to save you. Moving requires a lot of effort, finances and patience, and chances are that if you do somehow realize you’ve made a horrible mistake, you can’t just bail out of it that easily.

Basically, we want your flirting stage with a city to be as thorough and informative as possible, to avoid you spending time and money on getting there and then finding out about the weird Teletubbies fetish.

teletubbiesDisclaimer: all the Teletubbies fetish references are totally not based on a real life dating experience. Totally not. That would be crazy.

Also, we promise that no city on Teleport will ever send you a cheesy pick up line.

So, no, we’re not Tinder for cities.

We’re more like a for cities.

Just kidding.

In conclusion, we generally agree with choosing your city being somewhat similar to dating, and we both have some kind of matching algorithm fo’ sho. So, if someone is holding you at gunpoint and telling you to explain what Teleport is in two seconds, feel free to say we’re Tinder for cities. But please do explain us in more detail after the murder-rage has ended.