The new law of apps demands that every startup should be all things to all people. Thus Tinder is adding a feature "that lets users share annotated pictures with their matches," just like Snapchat. Only instead of 10 seconds, Tinder gives users 24 hours before the photo disappears.
It's kinda like when Instagram had to pretend there was no other way to send a photo to a friend before Instagram Direct. Except that dating companies have always struggled with users leaving their service in order to keep chatting with a potential date. Tinder CEO Sean Rad tells Bloomberg that the feature will let users get more intimate with each other, so to speak:
"Pictures will disappear within 24 hours," he said in an interview at the company's office. With the new tool, Tinder wants "to help users to get to know their matches better." [...]
With Moments, Tinder's user base could grow beyond that of traditional dating websites, whose success has been limited by the fact that customers leave when they find a match, said Josh Stein, a partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a venture capital firm in Menlo Park, California.
"With the swipe feature, Tinder tapped into how people in their 20s want to interact," Stein said. "Tinder might end up competing with Snapchat or Facebook."
Stein is right that swiping right (for yes) and left (for fuck no) based on a photo or two and precious little else is now the de facto method for vetting potential partners. You just log-in via Facebook to automatically fill out your Tinder profile. Users only get a notification if the other person also swiped right. Most times you brush your shoulders off and move along.
If Rad now wants users to pick and choose and "annotate" photos to send to individuals that involves investing more time than the low stakes instant ego boost that's gotten Tinder up to 800 million swipes a day. Plus, if you add the tacit encouragement to treat Tinder like Snapchat, you're gonna encourage more interactions like these.
Update: To clarify, TechCrunch has a more detailed description of how Tinder Moments works. It will only show to users you have matched with—not everyone who can see your Tinder profile—however but it sounds more like a broadcast than a sext, similar to Snapchat Stories, which also lasts for 24 hours. With regular Snapchats, you can also send them to multiple people, but with Tinder Moments, TechCrunch says they are sent "to all your matches." Sorry for the confusion. I still maintain this will increase the number of n00ds exchanged.
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[Image via Instagram/SeanRad]