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Tinder's Group Dating Feature Inadvertently Outs People on Facebook

It's probably fair to suggest that you don't want everyone on your Facebook feed knowing whether or not you're using Tinder. There's no shame in dating, but app-based dating is still somewhat stigmatised, and what if you're actually seeing someone but still have your Tinder account open? Not a good look.

Tinder have been threatening a kind of 'group dating' function for a while, and now they seem to be implementing it as a means of pushing the app more towards a friend-finder. Tinder Social is currently on trial in Australia, but it's brought a new and rather alarming problem with it.

The feature allows people to be added to groups consisting of Facebook contacts, and they in turn can add other people to groups they're already in. The problem is the Facebook contact part of it, since you can't just be connected to the people you normally see on Tinder, it means that you're going to encounter people you didn't necessarily know were users of the app. Some people might not be cool with that, but sadly for them the feature is switched on automatically, they have to go into the settings to disable it, by which time it might be too late.

This highlights the biggest fallacy with trying to make Tinder social - it's a predominantly private network. People who are on it are predominantly only interested in speaking to the people they want to date/sleep with, and they probably don't want their friends seeing the way they present themselves for this purpose.

It's understandable why Tinder might want to shift focus into a more general, social context, given all the negative press surrounding the app, but it's kind of not up to them. They can't sell it as one thing, and then decide it's another when so many people are already invested in the original context. Some users have already started to use it as a friend-finder, but at present these are still just isolated pockets.

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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Tinder's Group Dating Feature Inadvertently Outs People on Facebook Reviewed by Unknown on Thursday, April 28, 2016 Rating: 5

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