Last week we reported on Tinder’s in-the-works location-tracking feature that’ll help users connect with one another in the real world. A user who’s participating in that test sent The Verge additional screenshots over the weekend that explain how the service works and looks. We’ve previously only seen Spanish-language screenshots.
These pages explain how Places works:
As we reported before, the feature will highlight places users have visited, although not in real time. Tinder says it’ll wait “a while” before populating a user’s map with their visited destinations. We don’t have exact timing on when these spots will show up. The company also says it’s able to filter out places that don’t qualify as “social” spots, including doctor’s offices, banks, and where you work. It’s unclear whether users will have to manually choose to remove their work or if it’ll do so automatically.
The Verge’s office is above and next to lots of restaurants and bars. I’d imagine my phone will track me at some of these places even if I haven’t visited them. Places are automatically deleted after 28 days. Tinder also says it’ll look for trends in users’ locations and try to match them with people that are interested in similar things, so someone who goes to the dog park a lot likely wants to date someone else with a dog. This sounds great in theory, and given that Tinder doesn’t ask any questions about its users when they first register for the app, it likely needs this location data to set it apart from apps that know a lot more about their users.
This is how Places looks without any users being populated in the map:
This user’s map has populated with a variety of establishments that only showed up once he visited them. Users can correct the map if the app picked the wrong place.
Generally, Places seems similar to Swarm, Foursquare’s check-in app, which makes sense because the feature is reportedly powered by Mapbox and Foursquare. I could see this new map appealing to people who go to the same neighborhood coffee shops and dog parks and who have always wanted to talk to the one cute person they see. Tinder gives them an easy platform to do so. But I also don’t think the majority of people go to those special, personality-defining places. I go to a slightly upscale bodega for lunch every day, for example, and definitely wouldn’t care to meet anyone else who eats sad salads from there.