Tinder’s new feature lets friends play matchmaker: Here’s what to know

Entertainment

Tinder’s new app feature lets users invite friends to find potential matches for them, a potential attempt to reach Gen Z, which research has found prefers using social media over dating apps to find relationships.
Tinder's new feature
A Tinder logo seen displayed on a smartphone placed on top of a computer keyboard.  SOPA IMAGES/LIGHTROCKET VIA GETTY IMAGES
Key facts
  • Tinder released Tinder Matchmaker on Monday, which allows the friends and family of users to view and recommend matches, regardless of if they have a Tinder account, according to a press release.
  • Although invited friends can recommend profiles for a user to match with, they can’t actually like someone on their friend’s behalf—it’s up to the user to make the final call.
  • The feature was added after a survey commissioned by Tinder found 75% of single people between the ages of 18 and 25 discuss their dating lives with their friends multiple times a month, according to the release.
  • Tinder has been struggling to obtain new users: Gary Swidler, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Tinder parent company Match Group, told the Financial Times app sign-ups haven’t returned “back to pre-pandemic levels,” and obtaining new users remains a “challenge” as the app is looking at targeting its Gen Z audience.
  • About 21% of Gen Z no longer use dating apps and 90% are frustrated with at least one dating app they’re a member of, according to a report by market research firm Savanta.
Key background

The reason for Tinder’s new feature could be because although dating apps like Bumble and Hinge are growing, Tinder is seeing a slight decline in users.

Hinge’s monthly active users grew by 344% and Bumbles grew by 96% in January 2022 compared to January 2019, while Tinder’s decreased by 1%, accordingto market insight firm SensorTower.

Tinder’s paid users have been consistently declining this year: Its parent company Match said paying users across its dating app portfolio fell by 2% in the first quarter and by 5% in the second quarter.

This may be partially due to an increase in people using social media to find partners instead of dating apps.

A recent survey by youth research firm YPulse found nearly 40% of people between the ages of 13 and 39 found their partner through social media compared to the 29% who met on dating apps.

In its 2023 predictions, Instagram found over half of Gen Z were more comfortable being vulnerable online and over text rather than in person, and predicted more people will use the app for “dating and connections.”

Joy Ofodu, host of the Dating Unsettle podcast, told Time the reason social media apps like Instagram are preferred over dating apps is because they paint “a bit more of a rich picture of the world that this person lives and operates in.”

Tangent

Tinder’s new feature isn’t the first to offer friends the ability to pick matches. Earlier this year, Bumble launched their Recommend to a Friend feature, which allows users to share the profile of someone they think would be a good match for one of their friends who’s also a Bumble user.

Bumble even shows the recommended user a notification when viewing the friend’s profile, saying one of their friends thinks the two would be great together.

Hinge launched standalone app Hinge Matchmaker in 2017, which allowed users to suggest potential matches for their Facebook friends who were users of the app. However, the app is no longer available.

How to use the new feature

In order for a friend to begin recommending profiles, the Tinder user must give them permission to participate with a special URL, which can be generated by going to “Manage Matchmaker” under Settings or by clicking the matchmaking option on a potential love interest’s profile.

The links are only good for one click and expire after 24 hours. Users can share up to 15 links per day and once a link is shared, the user must wait 24 hours to see who their friends recommend.

Once in, the friend can swipe left for “no” or right for “yes” on a limited number of profiles, though swiping right only gives them the ability to recommend a profile, not like someone on the Tinder user’s behalf.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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