Tinder Social alarms users by showing Facebook friends

Turns out some people want to keep their online dating habits private.

Turns out some people like to keep their private life...private.

So when Tinder—the dating app that lets users “swipe right” to find matches, often for quick flings—announced this week that it was testing a new feature that let users see each other’s Facebook friends, the backlash set in quickly.

Tinder just as quickly told users how to to disable the new “Tinder Social” features, but company officials sounded defensive when making the announcement.

“We are only testing (Tinder Social) at this point, but it’s important to note Tinder’s not a secret considering 70% of users download Tinder because their friends recommend it,” the company said in a blog post.

What Tinder’s developers apparently hadn’t considered: A dating app recommendation from your buddy might not go over so well with your wife. Some people keep that information compartmentalized. (Or so we’ve heard.)

The feature has only been tested, so far, with Australian users. On Twitter, users who didn’t sound the alarm at having their private life inadvertently exposed instead tittered at what they saw as Tinder’s effort to enable, ahem, group activities. (Wink wink, nudge nudge.)

But Tinder Social is “not group dating,” the company countered in its announcement. “It’s a fun new way to meet new people out with your friends.”

Users can opt out of Tinder Social through the app’s settings, if their app has been updated with the new service. “While this is just a test for now,” the company said in its blog post, “we look forward to launching it globally soon!”

Why it matters: Tinder has been a huge success—the company claims to have made 10 billion matches and reportedly has a base of 50 million users. But how developers want an app to be used can conflict with how people actually use a service. In this case, there was a clear user expectation of privacy. It’s too early to say whether Tinder damaged its brand with the Tinder Social experiment, but the backlash suggests its developers will have to find a different path to growth if they want to keep the loyalty of current subscribers.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Facebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joel Mathis

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?