Tinder already revolutionized the way we date. Now it wants to change the way we hang out with friends.
The app has started giving people the ability to make matches as groups with a new feature called Tinder Social.
"Tinder Social is designed to make it as easy as possible to plan your night, get out into the real world and meet new people," Tinder CEO and co-founder Sean Rad said Thursday in a statement.
Why use Tinder? In an age where people run their lives from their phones, an app can feel like a natural way to meet someone. The swipe-right-for-yes nature of the Tinder app has led to a reputation for facilitating hookups, but many people use it as they would a dating website. Tinder is now trying to see how far it can reach beyond the dating world.
Tinder isn't the first app to organize group outings. Squad, launched in 2015, lets groups -- or "squads" -- of up to six people find other groups to hang out with. There's also Grouper (only available for New York City at the moment). If two people like each other, the app arranges a date between their two respective friend groups. And don't forget Meetup and Craigslist, the trusty services that have been around since before some Tinder users were born.
If you use Tinder, you can unlock the social function (or avoid it altogether) in the app and create a group with one to three of your friends who have opted-in to the function. Your group picks a status like "watch the game with us" or "happy hour," and the usual swiping commences.
It just takes one person from each group to swipe right on each other for two groups to be matched. Once a match is made, the members of each group can chat about plans. The conversation expires by noon the next day.
If a member isn't loving the group dynamics, he or she can leave the group. Or, the person who created the group in the first place can also chose to shut it down.
Tinder has been adding new features designed to make its app more than just a typical dating tool. In March, for example, the company debuted a new sharing feature designed to send along profiles of potential matches to friends. Tinder declined to say how well that sharing feature is faring.
Tinder Social was originally tested in Australia and is available now in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and India.