Tinder wants to turn hookups into friends with a new disappearing message feature that seems a little similar to Snapchat.
OK, let's be real: It's basically just like Snapchat. The new feature for iOS and Android, which Tinder calls "Moments," lets you share photos with matches you meet on the popular dating app. Matches are made when two people find each other's photos attractive and swipe to the right. Swiping to the left sends the photo into the discard pile. You could always chat with your matches on the app, but Moments let you send photos that disappear after 24 hours.
The new feature adds a playful aspect to the online dating process, which in recent years has become easier than ever thanks to a spate of geolocation apps like Tinder. But Tinder also has its downsides, like the creepy (and also hilarious) pick-up lines that are now fodder for their own blog. So you can't construct a great opening line, but maybe you're the kind of person who's great with images. Moments lets you communicate in a new way. You can add filters, text, and other elements to jazz up your photos, just like Snapchat.
Tinder has long made it clear that it wants to be more than a dating app, with aspirations to match professionals with networking opportunities and help people make friends. Tinder CEO Sean Rad told TechCrunch that disappearing photos aren't just for romantic (ahem) purposes.
"You could match with a friend you want to share a moment with," he said.
Moments isn't really about sending your matches illicit photos. Your Moment is broadcast to everyone you've ever matched with, perhaps to reignite a spark, but not necessarily. If Tinder is really going to grow beyond the hookup, it's going to have to add more friend-focused features--and not just disappearing messages. Rad hinted to TechCrunch that those features are on the way. That's not to say Tinder will abandon its core purpose. After all, the app is responsible for 2 billion matches. That's a lot of swipes.
But vanishing photos are a start, if only because people love to send images to each other--so much the better if you can add a filter or some text on top. Hey, if Snapchat can shed its reputation as a sexting app, maybe Tinder's dream of moving beyond the hookup isn't so far-fetched.