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Tinder introduces 'virtual blind date' feature

Members have the chance to chat before their pictures and profiles are unlocked.

Fast Chat Blind Date Tinder
With Tinder's new blind date feature, members are paired based on their answers to a series of prompts and engage in a timed chat before deciding whether to "like" each other.
Tinder

In time for Valentine's Day, Tinder has introduced a new virtual blind date feature that matches members before allowing them to see each other's profiles.

The couple will be able to view each other's pictures and details only if they both decide to match after chatting.

"Blind Date gives the daters of today a low-pressure way to put their personality first and find a match they truly vibe with," the company said in a release Thursday.

Members answer a short series of icebreakers and are paired with someone based on common responses. They'll then enter a timed chat, not knowing any details about the other person except for their answers to multiple-choice prompts -- like how many times its OK to wear a shirt before putting it in the laundry.

When their time is up, the pair can "like" each other's profiles -- which will then unlock -- or move on to another match.

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Tinder use among members of Gen Z has gone up during the pandemic.

Getty Images

"There's something really special about letting conversation introduce someone's personality, without the preconceptions that can be made from photos," Kyle Miller, Tinder's vice president of product innovation, said in the statement.

According to Tinder, members who used the blind date feature in early testing made 40% more matches than those using another fast chatting feature with profiles visible.

The results show "a willingness among daters to interact -- and ultimately match -- with someone they may have overlooked in another setting," according to the release.

Read on:  The latest on Tinder Swindler Simon Leviev and his victims

Despite the pandemic, Tinder says engagement among young people has increased on the app: Members of Gen Z (born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s) sent nearly 20% more messages in Feb. 2021 than Feb. 2020, and their conversations were 32% longer.

Now available in the app's Explore section, the blind date feature is the latest addition to Tinder's Fast Chat offerings -- which include Hot Takes, Vibes, Swipe Night and Music Mode and are designed to fuel connections faster with prompts, quizzes and games. 

The blind date feature is available now in the US and is scheduled to roll globally in the coming weeks. 

Read on: Tinder adds background checks, improved tools to report abuse