Tinder’s Desktop Version Has Finally Landed In North America

  • Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 09:48 am
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Some would argue that Tinder is the app that started it all. Though it wasn’t the first dating or social networking application to launch, it’s the one that rocketed mobile matchmaking into the public consciousness and made the swipe an iconic part of pop culture. News outlets called it “the next Facebook.”

In the years following its 2012 launch, Tinder has spread to 190 countries, grown to 1.6 billion swipes per day, inspired 1.5 billion dates per week, and racked up more than 20 billion total matches. Yet in all that time, despite all those impressive decimal places, there was one thing it never did: go online.

Tinder remained a mobile-only service until March 2017, when it made an announcement many had been waiting for. Tinder Online had arrived, allowing users to swipe from any browser, on any device, anywhere in the world - whether or not they had 4G or enough memory free on their smartphones.

Well, not quite anywhere.

The desktop version was first tested in a handful of countries, including Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, and Sweden. Singles elsewhere, including the US and Canada, were out of luck for months, but their luck is finally changing. Tinder Online has officially made it to North America.

As with the app, new users sign up with Facebook. Tinder requires access to your public Facebook profile, and additionally requests access to your friends list, relationship interests, birthday, work history, education history, photos, likes, and email address. Everything but the public profile may be deselected, but note that it will leave your Tinder profile empty.

Once logged in, a browser prompt will appear asking you to share your location. Select “Allow” to get started. You cannot use Tinder if you don’t share your location. A second browser prompt will ask you to enable notifications. Select “Allow” if you want to receive an alert when you have new matches or messages.

With setup complete, you’re ready to start matching. Tinder’s online aesthetic is clean, modern, and approachable, with a simple interface that’s easy to navigate. Users familiar with the app will instantly recognize Tinder’s core functionality, but with two notable twists.

First, there’s the swipe. It’s missing from the desktop version, as most computers and laptops aren’t equipped with touchscreens. Instead, Tinder Online uses keyboard shortcuts for navigation: left arrow to pass, right arrow to like, up arrow to open a profile, down arrow to close a profile, return to Super Like, and space to see the next photo.

The second update is an enhanced messaging system. When you match with other users, they appear in a list on the left, which displays all your matches and chats in one place as you swipe. This tweak represents a more serious side to Tinder, as it's designed to prompt users to focus more on having conversations and less on maximizing matches.

But that’s not to say Tinder has lost its sense of fun. Tap the “Work Mode” button at the top left of the screen to turn the page into a Google Docs clone in case of prying eyes at work (just pray they don’t look too close, or they may notice that your meeting agenda includes “order nachos with the works” and your graph is tracking selfie stats).

While the online experience is slightly more limited than the mobile experience, it’s still the Tinder you know and love, and it’s a great back-up if the app is not an option for you.