Dating app Tinder and ride-hailing company Lyft are partnering on a new feature that lets Tinder members buy a Lyft ride for a potential date. Tinder first teased the new feature in March and is now rolling it out to its subscribers as a way to “get back to making IRL connections.”
Tinder members can access the Lyft integration from a new Explore section of Tinder’s app, where they can buy a Lyft ride credit for a person they’ve matched with. The person buying the credit doesn’t get any details about the recipient's address but can set the location, time, and value of the credit they want to purchase. Then, the recipient gets a link via either a phone number or email address.
Tinder calls the feature a “thoughtful gesture while promoting personal safety for those ready to ‘get back out there’ after way too many months inside.” It’s a totally optional feature, and members don’t have to accept any gifted ride, the company stresses, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to opt out of the feature altogether.
The sender can choose a one-way or roundtrip ride and will get a refund if the recipient doesn’t use the Lyft ride or only uses part of it. Both sender and recipient need to have Lyft accounts to participate; if the recipient doesn’t have one at the time they get the link, they can create one at that point.
Of course, there are ways that the feature could be misused, like say, in an elaborate dine-and-dash scheme, or if you really want a free Lyft ride and trick someone into giving you one for a date you don’t show up for, but those are sort of the pitfalls of dating in the digital age and aren’t exclusive to any one dating app. And, of course, you can always just swipe left.