Tinder announced today that users will soon be able to match with other prospective singles from their desktops—an innovation I’m not sure anybody needs or even asked for. Nothing—I repeat, nothing—is more convenient than a smartphone for online dating. Case and point: You can’t bring a bulky desktop with you to the bathroom. (Don’t lie, guys, we all swipe on the john.)
The browser-based applet, known as Tinder Online, is currently being tested in countries like Brazil and Indonesia, where users’ cellular connections tend to be low. Tinder wants to give these countries priority so they can actually test the app on their computers with a stronger internet connection.
According to reports, the applet will more or less look like the mobile version, but they did make a few changes. For starters, swiping is no more. Instead, users will click and drag or tap on their keyboard (left and right) to sift through singles. Most interesting, Tinder is trying to influence their users to actually communicate instead of just swiping, matching and then, well, doing nothing. Many attribute the reluctance to communicate on Tinder to the fact that matches and messages live on different screens. Others say that there is no point in investing in any every match when there are so many more matches to be made.
To challenge this, Tinder Online will feature a significant message panel that fills a third of the desktop’s screen. By doing this, Tinder is hoping users will consider their matches more seriously and get to know them better by conversing, thereby creating more genuine connections. As for an innovation that will enhance the app’s experience, this doesn’t seem like it’s going to have much of an impact in that regard, aside from the unlikely fact that older people who prefer dating sites like Match or eHarmony may be more inclined to take a look. The fact that they took away swiping—a word that’s essentially now synonymous with the app—seems to suggest we might be on the heels of some major brand evolutions.
That’s because times are tough for Tinder; the app recently experienced its largest drop yet in satisfaction ratings, falling 10 points on a 100-point scale. With competitors like Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel and Happn each offering their own unique ways of meeting people, Tinder might need a miracle to regain some of the market—but it doesn’t seem like Tinder Online is it.
Users’ overall dissatisfaction with Tinder might not be entirely the app’s fault, though; dating apps in general seem to be doomed. A recent study found that most people aren’t even using dating apps to date any more. LenEdu, a consumer financing company, surveyed 3,800 millennials and found that 72 percent of the sizeable group used Tinder. Of this group, 70 percent have never actually met a person with whom they’ve matched. Considering the app’s intent, this is surprising.
The study then questioned an even larger group of 9,000 millennials on their motivations for using the app, if not to meet people to date. Results found that the primary reason is to boost confidence. Evidently, matching with people makes us feel better about ourselves, highlighting that thirsty singles are all pretty selfish. In fact, only four percent of the survey said they were looking for a relationship on the app, but 22 percent did admit they do swipe for hookups.
So, to summarize, Tinder’s decline can be attributed to either a static design or our overall lack of interest in using apps to date. Or maybe love really is dead and we’re all screwed. Anyway, watch the app’s announcement video below.