Tinder is getting into video. On Wednesday, the popular dating app will begin testing its first video-based feature, Tinder Loops, with iOS users in Canada and Sweden. The company says it will evaluate how users respond to Loops before making a decision to roll it out to other markets.
As you may have guessed by the name – “Loops” – the feature isn’t focused on traditional video, but rather on a shorter, almost GIF-like looping video format that’s been popularized by apps like Instagram’s Boomerang and, before that, Twitter’s Vine. In Tinder’s case, Loops will be just two seconds long, and can be added to users’ profiles alongside their photos.
The company says it decided to test videos because it believes videos can show more of users’ personalities, and that can increase people’s chances of getting right-swiped (liked, that is). It suggests the videos could be used for showing off your favorite activities – like shooting hoops or cliff jumping. But it’s likely that Tinder users will find other use cases for looping videos beyond that.
Loops represents the next step in the evolution of our classic profile,” said Brian Norgard, Chief Product Officer at Tinder. “With the addition of video, users have a new way to express themselves while also gaining key insights into the lives of potential matches. Whether it’s dancing at a concert, doing cartwheels on the beach, or clinking glasses with friends, Loops makes profiles come alive. We anticipate Tinder Loops will lead to even more matches and conversations and look forward to seeing how our users creatively adopt the feature,” he added.
More realistically, looping videos may better show people as they are – not hidden behind a soft photo filter or snapped from a classic MySpace angle. And that could lead to less surprise on first dates, as people will have already gotten a better sense of who they’re meeting, as well as how they like to have fun.
But at only two-seconds long, Loops are not as intimidating as posting a “real” video for users who are more shy.
To try the new feature, iOS users in the supported markets will be able to go to their profile, then tap the “Add Media” button to upload a video. Once the video is selected, you can drag the time strip to select the part you want to loop, preview it, and post it to your profile.
Tinder Loops currently supports only videos or Live Photos imported from your iOS Camera Roll. It doesn’t allow users to capture Loops directly from the app.
Alongside the option to add Loops, a subset of users in the test markets will also be given the ability to upload nine photos (or Loops), instead of just six. That could encourage more uploads of Loops as users won’t have to remove their existing photos to give the feature a try.
Tinder would not be the first dating app to dabble with video.
Starting last year, a number of its rivals began to support video in various contexts, as well. Hinge started allowing users to add videos up to 30 seconds long to their profiles; Match and Bumble announced Stories-like features involving video (BumbleVID didn’t pan out); and Zoosk tried video in a separate app, Lively, which has since pivoted to trivia. Integrating video, it appears, is not that easy.
The feature’s launch comes at a time when the competition between modern dating apps has been heating up. Specifically, Tinder and Bumble’s battles have gotten nasty, with Tinder suing Bumble over patents, and Bumble suing Tinder back for fraudulently obtaining trade secrets. Tinder also recently said it would roll out a ladies-first option in its app, which is the thing Bumble is best known for.
Now, with Loops, Tinder is differentiating itself further from the rest of the pack. Whether or not users will respond, however, remains to be seen.
Loops is rolling out today to the supported test markets.