Judge all you want, but I’m definitely no dating app newbie. I’ve repeatedly dabbled in all the mainstream ones (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge) since their inception; downloading and then deleting them 48 hours later — only to redownload them a few weeks later. I know, it’s a toxic cycle that needs to be broken this year.
My inability to stay consistent with dating apps (coupled with the fact that I always choose a date night in with my book, a facemask and a cup of tea over a night out with dating potentials) probably explains why I’ve been single for the entire 28 years of my existence.
So, when news broke that Tinder had released a Matchmaker feature, my interest was piqued – mostly because I knew my family and friends would all jump at the opportunity to use it. Being forever single has meant everyone in my immediate circle (the majority of them happily in relationships) is heavily invested in my dating life, all with the best intentions, of course. They find pure enjoyment in getting the DL every time we meet — asking me about who I’m dating at any given moment, what dates I’ve recently been on, who’s new on my Instagram DM pen pal list and all the goss on the latest app matches. My phone is often passed around in a circle to analyse said matches.
What is Tinder’s new Matchmaker feature?
As the name suggests, Tinder’s Matchmaker feature lets users invite up to 15 loved ones in a 24-hour period to view and recommend matches, regardless of whether they have a Tinder account or not. Think of it like an IRL matchmaker, minus the hefty fee.
Users can start a Matchmaker session either directly from a profile or within the app settings. The user’s ‘matchmakers’ don’t have to download the Tinder app or have an account to access the link, but they have to be quick to access it because the link will expire after four hours.
Once in, the matchmaker can swipe left for ‘no’ or right for ‘yes’ on a limited number of profiles selected at random. It should be stressed that swiping right only gives them the ability to recommend the profile, not like and chat with someone on the Tinder user’s behalf. Phew.
When the Matchmaker session is completed, the Tinder user then has to wait four hours until they can see and review the potentials their loved ones have suggested. The profiles liked by matchmakers are marked as a ‘recommendation’ but the Tinder user who invited them has the final say on who to officially send that scary right swipe to in the app.
The feature came about after a survey commissioned by Tinder found that 75 per cent of singletons between the ages of 18 and 25 discuss their dating lives with their friends multiple times a month (a statistic I can personally relate to). So, this new feature helps fast-track the entire dating process — and let’s be real, if no new matches come out of it, at least you all benefit from some great entertainment.
To add to this, another Tinder survey found that Gen Z singles are no strangers to letting their friends swipe on dating apps on their behalf.
“Nearly half of users (49 per cent) have swiped for a friend and have had their friends swipe for them,” Tinder spokesperson Kirsty Dunn, confirmed with Lifehacker.
“24 per cent of young singles swipe the most when they’re with their friends and more than half (56 per cent) admit to having asked their friend for their advice on profile pictures and bios for dating apps.”
Because these statistics were hitting too close to home for me, I decided to put the new feature to the test and sent out unique links to five of my matchmakers. Here’s what went down…
My Matchmakers’ thoughts
Matchmaker A: In a happy two-year relationship with someone they matched with on Tinder
Pro: ”I wish I had this feature when I was on the app — it was so entertaining to use. It took me back to my single days, which were tough and required a lot of time and effort!“
Con: “I wish I could’ve sent an actual like to the profiles I approved, not just recommended them. This is only because I know Juna won’t initiate conversations with people on dating apps, so I’d want to do it on her behalf.”
Matchmaker B: Currently single and is actively on a few other dating apps
Pro: “I loved how I can have some fun with my friends helping them with their dating life!”
Con: “I wish I could make notes or leave comments about each person’s profile so the Tinder user can see them.”
Matchmaker C: Has never used a dating app and is in a happy two-year relationship with someone they met in real life
Pro: “I thought it was great to see what’s out there (I can see the single struggle is real!). It was user-friendly and easy to tap yes or no.”
Con: “There was not enough selection, it was quite limiting because you could only do a certain number of swipes.”
Matchmaker D: Currently single and active on other competing dating apps
Pro: “It was really simple to navigate.”
Con: “There isn’t a lot of information available about the individual. This made it a bit superficial as you’re basing your first judgement on the images itself and when you click on more info, there’s really not much there because it’s not a requirement for them to add anything else about themselves.”
Matchmaker E: Married and has children
Pro: “It was a fun game and makes for great conversation over a glass of wine.”
Cons: “The selection was not impressive (the bar is set low with how people present themselves), and I can now completely understand why singles have so much trouble dating, but I guess this has nothing to do with the feature itself and is purely about the people using the app.”
My personal thoughts
Did I find love with Tinder Matchmaker? No. Did I get a first date out of it? No. But did I have a good laugh? That, my friend, is a big, strong yes.
I also managed to start a chat with two people recommended by my Matchmakers and actually send a few messages back and forth, which is a big achievement for me. But like the majority of my other dating app conversations, it soon fizzled out after I got tired of receiving the ‘how was your day?’ message. Sorry, I’m not looking for another pen pal.
In all honesty, I was hesitant to download Tinder because of the ‘hook up’ label it’s garnered over the years, but for the purpose of this review – and my single status – I was willing to bite the bullet and go for it.
After using the app for a few days, I can confirm the interface does kind of give off that notorious hook-up vibe” Maybe it’s the array of bright colours chosen or the fact that users can simply set up a profile with little to no information. Like, sorry, I can’t really make a judgment based on your one photo – a gym mirror selfie, too – and your age and height. However, this did make me appreciate the profiles which clearly looked like the users had taken the time and effort to curate a solid account.
If your friends and family are anything like mine, Matchmaker will most likely be used for entertainment (read: trolling) rather than actually helping your love life. But, hey, I will take any fun dating opportunity I can get at this rate.
And if your family and friends aren’t like mine, I can definitely say it’s a handy feature if you need a boost of assistance and confirmation from your trusty loved ones. Tinder, well done.
Lead Image Credit: Tinder/Apple TV
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