Tinder has confirmed that it is exploring the development of a new feature called Swipe Party that offers a way to make sorting possible matches a more social experience. According to details spotted in the code for the Tinder mobile app, Swipe Party requires access to the phone’s camera and microphone so that your friends can “see and hear you while checking out leads.”
This ‘Tinder with Friends’ style experience builds on what’s already a popular offline activity. Today, friends often browse 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 it a virtual experience where a user could invite a “guest” to join their swipe session in order to provide their review remotely.
This follows the broader trend of app co-browsing, such as with Apple. SharePlay, or co-watch videos with friends as enabled by the co-watching features of Hulu, Prime Video and Disney +, for example. The trend was already gaining popularity but was then further amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic and its social distancing requirements.
TechCrunch later confirmed that there were references to Swipe Party in the Tinder app for iOS as well, according to an analysis by technical analyst Steve Moser. (See images below).
According to the code snippets, Swipe Party would see Tinder users invite friends to join a swipe session. These friends would create guest accounts on Tinder by offering their phone number, validating it with a code, then entering their name and date of birth before joining the “party”.
As tech companies regularly build, test, and experiment with new features – many of which never make it to the general public – what makes Swipe Party’s existence more interesting is how it ties into the larger plans. from Match, the parent company of Tinder, to bring more audio and video. experiences to its range of dating apps.
The company announced last August that it plans to introduce audio and video chat features, including group live video, to its dating app portfolio over the next 12-24 months. This means that we would see some of these additions start showing up later this year. Match said the new features would be powered by innovations from Hyperconnect, the Korean social media company and app maker that became Match’s biggest acquisition to date at $ 1.73 billion. It’s not clear that Swipe Party is tied to this specific roadmap, which also includes plans for some sort of “metaverse” of dating with a virtual, asset-based economy.
But the feature is part of Tinder’s recent efforts to become a more interactive and social app instead of just a place to drag profiles.
Last year, Tinder took its first big steps on this front with the launch of a new section in its app called ‘Explorer’, where it now highlights the interactive elements of the app. This includes the interactive Swipe Night video series, interest-based correspondence, light chat, and more.
Tinder has confirmed the development of Swipe Party, but declined to share more details on the project.
“We’re always exploring features to help our members connect in new and fun ways,” a company spokesperson told TechCrunch, when asked about Swipe Party and its features.
Elsewhere in Match Group’s portfolio, the company has also experimented with playing matchmaker friends. Its Ship dating app allows friends to participate in group chats on dating prospects, but it was a text chat and not video or audio.
It also wouldn’t be the first time Tinder has experimented with some sort of social video in its app.
The company had previously tested and then discontinued a feature called “Tinder Mixer,” which offered users a way to play games and video chat with other people nearby. In recent years, Tinder has embraced video in other ways as well, including video profiles and one-on-one video calling. But to date, Tinder’s growth has been limited by its nature as a dating app – this means (generally speaking) that only a subset of singles will install the app and create profiles. Swipe Party could also allow those who are not Tinder users to try the app. And they wouldn’t have to be single to do that.