Tinder Is Cooking Up A Suite Of Location-Based Features To Be Launched Later This Year

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Despite strong showings from the likes of Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel, Tinder is still on top as the most popular dating app for young, tech-savvy singles. But can it continue to crush the competition in a space that becomes increasingly crowded?

Tinder is determined not to slip or stagnate. A series of new features are planned for 2018, parent company Match Group revealed during its Q4 2017 earnings call, with a focus on location.

Though the company has been tight-lipped about exactly what’s in the works, it has previously described its strategy as blurring the “distinction between digital and real-life dating, and dating and simply engaging in your social life.” Tinder has also said that its upcoming location features will pull in “a new audience” and “expand the definition of dating.”

To those who follow the industry, Tinder’s hints suggest a push to expand the app’s scope beyond dating into other types of connections, perhaps with the aim of one day becoming a more generalized social networking service for Millennials and other young users.

“We’re also actively developing a series of location-based features which we believe have the ability to meaningfully enhance the Tinder experience,” said Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg on the investor call. “Tinder has incredible scale given its viral growth and the dating context provides a level of intent that traditional social networks can’t capture. And overlaying location as a vector could be compelling, especially to a young, mobile and very social audience.”

Ginsberg further confirmed that Tinder’s vague approach to announcements about the upcoming location-focused features is intentional, as the company believes they’ll be a competitive advantage. “But we didn’t want people to lose sight that it is a focus for us,” she added.

For now, experts are looking at the ways other dating services have leveraged location to speculate about what could be ahead for Tinder. Match Group’s own Match.com, for instance, rolled out a “missed connections” feature in 2017 that uses location-based services on mobile phones to show users who they’ve crossed paths with in real life.

Tinder, of course, will not confirm or deny whether it’s planning something similar, but it would seem to be a logical choice to facilitate more in-person connections and perhaps to better replicate the experience of real-world dating.

Other initiatives confirmed in the earnings call include Super Likeable, a feature that uses machine learning, and the testing of features designed to provide a deeper-post match experience as well as enable users to initiate and rekindle previous conversations.

Watch this space for further updates as Tinder reveals more details of its growth strategy for 2018.