Tinder’s New $499 Perks Will Make Online Dating Even Worse

Tinder’s New $499 Perks Will Make Online Dating Even Worse

Update: 12/19/2023

Tinder is now beginning the rollout of its premium service under the name Tinder Vault. The previously reported $499 price tag is for a monthly subscription; an annual membership will cost users $4,999.

Original story: 09/28/2023:

As if dating apps weren't already hard work as it is, Tinder has announced a new premium membership tier which will introduce a whole new host of questionable features to its platform.

The "high-end" service, dubbed Tinder Select, costs $499 and promises to help your profile be seen by more people, as well as help you to reach the "most sought after profiles" on the app. Tinder Select will reportely be invite-only, and the company has stated that only one percent of its user base will be able to access this exclusive feature.

On its surface, the swiping app's foray into VIP dating isn't that unusual: pricey members-only dating services like Raya, where celebrities look for love, and The League, which uses human matchmakers rather than algorithms and costs up to $1,000 per week, are incredibly popular. But Tinder's newest offering is definitely cause for concern.

An additional perk to Tinder Select membership is the ability to send messages to profiles without needing to match with them first. That is to say, the other person has no say in whether or not a conversation begins, and no control over what is sent to them.

This is a huge red flag. While Tinder has previously done good work to keep its users safe by introducing measures like profile verification, Tinder Select has come under criticism online, with many commentators pointing out that it essentially removes consent from the user experience, and creates an open field for harassment and even stalking.

Tinder Select members will only be able to use this feature and send unsolicited messages twice per week, a rule that has presumably put in place to minimize the risk of harassment. But it does beg the question, why introduce such a function at all?

Tinder's announcement described the new membership tier as the ideal way to forge "exceptional connections." But hassling somebody after they've already swiped left is not exactly likely to lead to a lasting relationship.

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