Tinder rolled out a new feature, Tinder U, targeted toward college campuses in August. Tinder U provides a similar experience to the Tinder application, but focuses on relationships between college students, according to Tinder’s website. It is available for all CSUF enrolled students.
The application markets itself toward those who are interested in connecting for studying purposes or even finding a lunch date on campus, allowing students to build relationships with their peers. Tinder U is aiming to not only focus on hookups, according to Tinder’s website.
— Tinder (@Tinder) August 22, 2018
“The whole purpose was to get students to destroy the stigma of Tinder being solely a hookup app and promote the connection aspect of it that older people were using Tinder for,” said Kalesha Madlani, the former student brand marketing manager at Tinder.
Tinder U seeks to push past the “taboo” stereotype by providing a place where users are meeting other people within their community, according to Tinder’s website.“I think the most positive experiences I’ve had on Tinder is meeting guys that know friends of mine that I could have met in real life, but just haven’t,” said Riley Greenough, an English major at CSUF.
The new application allows its users to view students from neighboring college campuses as well. To create a Tinder U account, the user must be on campus and use their university email ending in “.edu.” Then, the user will simply verify the account and will be set to start swiping, according to the website.
Tinder U account holders can access all of the functions of a regular Tinder account, including swiping right, viewing profiles, using super likes, instant messaging and more. Users can switch to the regular format at any time, according to the website.
The Tinder application can be downloaded from Apple’s app store and Google’s Play store at no cost. Premium features will cost users a monthly fee, depending on the package that best suits their swiping needs.
Chelsea Reynolds, an assistant communications professor who specializes in online sexuality, said while the app has its benefits, it also has its risks.
“On one hand, it’s a great socializing tool, it’s awesome to not need to know people in your work community, school community or church community in order to date. But on the other hand, it presents some physical risks, especially to young women and queer people who are doing online dating, “ Reynolds said.
A survey from Statista, an international statistics database, shows that about 60 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds use or have used online dating sites.
Applications like Tinder, that are primarily mobile, “make sense for the younger demographic” who use phones for a wide range of things in their lives, Reynolds said.
“It also gives you the ability as a user, as someone who is using online dating apps, to sort of target-search the kind of people that you would actually be interested in dating, which are probably people in your college,” Reynolds said.
With 1.6 billion swipes per day and 1 million dates per week, Tinder is offered in over 190 countries and is growing rapidly as a company, according to the Tinder website.
Tinder U is offered at 4-year, accredited, nonprofit universities in the U.S. that offer courses in a traditional in-person learning format, according to its website.