They say “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but how about through its Instagram photos? When I first heard about this today, you can now link your Instagram photos to your Tinder profile, I thought, “Oh, no”—awful idea. Does a person we don’t even know really need to see the picture of us competing in that pie-eating contest or all sweaty after that charity marathon? However, profiles linked to Instagram accounts will only show the most recent 34 images (which I think is plenty!). Also, if you adjust your Instagram privacy settings, there’s nothing to worry about—share your Instagram photos, don’t share them (you can allow Tinder access to your Instagram account, yet still maintain a “private” account on Instagram). Your call.
And, Tinder doesn’t want us to worry, anyway. The purpose of them connecting our Instagram feeds to our Tinder profiles is to get to know someone better through their photos (surprise, surprise, coming from Tinder.) That said, I’m a big fan of Tinder, having met my last boyfriend on it and also going on dates with Tinder guys who are actually looking for relationships, despite the clichéd rap Tinder gets for being a hookup site. Also, even before this Tinder/Instagram connection, couples have met through the photo site.
Tinder made some other changes today, too—the first big renovation since the app came out. For instance, users can now see even more mutual contacts, friends of friends, that they’re calling second-degree connections. I think having access to this additional tier of friends is great and will be a big asset for people and Tinder.
"It will help you better understand who the person is that you’re talking to," Tinder president and cofounder Sean Rad told Mashable. "When you’re able to asses the degrees of separation between you and an individual it adds a lot of value in the form of context, trust and everything."
Personally, I know I’d rather date someone a friend (or a friend of a friend) knows versus someone I have zero connections with. With the first- or second-degree friend levels, there’s a certain level of inherent trust there. Plus, you can get the 411 on someone, of course. Conversely, if you’re on Tinder for hooking up, maybe these new friend parameters are not for you. ;)
Another Tinder modification has to do with the “interests” section of profiles. You used to only be able to see mutual interests you have in common with someone. Now, however, you can see all of someone’s interests. I think this, too, is a beneficial adjustment to Tinder and getting to know someone better (unless there’s something you’re trying to hide or you think would dissuade a potential date—then maybe it's time to edit those interests or delete Tinder!). Like the Instagram photos and the second-degree connections, now you have even more fodder for conversation-starters and no excuse not to start messaging someone.
Oh, and as you may know, Tinder is available on Android Wear. If you can’t wait for it to come to the Apple Watch, it’s in the works. In the meantime, happy swiping.
Images: Getty Images (1); Giphy (2-3)