Dating apps were doing fine till the pandemic hit. Then they had to figure out new ways to keep users engaged and talking till people could meet again in person. Things got better for a while and then brought us back again to a place where we are not sure if we need to go back into quarantine and cancel travel plans again. However, this time around, there’s the metaverse that can rescue the dating apps. At least Tinder is thinking about possibilities.
Speaking at a recent conference Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg mentioned that the company has been “exploring how to blur the boundaries between offline and online worlds”.
Nyborg brought up the new “Explore” feature that Tinder has launched that allows users to find verified matches on the app based on common passions and interests. The app also has another feature called Swipe Nights, an experiential swipe-to-choose-your-own-adventure that also allows you to match with others based on the choices you make.
According to reports, Tinder is testing an in-app currency as well that can be used to pay for premium services on the app and received in return for good behaviour in the same space.
One of Tinder’s plans, keeping the pandemic in mind, seems to be to create enough experiences and perks on the app to keep people engaged and interested in continuing conversations and making connections till it is safe to venture out and meet in person.
The conversations are now taking place online, and given all the talk about the next big thing in tech, the metaverse, would it be very strange if these conversations were merged with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)?
Nyborg mentioned during her interview that they have been “talking about a Tinderverse internally, which is more about blurring the boundaries between online and offline”.
And Tinder is not alone, Bumble reportedly mentioned during its November earnings calls that it too wants to prepare for “whatever emerges in the metaverse”.
Most of the dating apps introduced features like virtual dates, video calls, etc for users to be able to connect better over the pandemic while in quarantine. Also giving them options to update their profiles with vaccination badges and opinions about vaccines and the pandemic - in other words, update your dating app avatars.
The path ahead appears to be leading to a space where meeting dating virtually in the metaverse is not an impossible concept. Of course, all the dating apps want to and still do focus on getting people to eventually meet in person, but while we cannot, this is the next best thing.
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