A Take on Tinder’s Places- Finding a match in the other corner of the town

Much like some other dating apps, the dating Giant, Tinder, is now all set to venture into this untouched territory. It will now try to link you up with people you have crossed paths with. Now, instead of finding a match in the other corner of the town, you will be able to match with those who hit the same gym as you or those who choose to unwind at the same coffee shop after work. Yes, now even the “meet cute” stories will be a product of the dating app world.

It is only a beta test for now and India has remained untouched from the same. It will be conducted in three cities namely, Sydney and Brisbane, Australia and Santiago, Chile. Through this beta test, the reviews of the users will be collected and the same will be utilized to make the necessary changes in the much awaited Tinder Places before making it available for the rest of the world.

Every Indian girl has faced harassment at some point or other. Tinder dates are not always respectful wither. In such a scenario, the idea of sharing your location through an app might seem creepy to some. However, Tinder believes the opposite. It believes that with Places there will more chances of matching with somebody that you might actually come across in real life. Thus, the other person will be prompted for a more civil approach to the initial chats.

A Take on Tinder’s Places- Finding a match in the other corner of the town

The haunts of a person say a lot about his character, his likes and his dislikes. By being able to connect on the basis of shared interests, Places will be able to form the foundation of a more genuine conversation.

Tinder has in fact also kept these sensitive needs in mind. To hinder stalkers from using the services of this app and to foster a healthier and more comfortable environment for its users, this app will have some in-built security functions.

Samantha Stevens, the Director of Location products at Tinder, has assured the users that as a female she has taken all possible steps to ensure that even she would feel safe using it. It is an opt-in function and not an opt-out one. This means that the users will get a chance to state whether they wish to enroll for it or not rather than enrolling them for it first and then asking them for their opinion. In order to track locations, it takes the help of Mapbox and Foursquare’s Pilgrim SDK. Foursquare will only record your whereabouts when they are deemed “social”. So, it will safely steer clear of recording places such as your house, workplace, bank or your personal doctor’s office as such places are irrelevant to matching and thus are not of much use to the app.

Also, it won’t permit the other person to check your routine as it updates the location at least after 30 minutes of checking in. Moreover, whenever a potential match comes across it randomizes the time in order to shield you against stalkers. In addition to this, you will also get an alert whenever the app registers a new location. This way you can turn the toggle off when it comes to that particular location and thus prevent it from getting recorded.

Furthermore, if you frequently visit a place but never want to match with a person who frequents it too, you can turn off the location forever, For instance, if you want to avoid seeing people at the gym whenever you are all sweaty and tired, you can turn the location off for your gym and Tinder will never suggest you to match with anyone who frequents the same gym.

Preferences of people change all the time. You might have liked loud, crowded places a year back but maybe a serene person now. To keep the same in regard and also to ensure data update, Tinder will delete all your associations with a place every 28 days. Of course, if a person is solely dedicated to stalking you, he can keep a pen and paper record your whereabouts at all times, but isn’t all of that just too much of effort?

It is, however, still unclear how useful the app will really be for real-world users. Is visiting the same coffee shop indeed a valid base for building a relationship? This app can surely be an “icebreaker” but can it beat the old world charm of unexplained chemistry?

Let’s come to how this update will be useful for Tinder. Firstly, Tinder has no plans of deleting all your recorded information. To do so, you would have to remove your Tinder account altogether.

Tinder’s claim that almost the entirety of its study population wished to opt-in for the feature without much qualms for personal information seems to run contradictory to the raising concerns after Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Tinder is directly about “matching”, so in such a scenario users might give opting-in to such a sensitive feature a double thought. However, Tinder has set itself apart from Facebook by saying that its prime motive is not to run ads but to make people subscribe to the apps premium version.

For now, Tinder is certainly not using its location feature to target the users for in-app ads but does this mean that the option has been put off the table forever? Stevens hasn’t ruled out Tinder’s daunting expansion in the real-world scenario by casually commenting that if this was what most of its users decided, Tinder will go ahead with after a point of time. All this information which the app will be able to collect through this new added feature will then act as an improvement to the algorithm.

However, let’s keep speculations at bay for now and think positive for the moment. The date on which the rest of the approximately 12 million users of Tinder will be able to avail this service is still under covers. People are curious already. How successful this feature turns out to be will only be revealed with time.

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