What is Tinder Social, you might ask?
Tinder, the dating app to rule them all, has long teased other verticals for meeting and creating connections with the people around you. The company launched Tinder Social as a beta in Australia, and is now ready to go live with the idea.
Tinder cofounder and CEO Sean Rad says that the company has learned a lot from the beta.
Originally, the beta gave groups of friends the option to match and later meet up via chat.
“Our users were very much focused on immediacy and cared about what they wanted to do tonight,” said Rad. “We made a considerable amount of changes to how it works since the Australia launch and oriented the entire product around going out tonight.”
With Tinder Social, users can choose to add friends to their group via Facebook, and then match with other groups that are in the area.
If one member of both parties matches with the other group, all members of each group see that as a match in their inbox, gaining access to the group-chat that includes both groups. In other words, group matches have to be mutual (albeit from just one member of each party), just like they do with romantic connections.
Another concern with the launch of the Australian beta was the automatic opt-in to Tinder Social.
With the feature ‘unlocked’, users can see the Tinder profiles of all of their Facebook friends using the app. This was seen as a bit of a privacy fail, considering that most folks don’t want their Tinder profile up for public viewing.
The public launch of Tinder Social is opt-in, with users having the option to turn on both regular Tinder and Tinder Social, or one version of the app at a time. Users with both versions of the app unlocked will see both individuals and groups in their feed.
Tinder was founded under the same premise of real-world connections — it’s supposed to replicate the moment when you make googly eyes at someone across the bar.
With the release of Tinder Social, the IAC-owned company is looking to replicate the same behavior that seems to create genuine relationships in the real world — meeting people through mutual friends.
Users who have opted in to Tinder Social can designate their status for the night, among a few options, and let their friends know what they’re up to. They can also create groups via Facebook connections that will allow them to match up with other groups, who are also going out, on the Tinder platform.
That said, the ability to view the Tinder profiles of Facebook friends will still be available once users opt in to Tinder Social.
“Everyone’s Tinder profile is essentially ‘out there,'” said Rad. “In many ways, Tinder profiles are public and we make that clear when you sign up in our Terms of Service. But we learned a lot from the Australia launch and we want it to be an opt-in experience.”
If it seems complicated, that’s because it kind of is.
Throughout the history of social media platforms, social planning apps have thus far not worked. We’ve seen a number of apps try to accomplish the feat of communication between groups and mutual friends, and yet all of them have fallen short.
And people keep trying.
Rad says that Tinder, on the other hand, has the scale to make it work.
“This hasn’t existed on a platform with tens of millions of users,” said Rad. “People will learn it and adopt it, and it will, by design, break the ice for people who want to make friends with other friend groups but find it a little awkward in a real-world situation.”
Tinder Social is a new frontier for the dating company, which has long envisioned tackling other verticals but has waited to do so until dating was stabilized and dominant.
You can lean more about Tinder Social here.