Tinder just added an Explore page to its app, part of an attempt to be more Gen Z-friendly that includes videos in profiles and a generally more interactive experience aimed at drawing in younger users. The Explore feature drops in all English-speaking countries Wednesday, Sept. 8, and will be available worldwide by mid-October.
The Explore page is a new tab represented by a window-like icon; it’s an addition to the usual swipe mode, messages, and (if you’re a paid user) people who’ve already liked you. The feature is an opportunity to be more targeted with your swipes and, if successful, easily find a match that shares your interests.
Explore, like the rest of the app, is pretty intuitive to use. Tap the window icon to see Explore, then tap whatever feature you’d like to try. You can See Only Verified Members, a new capability to swipe only on users with verified photos, and discover by interest (or Passions, as they’re called on the app).
The latter is catered to you and includes a range of topics from food to gaming to music. For example, my Explore page lets me discover by interests like social causes and travel:
I must’ve been in Tinder’s https://datingranking.net/ testing group, as I was able to see the Explore tab for a few days before launch
As the app stated in its press release, nearly 80 percent of test members felt compelled to use it before its official release – including me.
From there, Tinder only serves up profiles whose bios contain relevant Passions. (In the case of the verified member option, only verified profiles are shown, i.e., those that use the Tinder security feature that allows a user to be more sure of a match’s identity.) You can exit out of the experiences anytime, though, and go back to the wider Tinder pool by tapping on the fire logo on the bottom left.
Explore is also home to familiar experiences like Vibes, a compatibility test; Swipe Night, a choose-your-own-adventure game to potentially match with others; and Hot Takes, a recently-released, timed game where users chat about their unpopular opinions and decide if they want to match.
Hot Takes, meanwhile, was released earlier this year and has already been used by millions of users, said Sieck, though she couldn’t confirm exactly how many.
As for my test of the new features, I was only privy to swiping by Passion, not the games. It was fun for a few minutes, but hasn’t really enhanced my experience so far. Given that Explore is fully available now, however, I’ll give it another shot before reverting to regular swiping.
Tinder continues to emphasize that yes, people actually do want to play games on the dating app: Swipe Night drew in 20 million users and resulted in a 26 percent increase in matches when the game aired compared to a typical Sunday night, according to Tinder’s communications spokesperson Sophie Sieck
Tinder claims this is its biggest update since the invention of the swipe in 2012. Now, nearly a decade later, it’s evolving to better serve the younger crowd. With video and games, the app (or at least this section) will have more of a TikTok or Snapchat feel. Tinder also believes Gen Z users want features that align with their values – hence the ability to swipe by interest.
“A new generation of daters is asking for more from us in the post-COVID world,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Tinder in a press release. “More ways to have fun and interact with others virtually and more control over who they meet on Tinder.”
Time will tell if this new feature proves to be just as enduring as the swipe – or whether users will just want to continue exploring in their other social media apps.