Image courtesy of Flickr user Tantek Celik

Image courtesy of Flickr user Tantek Celik

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


One thought on “Tinder Takeover

  1. The concept of the “passport” feature is actually quite interesting. I agree with what you said about long distance tinder relationships not working out, but I would go further into the motives of people using this feature. I’m sure many people are using it simply to save time and have a potential date in place for when they arrive at their destination, but what about people that use the feature even when they aren’t traveling? This is an interesting situation because these people might match with potential dates, but they would never actually be meeting up with them, so why do they do it? I would say that this ties back into what you said about globalization. “People are connected to one another today more so than any other time in history,” and Tinder’s feature is promoting this even more by allowing people to explore the world from the confines of their room. Now you don’t ever have to leave your city to interact with people from all over the world, even though you will never actually meet them. I think many people are intrigued by the idea of just seeing what people in different countries are like, and that is spurring the popularity of the “passport” feature. However this is hindered when you consider that although tinder has spread rapidly across the world, it still is relatively unknown. In New York, and probably most of America, even if you don’t have a tinder you definitely know what it is. The difference is very clear if you talk to young Czech people, and they have absolutely no idea what this app is, even though there are many Czech people on tinder. Perhaps it is a cultural barrier that has prevented it from spreading quickly over here, but it does seem to be getting more popular, so we’ll see how it goes!

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