Never one to rest on its laurels, despite still being the most popular dating app in the US over a decade after its launch, Tinder has added yet more new features for 2023.
What are Tinder’s new features for 2023? Well, they’ve added photo verification (useful if you want to avoid bots and catfishing, but not exactly a barrel of fun) and rolled out videos in profiles to more of the world.
The most exciting new feature, though, is Tinder’s new ‘home screen’, known as Tinder Explore. I’ll explain more about it in a moment, but it’s basically a way to facilitate Tinder events (like swipe nights) that are planned in the future.
It is also, undoubtedly, kind of a faff. And as we all know, every time a dating app gets more complicated it… well… gets more complicated.
And that can really throw you off your swiping stride (or it does for me anyway – but maybe I’m just not that bright?).
Anyway, here’s hoping that Tinder Explore is going to be a good thing rather than a hat on a hat. It has been clear in recent years, with additions like Tinder Vibes that the OG swiping app is trying to move away from its hook-up haven reputation.
Which is fair enough I guess. But… people are always gonna want to hook up. So it also feels kinda unnecessary. I mean, you have a niche!
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What Is Tinder Explore?
The question on everyone’s lips. Especially if, as I assume you just did, you’ve been Googling it… ‘What is Tinder Explore?’
Basically, Tinder Explore will act as an announcement space for events like Swipe Night as well as offering new ways to connect with potential matches.
What does that mean? Well, you’ll be able to choose matches through discussing ‘hot takes’ with them, or matching on shared interests and vibes.
So, if you’re both environmental activists, yay! You can discuss the end of the world together. And if you both love skateboarding, you can… compare… trucks?
Is that a skateboard thing? Tape? They use tape, right? Bowls? Whatever. Clearly, I am not listing skateboarding as an interest.
Tinder Explore is meant to act as sort of a home screen and moves the app towards the ‘social network’ space rather than just the swiping/hookup space.
There will be ‘areas’, like Foodies, Music Lovers, Social Enterprises, even Entrepreneurs, so you can swipe on users with the same interests as your own.
To be honest, it sounds to me like we’ve come full circle right back round to chat rooms, but ignore me, I’m a millennial, it’s all about what Gen Z wants! (Being guessed by Millennials and *shock horror* Gen X execs… so literally who knows what they actually want…)
How To Use Tinder Explore
Tinder claims that Explore is designed to create a “deeper, multi-dimensional, interactive experience”, and most critics and dating experts are referring to it as a ‘social network’ on the dating app.
But how do you actually use Tinder Explore? And what is Tinder Explore doing that’s new?
How Does Tinder Explore Work?
You will notice Tinder Explore as a new icon at the bottom of your screen – it’s four squares. Click on that, and you will be on your explore feed.
There are various options once you’re there. There’s a ‘for you’ section, and then once you scroll down there are several more sections chosen for you – for example, ‘Foodies’ or ‘Hikers’.
Each of these options is a feed of its own, with a bunch of potential matches who have selected the same ‘passions’ to you (the passions the section has the name of).
Here you can swipe accordingly, if you are into them, swipe right, if not, politely pass.
Once you match with someone, your shared interest will be displayed on their (and your) profile. So really, Tinder Explore is a way to use your passions as a great ice breaker.
Passions, I hear you cry, what are these passions?
You can choose 3-5 passions when you edit your profile. You pick from a list, but it’s pretty extensive, including:
- Grabbing a drink
- Car boot sales
- Stately homes
Amongst many other things! I mean, that covers most bases right? Yes. Though choosing five seems restricting.
Exploring With ‘My Vibe’
The other neat feature is less about your passions and interests and more about what you are ‘vibing’ at that specific time.
Basically what I mean is that you can select your ‘vibe’ at that time and swipe on others with the same vibe. These ‘vibes’ are:
- Looking for love
- Free tonight?
- Let’s be friends
- Coffee date
So if you’re new in town and are looking for a last-minute date, you can swipe on other users who are looking for the same after selecting ‘Free Tonight’.
If you are sick of being inundated with sleazy messages but just wanna make some new friends, you know which open would work best for you.
Really, this is just a good way to weed out the people that may be looking for different things. But for right now, being a very new feature, there may not be all that many people using it.
What’s The Point Of Tinder Explore?
Basically, it opens you up to meet people that aren’t just in your feed. Say you click on ‘Thrill Seekers’ – you’ll be shown a bunch of profiles of self-described thrill-seekers (and can add yourself to their ranks if you wish).
These may not be people the algorithm would usually show you, so you’re getting to see a wider variety of options for dating, chatting, friendship, whatever.
Beyond that, Tinder Explore acts as a homepage and a place for announcements. Specifically, events like Swipe Nights will be advertised on Tinder Explore and you’ll be able to join or sign up for events from the Explore page.
Presumably, Tinder wants to up engagement levels – they know we usually just half-heartedly swipe when waiting for the bus, and they want to change that.
Explore is, to its credit, easy to navigate and eye-catching. But does Tinder need to be a social network? That remains to be seen.
Final Thoughts On Tinder Explore
My verdict on Tinder Explore? Well, I know a lot of apps kinda ruin things when they try to do too much. Think about Hinge and those damn roses! The whole app went downhill after that.
I understand that Tinder wants to stay relevant, but messing with an interface we all know really well is often a bad idea.
That being said, Explore isn’t asking you to pay for anything, it’s just… is it needed?
It seems like an attempt by a perfectly good mostly-hookup app to appeal to a generation who, rumor has it, just ain’t hooking up all that much.
Personally, I’m not even sure that’s true! I mean, if an old-ass journalist gets in your 19-year-old face like, ‘Hey kid, do you do it???? How often??? With who???’ you might just say ‘no never with no one no’ just to get the weird ancient 38-year-old Millennial to buzz off.
Only time will really tell if Explore is a good idea (or even sticks around). If it has ruined the idea of Tinder for you, though, why not take my quick dating app quiz to see which you should move on to?