Tinder announced today it’s beginning a test of a new feature called “Feed” designed to help users learn more about their matches. The Feed, which will appear as a tab on the Messages screen, will include real-time updates from those you’ve already matched with, including things like recently added Tinder photos, plus Instagram posts and your Top Artists and Anthems from Spotify. This is data Tinder users could already see, had their matches connected these external accounts to their profile.
The idea is to present this information in a new format.
Explains the company, the Feed is meant to take users beyond the match in order to make “real” connections, it says in the announcement.
The Feed is something that could, at least in theory, help to spark conversations between matches. After all, the hardest part of using a dating app where you have to begin a chat session with a perfect stranger is finding something to chat about when you know so little about them.
Even after a cursory glance through a Tinder profile, you may not immediately know what they’re interested in or what they do for fun in their free time. But their musical tastes and social media posts can give you a better idea.
If you see something interesting pop up on the Feed, you would then have an opener for your chat, is the thought here.
Tinder says you can start these Feed-initiated chats by double-tapping on the content that’s shared, then responding to it directly. Users can also control what appears in the Feed from the app’s Settings or by editing your profile.
The concept is not entirely dissimilar from the way users connect over posts and photos shared on rival dating app, Hinge, in fact. On Hinge, each individual text entry or shared photo can be replied to, allowing you to respond not to the profile itself, but to a specific thing you read or saw posted to that profile. Tinder’s implementation changes this to a continually updating feed instead.
The feature could also make it easier on those users who aren’t sure what sort of information to include in a profile, or have left off something notable about them – like a favorite band, or a regular hobby – things their social media and musical posts would show.
But not everyone will appreciate the new format, as it may provide too visible a window into their lives, ripe for cyberstalking. It could also encourage people to be more passive about actually getting to know a fellow match in the app – or, rather, in real life – as a dating app should incentivize. Users could just watch their Feed for updates instead, while spending ever more time in Tinder’s app, boosting its bottom line.
On the flip side, the Feed’s presence could encourage a sort of narcissistic show of behavior from its more active users – knowing that the Instagram photos they post will make their way to a new audience of potential dates could impact the type of photos users share, detracting from their authenticity. (But that’s a common problem across social media, not just a Tinder issue.)
Tinder says it’s now testing the Feed format in Australia, New Zealand and Canada for the time being. It didn’t say if or when it would roll out to the wider user base.