Land of the Giants

Vox Media

Big tech is transforming every aspect of our world. But how? And at what cost? In Land of the Giants: Dating Games, The Verge and New York Magazine's The Cut trace the evolution of the multi-billion dollar dating app industry. Hosts Sangeeta Singh Kurtz and Lakshmi Rengarajan explore the modern dating landscape forged by companies like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, and their impact on our hopes for connection. Through conversations with industry leaders, experts, and users, this series will look at the past decade of dating and ask the question: are the business goals of dating app companies aligned with users' romantic aspirations? New episodes every Wednesday. From The Verge, The Cut and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

Big tech is transforming every aspect of our world. But how? And at what cost? In Land of the Giants: Dating Games, The Verge and New York Magazine's The Cut trace the evolution of the multi-billion dollar dating app industry. Hosts Sangeeta Singh Kurtz and Lakshmi Rengarajan explore the modern dating landscape forged by companies like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, and their impact on our hopes for connection. Through conversations with industry leaders, experts, and users, this series will look at the past decade of dating and ask the question: are the business goals of dating app companies aligned with users' romantic aspirations? New episodes every Wednesday. From The Verge, The Cut and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Language:

English


Episodes

Can Niche Dating Apps Save Us?

2/8/2023
Welcome to the wide world of niche dating apps. There's an app for almost every group -- Muslims, vegans, the kink community, cat lovers, farmers, rock climbers, and many more. All aimed at helping specific communities find "their people." But do these apps work, and are they sustainable as a business? Hosted by Sangeeta Singh Kurtz (@sangeetaskurtz) and Lakshmi Rengarajan (@Shmi_So_Far) Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear next week's episode by hitting the plus sign in your favorite...

Duration:00:43:58

Bumble, the Girlboss of Dating Apps

2/1/2023
Bumble is the second most downloaded dating app in the U.S., behind Tinder. Dubbed the "feminist dating app," the "anti-Tinder" was designed to make dating feel better, safer, and less creepy for women. But does Bumble deliver on its promise? In today's episode, the story of how Bumble came to rival the power of Tinder and Match Group by harnessing the brand power of feminism. Hosted by Sangeeta Singh Kurtz (@sangeetaskurtz) and Lakshmi Rengarajan (@Shmi_So_Far) Subscribe for free. Be the...

Duration:00:43:35

The Secret Algorithms That Control Your Love Life

1/25/2023
Dating app execs don’t like to explain how their matchmaking algorithms work– they’ll claim it’s too hard to explain, or that they just can’t talk about it, Fight Club style. But critics say that if daters really knew how basic the algorithms are, they might not put so much blind faith into them. In this episode, we dive into just how these algorithms work and speak with daters trying to hack the code that controls their love lives. Hosted by Sangeeta Singh Kurtz (@sangeetaskurtz) and...

Duration:00:30:55

The Hidden Hand Behind Your Swipes

1/18/2023
Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, The League. If you’ve ever wondered why using these different dating apps feels similar, it may be because they’re all owned by Match Group, the company that helped start online dating in the 90s, and now owns two-thirds of the dating app market. Today, Match is a dating app conglomerate with millions of users and over 45 brands around the world. That’s billions of dollars worth of swipes and subscriptions. But does paying for what Match Group calls “superpowers” —...

Duration:00:40:38

Tinder Changed the Game

1/11/2023
When Tinder launched in 2012, it changed dating culture and our expectations around dating forever by leveraging the iPhone and gamifying the dating experience. But did the rise of dating apps make finding romance easier or harder, and what are the consequences of playing a game that never ends? Hosted by Sangeeta Singh Kurtz (@sangeetaskurtz) and Lakshmi Rengarajan (@Shmi_So_Far) Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear next week's episode by hitting the plus sign in your favorite podcast...

Duration:00:36:35

Dating Games

1/4/2023
This season, The Verge and New York Magazine's The Cut trace the evolution of the multi-billion dollar dating app industry. Through conversations with industry leaders, experts, and users, hosts Sangeeta Singh Kurtz and Lakshmi Rengarajan explore the modern dating landscape forged by companies like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, and their impact on our hopes for connection. Looking at the past decade of dating, we're asking the question: are the goals of dating app companies aligned with our...

Duration:00:02:29

Zuckerberg's Biggest Bet

8/31/2022
Mark Zuckerberg has a vision for the future -- that in a few years, we’ll be living our digital lives in a blend of augmented and virtual reality. The metaverse. To pursue that vision, Zuckerberg’s renamed his entire company and invested billions of dollars in a bid to make Meta the leader of the next tech platform. In our season finale: what are the chances his bet pays off, and why it would give Meta more power than ever. Hosted by Shirin Ghaffary (@shiringhaffary) and Alex Heath...

Duration:00:33:55

It's A WhatsApp World

8/24/2022
Meta’s most expensive acquisition ever and one of the most used communication apps in the world: WhatsApp. With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is embedded in the social, economic, and political infrastructure of countries across the globe. For better and worse. The story of WhatsApp’s incredible power, as told through its largest market: India. NOTE: There are descriptions of graphic acts of violence in this episode. If you want to skip these descriptions, the section begins at 20:45 and...

Duration:00:35:55

Facebook's Plan To Be Cool Again

8/17/2022
Facebook defined an era of social media built on our connections, our social lives. We’re watching that era come to a close. Now, your main feeds of both Facebook and Instagram will use AI to start increasingly recommending content from people you don't follow. Kind of like another major app you may have heard of – TikTok. Hosted by Shirin Ghaffary (@shiringhaffary) and Alex Heath (@alexeheath) Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear next week's episode by hitting the plus sign in your...

Duration:00:32:50

The Facebook Election

8/10/2022
Facebook used to brag about how its tools helped politicians swing elections. Now, the platform’s relationship to politics is much more complicated. Today: the story of how one politician again and again forced Zuckerberg to confront his own role in democracy. This episode hosted by Alex Heath (@alexeheath) Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear next week's episode by hitting the plus sign in your favorite podcast app Follow @recode and @verge for more coverage of Meta and Big Tech Learn...

Duration:00:32:59

Why Instagram Broke Its Square

7/27/2022
When Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram in 2012, he promised he would be hands-off with the company’s curated aesthetic and simple features. But as Facebook scaled the startup into a social media juggernaut, tensions flared. Instagram’s founders would leave, and it’s now a very different app than when it first started. But are the changes setting the company up to compete in the future? Or is Instagram losing the magic that made it great in the first place? Hosted by Shirin Ghaffary...

Duration:00:39:03

Don't Be Afraid To Break Things

7/20/2022
If our first episode brought you into the beginning of Zuckerberg’s vision for connecting at scale, this story is about the consequences of pursuing that vision at full speed. In the 2000s, Facebook made a big bet to become a platform for developers – and all social activity across the web. It would bring us FarmVille and “Log In With Facebook.” But years later, it would lead the company into one of its biggest scandals: Cambridge Analytica. Hosted by Shirin Ghaffary (@shiringhaffary) and...

Duration:00:38:07

"Facebook Gets A Facelift"

7/13/2022
Long before Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook Meta and made an unprecedented pivot into the metaverse, he invented a feature that turned Facebook into a social network behemoth. The News Feed, which put your friends’ status updates onto your homepage, changed the way we interact online. It was a strong statement of Zuckerberg’s values: that connecting, and sharing, at scale would be de-facto good for the world. It was also his first public controversy. Hosted by Shirin Ghaffary...

Duration:00:29:31

The Facebook / Meta Disruption

7/6/2022
Land of the Giants: The Facebook/ Meta Disruption explores how the social media juggernaut has arrived at this unprecedented moment of transition. Senior reporters Shirin Ghaffary of Recode and Alex Heath of The Verge speak with top Meta executives and some of its biggest critics and ask how the company has shaped our lives, and what lies ahead. New episodes begin Wednesday, July 13th. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:03:06

One App Store to Rule Them All

10/27/2021
Apple has always maintained it knows what’s best for its customers. But now governments and developers are trying to change the way Apple runs its highly profitable iPhone App Store. What happens if Apple can no longer hold its tight grip on the iPhone and the way we interact with the world? Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka) Enjoyed this episode? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Want to get in touch? Tweet @recode Subscribe for free. Be the first to hear the next season...

Duration:00:32:56

Apple Saved Music. Why Not TV?

10/20/2021
Back in the early 2000s, file sharing services like Napster devastated the music industry. Steve Jobs threw it a lifeline with the iTunes Store, offering people an easy way to download songs legally. That saved the music industry and made Apple a dominant player in the music biz...for a time. Twenty years later, the television industry is going through a similar upheaval, but this time, Apple isn’t leading the way. What happened to Apple’s golden touch? Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka)...

Duration:00:33:38

Apple's China Problem

10/13/2021
Much of Apple’s success is built around its relationship with China, which is both one of Apple’s largest markets as well as where most of its products are manufactured. It’s a complicated relationship that has seen Apple make compromises with an authoritarian regime over privacy and human rights in pursuit of huge profits. This episode is produced in collaboration with reporter Wayne Ma and the technology and business publication ‘The Information.’ Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka) Enjoyed...

Duration:00:33:57

"He's No Steve Jobs"

10/6/2021
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple and infused it with his love of product design and attention to detail. His successor, Tim Cook, is widely perceived as lacking Jobs’ vision and innovation. But he managed to do something Jobs never could: make Apple the most valuable company on the planet. So who are these two men, and how have their leadership styles shaped the company that shapes our lives? Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka) Enjoyed this episode? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review on Apple...

Duration:00:37:23

How Apple Got Its Groove Back

9/29/2021
In 1997 Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and falling far behind its biggest competitor, Microsoft. But that all changed when Apple started building revolutionary new devices that strayed from its roots as a computer company. The iPod and the iPhone propelled Apple from an underdog to the company that dominates the way we think about consumer electronics today. Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka) Enjoyed this episode? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Want to get in...

Duration:00:42:18

This Changes Everything

9/22/2021
In 2007 Steve Jobs took the stage and introduced something that would change our lives forever -- a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator...aka, the iPhone. Now we live in a world that Apple has completely reshaped. The iPhone created entirely new industries, wiped out giant competitors, and changed the way all of us live. Here’s how Apple did it. Hosted by Peter Kafka (@pkafka) Enjoyed this episode? Rate us ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and...

Duration:00:34:03