Tinder has confirmed that it is exploring the development of a new feature called Swipe Party, which offers a way to make sorting possible matches a more social experience. According to details found in the Tinder mobile app code, Swipe Party requires access to the phone’s camera and microphone so that your friends can “see and hear you while sizing up potential customers”.
This “Tinder with Friends” style experience builds on what is already a popular offline activity. Today, friends often swipe through the app together, making joint decisions about which profiles the Tinder account holder should try to match. In the case of Swipe Party, however, it appears that Tinder is looking to make this a virtual experience where a user can invite a “guest” to join their swipe session to provide feedback remotely.
This follows the broader trend of co-browsing apps like Apple’s SharePlay, or co-watch videos with friends as enabled by the co-viewing features of Hulu, Prime Video, and Disney+, for example. The trend was already growing in popularity, but it was further amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic and its requirements for social distance.
Ploonge later confirmed that there are also references to Swipe Party in the Tinder iOS app, according to an analysis by tech analyst Steve Moser. (See images below).
According to the code snippets, Swipe Party would see Tinder users inviting friends to join a swiping session. These friends would create guest accounts on Tinder, offering their phone number, validating it with a code, and entering their name and date of birth before joining the “party”.
While tech companies regularly create, test and experiment with new features – many of which are never released to the general public – what makes Swipe Party’s existence more interesting is how it connects to the larger plans of parent company Match from Tinder, to bring more audio and video experiences to your online dating apps.
The company said last August that it planned to introduce audio and video chat features, including live group video, into its dating app portfolio in the next 12 to 24 months. That means we would see some of these additions start to appear later this year. Match said these new features would be driven by innovations from Hyperconnect, the Korean social networking and app maker that has become Match’s biggest acquisition to date, with $1.73 billion. It’s unclear whether Swipe Party is related to this particular script, which also includes plans for some sort of dating “metaverse” with an economy based on virtual goods.
But the feature fits in with Tinder’s recent efforts to become a more interactive and social app, rather than just a place to slide profiles.
Last year, Tinder took its first big steps on this front with the launch of a new section in its app called “Explore,” which now highlights the app’s interactive elements. This includes the Swipe Night interactive video series, interest-based matching, light chat and more.
Tinder confirmed the development of Swipe Party, but declined to share more details about the project.
“We’re always exploring resources to help our members connect in new and fun ways,” a company spokesperson told Ploonge when asked about Swipe Party and its functionality.
Elsewhere in Match Group’s portfolio, the company has also experienced having friends playing matchmaker. Its Ship dating app allows friends to participate in group chats about dating prospects, but this was text-based chat, not video or audio.
This also wouldn’t be the first time Tinder has experimented with some sort of social video in its app.
The company had already tested and discarded a feature called “Tinder Mixer,” which offered users a way to play games and video chat with others nearby. In recent years, Tinder has also embraced video in other ways, including video profiles and individual video calls. But so far, Tinder’s growth has been limited by its nature as a dating app – this means (by and large) only a subset of single people will install the app and create profiles. Swipe Party may allow non-Tinder users to try the app as well. And they wouldn’t have to be single to do it.