The new Tinder lets you stick people in the dreaded friend zone

Tinder released an update on Monday with some major new features. For Tinder 3.0, the app’s scope is expanding to a new, necessary place: the friend zone. 

Now, instead of just selecting potential romantic partners, Tinder wants its users to mercilessly and swiftly judge possible new pals. Once users select a prospective platonic bud as a match, they can place each other on lists of friends. This could be a great opportunity to expand Tinder’s chatting function, since users may move from simply sending flirtatious overtures to using the platform as an alternative to Facebook chat or Gchat. With lists, people can match themselves up with their IRL friends and use Tinder as a way to keep in touch as they trawl for soulmates and sexfriends. Screen 4

Of course, lists aren’t only for friends. Because swiping your iPhone to signal whether or not you believe a human being has worth as a potential romantic partner based on a single photograph and basic vitals wasn’t enough judging, Tinder now lets you separate the people you have deemed worthy of maybe-possibly-someday getting sensual with into lists as well. Lists for all! 

The Tinder press release suggests lists like “business connections” but if you’re getting yourself matched up with potential work associates on Tinder, you’re doing it wrong. I suspect people will primarily use the list function to separate their potential matches into other categories, like “Maybe if I’m drunk” — though I can also see people simply making a list of their friends so they can use Tinder as a chatting app as well as a dating service. It’s a smart expansion, and something that’s been in the works for a while; when I talked to co-founder Justin Mateen back in July, he mentioned the plan to expand beyond romantic relationships and into friendships. It appears lists is the app’s first concerted effort to do so, but it’s probably not going to be the last. And since competitors like Hinge are trying to paint Tinder as a niche hookup app, now is the time to avoid easy categorization. 

The Tinder update also included an altered algorithm, so you may end up with more accurate potential matches — according to TechCrunch, this juiced-up algorithm is the first step towards Tinder’s ultimate vision of creating automatic, sensitive lists of people around you that you may want to meet, both romantically and platonically. 

The company also upgraded its interface and expanded its language options. You can also include six photos of yourself to display at the same time now.

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