Tinder users will now have better chatting tools, thanks to an upgraded messaging experience in the mobile dating app. Amid a flurry of changes that began rolling out last night to the iOS application, and soon Android, Tinder added support for sending your matches GIFs. It also upgraded the size of emoji in chat and also now lets you “like” the individual messages you received from a match.
On the more practical side of things, Tinder has finally addressed one of the bigger pain points with using its app – now, you can upload photos directly from your Camera Roll instead of relying on those imported from Facebook.
This latter item has been something of an issue for Tinder, as many of those in its core demographic are not as active on Facebook as they are elsewhere (like Instagram). In addition, there are some photos users want to add to Tinder that they don’t want to share more broadly on Facebook, forcing them to do things like change the privacy settings on a new upload picture to “Only Me,” for example, in order to import it into Tinder without their Facebook network seeing the item.
Not surprisingly, this was one of Tinder’s most requested features.
Meanwhile, on the messaging front, Tinder has tapped Giphy to power its new in-app GIF sharing feature which is accessed by way of a new GIF button next to the text input box. The app will also show a list of trending GIFs you can send to matches. Not only are GIFs fun, they also have the potential to help break the ice between two strangers, as they can be a playful way to start a conversation.
The “message liking” option, too, is a small tweak that can be used to show interest and express a positive sentiment, even when you’re not sure what to say back.
Along with the larger emoji, these features could help increase engagement in Tinder’s app, allowing users to spend more time texting and perhaps with less pressure to “switch the conversation to SMS” – something a lot of women in particular are hesitant to do ahead of meeting someone in person.
Tinder tells us today that the average time spent in the app is more than an hour per day, so it’s already doing well in terms of engagement, however.
Finally, the app has expanded its support for Apple’s 3D Touch, by allowing users to “peek and pop” on web links shared in conversations.
These features (minus 3D Touch, of course), should roll out to Android later this morning, the company says.
Tinder, which is now the flagship dating app in newly public IAC’s portfolio, doesn’t disclose how many users it has, but it’s estimated to be as high as 50 million. The company did say in November, following news of its new matching algorithm, that it has seen nearly 10 billion matches to date and makes 26 million matches daily.