It took all of 90 seconds upon opening the new version of Tinder yesterday to realise that I could now see all of my Facebook friends who were also on Tinder. An in-app ‘hack’ that probably shouldn’t be possible — it seems the press has cottoned on too.
My initial instinct was to think about how they could execute the same new Social feature but with more anonymity, and more reward to both the user and the platform. Ultimately though I just kept asking myself ‘should Tinder even go social?’
First thing’s first — Tinder has been a remarkable success, redefining an online space that people in their 20’s would previously never have dreamed of touching. They’ve managed to onboard millions and successfully pioneer a new widespread language of discovery — they’re a startup to aspire to.
Most importantly for us, Tinder demonstrated that people are willing to make meaningful connections with a single swipe. Coming up with Vampr, it absolutely hit me that this new language of discovery could absolutely be applied in a professional and social space, void of the sexual context.
We are social beings that thrive on connection — no one wants to download an app called ‘find me a friend’ however every day we are looking for that one connection, conversation or friendship that might just change your life. Music is often the starting point of a new conversation, not to mention several of us on the Vampr team have had successful careers in the music industry, so it seemed right that we would focus on music first — however the technology and idea can be scaled across many other industries, changing how people communicate, connect and discover.
To socialise when you already have a talking point in common and to rank results by the things you have in common in that field (for music, we’re matching by favourite artists in common, for example) is a no brainer. We aspire to make social discovery relevant and less threatening.
Despite pioneering and successfully teaching the world a new language of communication in how to discover one another, Tinder remains positioned as a dating app — and an extremely effective one at that. It will be interesting to see if they can successfully reposition the brand to move beyond that — or if they even need to. I’m happy for my apps to do what they do and do it really well — making a land grab for the sake of an increased userbase risks alienating me.