The hook-up app Tinder is taking networking and hanging out to next level. Welcome to Tinder Social. It’s a new feature being rolled out in India, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand that allows you to make groups with one to three other friends. These groups last for 48 hours. Once the group has been made, you can go back to swiping, only now, you might see some other groups as well.
If you - or any of the other members of your group - swipes to match with another group, and then any member of that group swipes right on your group in turn, then you're matched, and the two groups are merged. Then, you can all chat with each other, make plans, and hang out.
The feature was first launched as a beta in Australia and Tinder co-founder and CEO Sean Rad says that it was a big learning experience. Originally, the beta gave groups of friends the option to match and later meet up via chat.
“Our users were very much focused on immediacy and cared about what they wanted to do tonight,” said Rad. “We made a considerable amount of changes to how it works since the Australia launch and oriented the entire product around going out tonight.”
With Tinder Social, users can choose to add friends to their group via Facebook, and then match with other groups that are in the area.
If one member of both parties matches with the other group, all members of each group see that as a match in their inbox, gaining access to the group-chat that includes both groups. In other words, group matches have to be mutual (albeit from just one member of each party), just like they do with romantic connections.
Then there was another concern regarding the default opt-in to Tinder Social.This caused a privacy issue because users would see a list of all their Facebook friends using Tinder when they chose to create a group using Tinder Social. This time, however, it is opt-in. Users can create a group by selecting friends, who also have to opt-in; anyone can leave a group at any time.
When you create a group, you can also assign a status from suggested activities. Users who don't opt into Tinder Social won't be added to any groups.
Though history is against social planning apps, but Rad says that Tinder, on the other hand, has the scale to make it work.
“This hasn’t existed on a platform with tens of millions of users,” said Rad. “People will learn it and adopt it, and it will, by design, break the ice for people who want to make friends with other friend groups but find it a little awkward in a real-world situation.”