Tinder's app gets more social by letting friends play matchmaker

Dating app users will often sit with friends as they swipe through their matches in order to gain feedback, or even hand over their phone and let their friends swipe for them. Now, that real-life experience is becoming a part of Tinder’s product, as the company today is introducing a new feature called Tinder Matchmaker where users can invite their friends — including non-Tinder users — to view and suggest potential matches.

The idea, the company explains, is to allow Tinder users to learn who their friends or even their family members think would be a good match for them, and it’s inspired by Tinder user data. According to a survey the company commissioned, over 75% of singles said they discussed their dating life with their friends multiple times per month.

But the “matchmaker” doesn’t have control over the experience in terms of actually swiping left or right on the individual profiles as they would if you handed over your phone. Instead, the Tinder users themselves will be the ones who ultimately decide if they want to match or send someone a Like, just like in real life. Plus, the friend who’s weighing in on your matches won’t need Tinder profile to do so. That means, you can ask married or partnered friends to participate in the experience without getting them into trouble.

To use the feature, Tinder users can start a session directly from a profile card or the app settings. This provides them with a unique link they can share with up to 15 friends for a 24-hour period. Friends following the link can either log into Tinder or continue as a guest (after completing an age verification prompt and agreeing to terms) to start their session. They can then recommend profiles for the Tinder user in question, which the user can review after the session ends.

“For years, singles have asked their friends to help find their next match on Tinder, and now we’re making that so easy with Tinder Matchmaker,” noted Melissa Hobley, Chief Marketing Officer at Tinder, in a statement about the launch. “Tinder Matchmaker brings your circle of trust into your dating journey and helps you see the possibilities you might be overlooking from the perspective of those closest to you,” she added.

The company also partnered with “Players” singer Coi Leray to market the new feature. In a new video, she’ll soon show off how the “friend test” feature works.

The introduction of the new feature comes at a time when some younger users, and particularly Gen Z, have tired of swiping-based dating apps, including Tinder, leaving the company to try to maximize its revenue with more exclusive pricing tiers — like the $499 per month Tinder Select subscription for elite daters. In its most recent quarter, Tinder parent Match Group said paying users across its portfolio fell 5% to 15.6 million. And a Pew Research study found that dating apps overall, aren’t gaining traction in the U.S. where three in ten U.S. adults report ever using one — a share that has remained unchanged since 2019.

Instead, many Gen Z users are turning to friend-finding apps and traditional social media, like Instagram, to make romantic connections. Meanwhile, startups — like Candid, Ditto, IRLY, Snack and others — are testing the waters with video, leveraging Gen Z’s comfort with platforms like TikTok to transform dating apps into more dynamic and authentic experiences. Another cohort is using AI for dating or dating practice, like Teaser AI (now rebranded Mila) or Blush, for example.

Tinder Matchmaker is launching today in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Vietnam, and will roll out to Tinder users globally in the coming months, the company says.

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