Tinder has become the latest big player to try and do something to change negative perceptions around dating apps by adopting a feature that will prevent men from messaging first.
It is no secret that the world of dating apps can be a hostile environment, with unsolicited messages, dick pics and aggressive pick-up lines accepted by many as par for the course in the search for love.
The tool, which would give women users more power, is working on the same premise as rival app Bumble, that a female-led conversation is less likely to end with one of the unwanted conclusions listed above.
Mandy Ginsberg, chief executive of the Match group who own Tinder, told MarketWatch that the move was not a “reaction” to a competitor but will differ from anything else on the market (e.g Bumble) as the feature will be opt-in rather than a mandatory setting.
In short, if women want to have the option, it is there. But not compulsory.
Ginsberg said: “Often, women don’t really want the pressure of kicking off the conversation, but if they want it, that’s great.”
Research published in November last year found that Tinder has 38% of female users and 62% of male users.
“We have to constantly listen to what women want and address their needs, not just on Tinder but on all products,” she said. Match also owns Match.com and OkCupid.
Bumble was launched by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2012, after she left the company and sued for sexual harassment and discrimination. She reportedly received a $1,000,000 settlement.
For the time being the feature seems to only apply to heterosexual users (in the male-female interactions) and there is no word on wider application.