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Tinder Tests Place-Based Dating Feature With Foursquare, Mapbox

Tinder Places is designed to connect the dating app users with potential matches who love the same spots.

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Among dating app hurdles, Tinder may be taking the problem of where to meet out of the equation by letting its users discover potential matches based on the restaurants, bars, gyms, dog runs, and any other location they tend to visit.

That’s the idea behind a partnership with Foursquare and Mapbox for an opt-in feature called Tinder Places. The feature is only being tested in three cities — Sydney and Brisbane, Australia and Santiago, Chile — but if there’s enough interest in those places, it’s likely to be rolled out elsewhere.

Tinder Places is activated when a user taps a pin next to the “flame” icon at the top of the Discovery screen. From there, they can explore different locations and see potential matches that have been there as well.

“In the future, the apps and services we interact with are going to provide hyper-personalized experiences based on our unique preferences and how we move through the world,” says Foursquare Chairman Dennis Crowley. “Foursquare will be the company that powers this understanding.”

To ensure privacy, the Places feature can also be switched off any time, Tinder notes in a blog post.

Secondly, users won’t be identified according to a place while they’re actually there — Tinder Places only marks a user’s appearance after they’ve left.

“There are probably some places you’d rather keep to yourself, right? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered,” Tinder adds. “We will never show you at the bank, your home, or doctor’s office because Places is strictly social and tbh, sharing a bank isn’t exactly mind-blowing information.”

Users can delete a place they don’t want to be known for and can choose to “never be shown at a place, ever.”

Tinder Places in action

Dating By Location

The new feature is powered by Foursquare’s location analytics SDK, Pilgrim, and by Mapbox’s data visualization tools. Both companies also provide similar complementary services for other apps, such as Snapchat’s SnapMap feature.

“Foursquare is the industry leader in location technology, with a proven, best-in-class SDK,” said Tinder CEO Elie Seidman. “They were the clear choice to help power Places.”

From Foursquare’s perspective, the partnership showcases the various uses of its Pilgrim SDK, which allows the platform’s discovery app to suggest places to go when a user is in proximity of a recommended location even when the Foursquare app is not actively “opened” by the smartphone’s owner.

Tinder Places

The deal with Tinder follows the introduction of Foursquare’s “Places API for Start-Ups” in April. The offering aimed specifically towards start-ups and SMBs, with the promise that “they can leverage our location data in their apps and services without paying the same price as our enterprise partners,” says Peter Krasniqi, VP, Global Sales Strategy & Operations.

“The launch is more than a year in the making, and it heralds a new phase for Pilgrim, now out of beta,” Krasniqi says in a separate blog post heralding the Tinder Places feature. “Since we launched our SDK in early 2017, we nearly doubled our ability to automatically snap a person to a commercial venue in the U.S. This upgrade and many others will be leveraged within the new Tinder feature.”

For Tinder, Pilgrim SDK, and the Places feature bring more authenticity into the dating experience by providing new and valuable insights about the people that show up in a user’s dating queue, Krasniqi adds.

“We are pleased to add Tinder to the list of global brands that already leverage our technology, including Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Tencent, Snapchat, Uber and 125K other developers” adds Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck. “We’re not surprised that in early beta testing, we saw this feature yield increased engagement for Tinder. Location understanding makes any digital product feel real and personal. That’s why Pilgrim SDK, the most precise and accurate option available, is in such high demand.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.