In a new attempt to move beyond one-on-one dates, Tinder is testing a feature that lets users engage in group chats and arrange meetups involving multiple people. Tinder Social is what the company calls this new functionality, and to use it, you'll need to form a group with some of your own friends, and then swipe through other groups rather than individual people. Just like when you're swiping solo, there's got to be a match before either party can message the other.
"You can then chat with your group matches or see their status to find out what they're up to and where everyone’s headed," the company wrote in a blog post outlining Tinder Social, which will eventually be rolled out globally. Groups can apparently update their status to indicate where they're hanging out, something that individual Tinder users can't yet do — maybe for the better, as that's just a little creepy. Advertising your location to random strangers swiping through a dating app is a little different than your Swarm or Facebook friends knowing where you are. "Whether you're looking for groups you share common interests with, or you’re looking for a completely new adventure, Tinder Social is a better way to go out with friends." I'll leave the "completely new adventure" thing to your imagination, reader.
But speaking of Facebook friends, Tinder is receiving some angry privacy complaints over the new feature. See, to help form those groups that are so crucial to making Tinder Social work well, the app will now plainly show you which of your Facebook friends are already using it. And rather than sensibly making this opt-in, Tinder's Australia testers must instead specifically choose not to share this information. It's 2016, and if you've got single friends, chances are pretty decent they're using Tinder or some other dating app. There shouldn't be any shame or embarrassment there. Still, it's really their decision as to whether that's anyone else's business. Presumably Tinder will rethink this approach as the new feature rolls out more widely, aiming to help you "get off your phone, meet more people, and be more social."