If you’re an avid online dater, chances are you’ll have Tinder – and you’ll have noticed it’s latest new feature. Sprung upon users without much prior explanation, chances are you’ll also probably be a bit unsure about its purpose. And if you’re not acquainted with the dating app, you’ll likely be entirely in the dark. Luckily for daters and non-daters alike, we’ve put together a guide to Tinder Social.
The purpose of the new feature is to match groups of friends for social get together, expanding Tinder beyond its traditional one-on-one matchmaking format. In Australia, Tinder Social has been a feature of the paid-for version of the app since April, but yesterday the function was released to users of the standard free version of the app in the UK, Canada New Zealand, and India. The feature lets people using Tinder form groups with Facebook friends who have also opted in to Tinder Social and swipe around to find other groups they want to hang out with. When there’s a match, the app puts both groups together in a group chat.
As well as making a move away from one-on-one dating, Tinder CEO Sean Rad has stated in interviews that Tinder Social is an addition to the app that moves away from dating altogether. Rad stated that Tinder Social is about going out with your friends and connecting with other friends who are also out, with no set pretence of romances blossoming.
The move to group dating and social-group expansion enables Tinder to keep growing instead limiting it’s demographic to just single individuals. With Social, Tinder is attempting to extend its appeal beyond those who view it strictly as a dating app to others who are looking for a good time with friends, or who simply don’t like the idea of meeting strangers alone.
Don’t assume that Social will avoid those awkward Tinder-dates; while walking out on a bad date might be uncomfortable, it’s probably not as uncomfortable as ditching an entire group of people you dislike that have been Tinder-matched to your own peer group. Still, it could prove to be a whole load of fun.