Many social media sites feel the need to constantly update and add changes to their visual design, business model, and additional features. In many cases, this leaves consumers angry and confused. Facebook, Myspace…they all have fallen victim.
Tinder, although it’s basic service will remain the same, has also added several new features that have faced controversy and critique from users. This has arrived in the form of Tinder Plus, the company’s new premium service. In an interview with CNN, CEO Sean Rad discusses the new changes. First off, he describes the new ‘Passport” feature. This allow users to change their location in order to find connections in places that they may be visiting. Rad notes that this feature would allow relationships to build even before an individual has set foot in their desired country.
This feature speaks to the story of globalization. As Thomas Friedman has pointed out, the world is flat, and people are connected to one another today more so than any other time in history. This feature will cross cultures and may lead to increasing numbers of international relationships. This coincides with Tinder’s growing prominence in the world. While it is heavily used in the UK, US, Canada, Brazil and Australia, they company will set its eyes on the nations of Japan, India, and Turkey in 2015.
Tinder Plus also will give users the option to rewind or de-swipe someone that they may have done originally ‘liked’. However, here is the catch. This all comes at a cost. For those over 30 years old, the premium service is $19.99, while for those younger it is $9.99. So basically, if your old and haven’t found love that sucks. You should pay more because your probably ugly or socially awkward.
Rad defends comments like these by noting that most tinder users are younger than 30, and companies like Spotify hold similar discounts for students.
As far as limiting swipes goes, Rad points out that this will add value for basic users and make ‘likes’ more meaningful. This will make users think before they swipe, and cognitively decide which profiles deserve their attention. Rad believes that this will make Tinder more competitive with other dating sites because it will be taken more seriously.
How ‘serious’ can dating sites really get? While many have found love through websites like match.com (including both of my step sisters), I believe that a certain degree of authenticity is needed. Tinder, on the other hand, does not have in depth profiles and seems to be almost completely based on attractions through photographs. Match on the other hand, gives out more personal details.
Maybe the difference lies in the motives of users. While some certainly have used Tinder to spark relationships, others seem to use it for one time dates. I think the “passport’ feature even encourages this. While someone may travel and seek companionship, the truth is that they will return back home. Long distance tinder relationships just don’t seem like they would work.
Featured image courtesy of Flickr user Don Hankins