Taking Cues From Tinder, Match.com Launches New iPhone App

Today, Match.com is unveiling an entirely redesigned mobile experience for iPhone users, with the release of Match 3.0 for iOS.

The new app takes gestural cues from the big iOS 7 overhaul, and also goes for a more flat design overall. Even the Match.com logo has been reimagined. But more than anything, the company has taken cues from other dating apps to make Match an enjoyable mobile experience.

The company (owned by IAC) has implemented a few new features that are built specifically for mobile, and not available anywhere else on the platform. See, Match.com’s old mobile app used to be a mirror image of the Match.com website, which uses algorithms and information provided by you to offer up daily matches to users, as well as the option to search based on various criteria.

Turns out, criteria-based search isn’t a great experience on mobile.

That said, the new Match.com app opens up to a Discover page, which didn’t exist in the app before today. There are two parts to the Discover page: Stream and Mixer.

The Stream is an endless, well, stream of people that may be interesting to you. They are pulled based on location, your preferences, things you’ve liked before, etc. and it feels a lot like scrolling through Instagram and not Match.com.

Match is quite proud to have found a way to fit multiple photos for each user within the Stream page, as Match President Amarnath Thombre explained that this saves the user multiple clicks.

“The challenge was to leverage all the rich data that Match has about users, like secondary photos and information from their bio, and make it super lightweight,” said Thombre. “With the Stream, users can see a lot of information about their potential matches without ever clicking in to anything.”

On the other side of the Discover tab, there’s Mixer. The Mixer experience is very similar to Tinder. You swipe right if you like someone, and swipe left if you don’t. You also have the option to like their photos or message them from within the Mixer.

But according to Thombre, it wasn’t necessarily about copying Tinder. After all, they’re playing for the same team (IAC owns Match.com, OKCupid, and is a majority shareholder in Tinder).

Rather, “the swipe is a natural motion on mobile,” says Thombre.

Of course, the app still features traditional search and matching, but also has a more mobile feel to it for the first time since the app launched. Which is important, considering that 50 percent of signups come from mobile, and more than half of messages sent between users are from mobile.

Speaking of messages, the Match folks took a stab at redesigning those to be more mobile-friendly, rather than focusing on long-winded email-type messages as you would on desktop. The messages look very similar to the standard iOS text app, and they offer “Delivered” and “Read” receipts, but do not show a typing status indicator (…).

Finally, Match has decided to leverage in-app purchases for Match’s mobile app. Previously, it was a closed experience that asked the user for a lot of input, all to keep the 30 percent that would have gone to Apple. Now Match is trying to make things easier on the customer, by offering single-click payment.

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You can check out the new app here.