Tinder, the app that sets people up with romantic matches by geographic proximity, is expanding beyond dating — or at least, the company is hoping to.
Tinder is best known for its addictive, game-like browsing feature, which allows users to swipe right on a photo of someone they like and swipe left to never see that person's face again. However, the app's creators are hoping that people will start using the service to talk to their friends as well as meet friends of friends.
The company pushed a major update yesterday that spiffs up the interface and supposedly hones the matching algorithm. The most visible change, however, is the new lists feature. In addition to liking or nixing people based on their photos and profile, users can now add each other to friends lists and chat about platonic things.
Users can now add each other to friends lists and chat about platonic things
Tinder hooks into your Facebook friend graph in order to serve up profiles in your extended network. If both parties swipe yes, the app will introduce them. The expansion to friendship and networking could provide a cover for those who are hesitant about dating online, but it seems like it could also be risky for Tinder.
Dating has always been a moneymaker on the web, while people discovery apps haven't had much success. Users are already using Tinder to talk to their friends, however, so the pivot shouldn't seem that surprising, cofounder Sean Rad tells TechCrunch.