Tinder Finally Setting Age Restrictions for its App

  • Wednesday, July 27 2016 @ 07:26 am
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Tinder, one of the world’s largest dating platforms, has been available to users as young as thirteen since the app launched almost four years ago. Tinder’s practice of letting teens use its app has been an anomaly in the industry, and one that hasn’t gotten as much attention as its reputation for quick hook-ups. But as of this month, the company has raised its minimum user age requirement up to eighteen.

This leaves many people asking: Tinder, what took you so long?

Online dating has been the subject of both opportunity and scorn in recent years. It's been a great way for people in different social circles to meet and expand their networks, but it has also posed a security risk, mostly due to a small percentage of users misleading other online daters by setting up fake profiles. Understandably, this has caused concern among parents whose teenagers have been using the popular dating app to find others to meet.

Tinder’s age verification is tied to Facebook, and the app has only let users who are younger than 18 see other users who are between the ages of 13-17. This would be fine in theory, but in practice it’s another story. This works only if the underage user has also set up a Facebook account with an accurate profile in which they reveal their real age. However, there is room for abuse if someone sets up a fake profile on Facebook, claiming to be eighteen or older, in order to continue using the app while underage.

Also understandably, this poses a problem for Tinder users who are reaching out to other users who they believe are age appropriate, only to find they are still teenagers. So while the restrictions are a move in a positive direction, it’s not a foolproof protection against fake profiles and catfishing.

All of the other popular online dating sites, including Match, eHarmony, and POF (Plenty of Fish) have had restrictions in place from the beginning when it comes to the ages of their users, and they all have a minimum requirement of eighteen. POF takes it one step further – if you are a female between 18-21, no guys over 30 years old can message or contact you over the service.

Tinder is attempting to make its platform a little more user-friendly, female-friendly, and age appropriate. It is also aiming to make daters of all sexual and gender identities feel more welcome. Recently, the company announced its plans to include transgender identification in profiles along with preferences.

So why did Tinder allow younger daters to use its app? Like all online dating services, it’s about the numbers. But since Tinder has a popular brand and large database of users now, it’s time they put the restrictions in place.

For more on this dating app, chck our our review of TInder.