In the world of romance, the blessing of friends and family is often deemed essential. However, Tinder, the popular dating app, is taking this concept a step further by allowing users’ acquaintances to play matchmaker.
Introducing the Tinder Matchmaker feature, a novel twist in the dating game. This new feature allows users to grant temporary access to their accounts for a 24-hour period, during which their trusted companions can make matchmaking suggestions.
Tinder pitches this as a way to transform dating into a collaborative endeavour, a “team sport,” if you will. Nevertheless, a dating expert cautions that this innovation raises potential privacy concerns.
Discussing potential matches or swipes with friends and occasionally handing over your phone for them to manage your swipes is not an uncommon practice. With the Matchmaker feature, profiles are shared with a select group of individuals chosen by the user. They can peruse the profiles and offer their opinions, though they can’t directly like or reject matches; they can only make recommendations.
Reservations about the launch
This new feature is set to debut in 15 countries, including the UK, the US, and Australia, with global availability expected in the coming months. Kara Smith, a dating expert and matchmaker, expressed one significant reservation about this new feature: the sharing of one’s profile with others in the digital realm.
This feature allows up to 15 people to view a profile without needing to log in to Tinder. Smith remarked, “One of the primary reasons my clients seek my services is for confidentiality. If you’re a user of a dating app, you might be comfortable leaving a digital trace, but with other singles on the receiving end of your swipes.”
She further stated, “So the idea that up to 15 people, individuals you may not know and whose faces you haven’t seen, are examining your profile… I’m uncertain about how I feel regarding that.”
However, Smith did acknowledge that Tinder generally maintained a commendable record with regard to data privacy. According to Tinder, users have the option to opt out of having their profiles displayed in the Matchmaker experience or end ongoing Matchmaker sessions. Additionally, they can invite friends to become their matchmakers via the settings.
In 2016, the company had faced scrutiny over its data privacy policies after being accused of collecting users’ private data without explicit consent. In February 2023, Tinder introduced an “incognito mode,” which restricts profile visibility to only those who have expressed mutual interest, available to paying subscribers.
Smith pointed out that matchmaking by friends and family was a common practice in many communities, including those she had worked with, such as Jewish and Sikh clients. “Outsourcing the journey to find love is not a new concept,” she remarked.
She also noted that outsiders might provide a more objective perspective on potential matches, though too many opinions could “cloud one’s judgment.”
While Hinge, another dating app, had launched a similar feature in 2017, it has since shut down. Hinge has been fully owned by Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, since 2019.
Meanwhile, rival dating app Bumble offers a feature that allows individual profiles to be shared with friends outside of the app.