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Tinder wants you to actually talk to people before you match

Tinder wants you to actually talk to people before you match


With an explore tab and new game

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Image: Tinder

Tinder’s making some big updates to its app this week, mostly in the name of giving people more context about a person they might want to date. The app’s getting an explore tab, similarly to Instagram, that’ll let people find different ways to interact with and meet potential matches.

In the explore tab, you’ll find activities like Swipe Night, Tinder’s interactive video game, and a new feature called Hot Takes. In that mode, which occurs nightly from 6PM to midnight local time, daters will answer questions like, “Which of these is the most pretentious?” and then they’ll volley in a chat with it disappearing if no one responds for 30 seconds. Participants can like each other and match from this screen.

This is the first time daters will be able to talk before actually committing to a match, and the idea is clearly to give them something to talk about and therefore assess the actual conversation chemistry.

Image: Tinder

Daters can also, from the explore tab, decide to cycle through possible matches that share their “passions” or tags they put on their profile. People can, for example, select that they only want to view people who are considered “thrill seekers,” likely because they listed rock climbing and hiking as a passion.

The idea, says CEO Jim Lanzone, is to give people more control when they want it.

“It’s just giving you more options of ways to navigate people, and I think you’ll see a lot more from us down that pathway, as well, putting more control in people’s hands,” he says.

“The first step in Tinder becoming more of a platform than just an app”

Daters can always return to Tinder’s usual mode that surfaces people outside those parameters, Lanzone notes, but this, for the first time, lets them set up filters of a sort, beyond location and age, for Tinder’s algorithm.

And finally, Tinder will allow people to upload videos as part of their profiles. Up to nine videos are supported — the total amount of media allowed in a profile — and they can be up to 15 seconds long. None of the features will be behind a paywall.

Lanzone describes all of these changes as “the first step in Tinder becoming more of a platform than just an app.” This isn’t about becoming an “entertainment hub,” he says, but rather about helping people meet others and develop strength in an area he calls “swipe possibly,” or basically the part in the dating process where people might have their interest piqued by a person but want to know more before committing to a match.

Broadly, all of these features continue to expand on Tinder’s efforts to make it more than just an app to judge people off their photos. It’s attempting to give daters more context, more ways to open conversation, and more reason to use the app. Lanzone says as the team continues to innovate, its main guiding principle will be to not slow down the app’s “kinetic energy.” So basically, the swipe likely isn’t going anywhere.

Correction June 22nd, 11:17 AM ET: This article initially stated videos could be up to 10 seconds long, which a Tinder spokesperson said was the limit. It is actually 15 seconds.