With dating app usage surging earlier this year, it seems only natural that it’s time for new ways to connect on them. On June 22, Tinder announced a pack of new features including the ability to add videos to profiles, and social experiences like Hot Takes and Explore.
According to Jim Lanzone, CEO of Tinder, these changes were majorly inspired by Gen Z. In a 2021 survey of Tinder Users, over 50% of users video chatted with a match this summer, and 43% plan to continue to use video chat before meeting online dates IRL. And between Feb. 2020 and Feb. 2021, Tinder saw a 19% increase in messages sent per day, and average conversations grew 32% longer. Additionally, users updated their bios more, with Gen Z users updating three times as much during the pandemic, and twice as often as Millennial users.
“A new generation of daters is asking for more from us in the post-Covid world,” Lanzone said in a statement. “They want to date in a less linear fashion, at their own pace, and with the hope that sparks might fly with someone unexpected.”
No matter your age, if you’ve gotten burnt out by the swipe, like, and chat features, these changes may brighten your online dating experiences.
How To Use Hot Takes
Whether you think natural wine is a load of BS or you don’t like the Olivia Rodrigo album, everyone has a strong opinion on something. And in a new interactive chat feature, Tinder lets you chat before matching with a potential cutie based on your respective hot takes, no matter how hot they are.
“Hot Takes ... gives members the opportunity to chat with someone before they match in a low-stakes session of the feature’s namesake,” a representative from Tinder tells Bustle. “As the timer counts down they’ll choose if they want to pair off as a match or let the timer expire to meet someone new.”
The new feature lets users users to chat before matching for the first time. After you enter “Hot Takes” a multiple-choice question will show on screen asking you and a potential match about a current trend or event. After seeing each other’s answers, you'll get to chat for a set amount of time. If you’re feeling the flirts, you can choose to match with them, moving your chat to the typical matches section. If you’re not feeling it, you can let the convo time out. You’ll then be asked another question with another potential match, and the timer will start again.
Tinder’s New Explore Feature
Along with Hot Takes, Tinder’s got a new Explore page — a new section of the app that lets daters, well, explore. Rather than just swiping on all users in the classic homepage section, there will be a new page literally called “Explore” where users can find potential matches by seeing who shares their same listed “Passions,” as well as other interactive in-app games and experiences, like Hot Takes. For the foodies out there, keep your eye out for something called Chef Mode.
Once the Explore page shows up on your app, you can just click into it. From there, you can enter into the different experiences, like Hot Takes, to chat with people before committing to matching. With new opportunities to chat with people, you can finally say goodbye to that list of matches who never messaged you back.