Tinder is today rolling out what may be one of its smartest additions yet with the launch of Tinder U, a feature designed specifically for Tinder users in college. Once enabled, students with a .edu email address will be able to register with their school, then swipe on students who also attend their school or others nearby. Beyond limiting potential matches to other students, the overall Tinder experience is unchanged.
Students will still be able to view each others’ profiles, swipe right and left to match or pass, message mutual matches, use Super Likes, and more.
To use Tinder U, students will first have to be geolocated on campus and log in to the Tinder app using their .edu email address. They’ll then have to check their inbox for the verification email and tap the button to confirm their account.
After completing this process, users will be in the Tinder U experience the next time they launch the app.
Here, students will see their school’s logo appear at the top of the screen, and individual profile photos will have flair on the bottom left to indicate the user’s school. Tinder U doesn’t prevent users from swiping off campus, however – using a toggle button at the top of the screen (see photo above), users can choose to swipe by location instead, or by Tinder Picks by toggling over to the diamond icon, if they’re a Gold member.
Tinder U makes sense for the company, whose user base already skews younger – it has said before that half its user base is between 18 and 24, for example. And dating apps’ usage, in general, among this age group has roughly tripped from 10% in 2013 to 27% by 2016, according to Pew Research. And of course, there’s the fact that Tinder itself got its start on college campuses – a market that’s young, single, and more willing to adopt mobile dating apps than other, older demographics.
The feature arrives at a time when Facebook is poised to enter the dating market – a market Tinder and its parent company Match Group today dominate. Tinder now has an estimated 50 million worldwide users, and nearly 3.8 million subscribers.
“Five years ago at college campuses around the U.S, students first heard about Tinder through friends. Tinder spread like wildfire, because it was a really fun and easy way to meet people who went to school, but you didn’t know personally,” Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg recently said, when announcing the product. “We believe it is critical that Tinder maintains a strong foothold at universities around the globe, especially given that every 18-year-old who starts college is building a social life from scratch making new friends and starting new relationships.”
Tinder says the new feature is launching initially on iOS devices at 4-year, accredited, not-for-profit schools in the U.S. that deliver courses in a traditional face-to-face learning format – meaning, no online universities or virtual schools will be supported. The company didn’t provide a timeframe for the Android release.