This story was updated on July 21, 2016, at 4:42 p.m. ET to reflect comment from Tinder co-founder and CEO Sean Rad.
Some say Tinder is all about making friends with benefits, one tryst at a time. As of today, it can also be about hooking up with more than one “friend” at once, for a little group fun.
That’s because the world’s largest and most chronically controversial dating app just swiped right on simultaneously connecting multiple “friends.” To help you better “plan your night,” the Match Group subsidiary has freshly unveiled Tinder Social, a new in-app feature that enables users to collectively concoct an adventurous night out.
Whether that nocturnal knot is romantic or strictly friend-zone quality time is totally up to you, players. “Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends,” a Tinder blog post introducing the new feature teases. “Either way, a good night out with your friends becomes something better.” Better because the more, the merrier.
Tinder Social, which was tested in small batches in Australia earlier this year, enables Tinder users to “invite your friends to swipe & match with groups of friends going out tonight.” Translation: It lets you form a squad by selecting a collection of friends who are, you know, also feeling the group love (and have unlocked the new feature). Just like hookup matches, Tinder Social matches must also be mutual.
Group buddies who opt in can also message each other together and share what they’re “up to” from an emoji-bedecked list of suggested activities, which we have a hunch introverts and homebodies might not heart. Among the prefab night-on-the-town options are “road trip!”, “working out”, “headed to a concert”, “club night”, “pub crawl … join us”, “happy hour, anyone?” and “let’s party!” Bummer, Marge, we don’t see “book club” or “knitting circle” on the list.
Whatever happens, happens. “Just remember -- at noon the next day, your group expires, your matches disappear and your Uber turns into a pumpkin,” Tinder warns on its blog.
With this latest release, Tinder seems to be inching closer to morphing into a social network of sorts. Similar to how Snapchat and Facebook are carving out more ways to keep users engaged, Tinder too appears to want its users to hang out inside its app for longer stretches of time, chatting it up with one another.
Tinder’s co-founder and CEO Sean Rad hails the new feature as “the ultimate tool for planning your next adventure." He says it “takes the Tinder experience to a new level…” How deep (or polyamorous) you level up is up to you.
"Tinder is about facilitating new connections," Rad tells Entrepreneur in an email. "We've changed the way people meet one-to-one, with more than 11 billion matches made since launch. But another way we meet new people is going out with our friends. With Tinder Social, planning your night, meeting other groups of friends and going out is simplified -- and more fun -- than before."
But whatever you do, don’t call it 3nder. Don’t remember 3nder? It’s that ménage à trois app that Tinder threatened to shut down but whose book it is now apparently taking a big, kinky page out of.
To see Tinder Social in carefully curated action, have look at the official promo clip below.