Tinder goes back to its roots


Tinder announced it is going to launch a new feature for all those Tinder U users: “Spring Break mode.” The concept is to have students swipe on potential matches ahead of the spring break vacation, based on a list of the typical locations students may find themselves at this March including: Miami, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, Las Vegas and many others. There’s also the “staycation” option.

Tinder is indeed eager to become the go-to dating app for college students, even if this means leaning into the somewhat accurate stereotype that Tinder is purposely built for hooking up - pulling all the stops to cultivate a loyal, perhaps reliant, generation of users who use tech in order to avoid the pain of in-person rejection.

Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold already offer location-setting for matching before travelling, either swiping ahead of a vacation or offering the ability to continue to swipe on the home location while away. Given the fact that most cash-strapped college students aren’t about to drop money on their go-to casual dating app, features makes sense as an event-specific benefit for Tinder U users.

“Spring Break mode” will land best with users who have something more like a love-hate relationship to Tinder, as opposed to fatigue or apathy — people who seek real connections on dating apps seem to be among the apps’ most dissatisfied users. We don't know how to date without these apps, still, dating with these apps is often more bad than good. Dating-app dissatisfaction is also pushing many people to a somewhat more old-fashioned approach: messaging people they’re interested in on apps like Instagram as an attempt to bypass the often fraught in-person experience of asking someone out, or maintain plausible deniability about their romantic interest.

For students more interested in hooking up than doing anything serious, rather than go into spring break hoping for serendipitous, romantic encounter, they can now prepare ahead by simply charging their phones.