On Thursday, the mega-popular dating app Tinder released a new feature called “super likes,” which let you indicate to someone that you really, really like them.
That means there are now three options on Tinder: “Yes,” “No,” and “Yes, please message me!!!”
The catch is that you can only “super like” one person per day — unless you have a premium account. Tinder no doubt sees it as a chance to drive users into the premium area, but I personally found the once-daily restriction to be the main draw of “super likes.”
Yesterday, I opened Tinder to try out the new function, and it completely changed the way I interacted with the app.
But first I should explain what type of Tinder user I am. I use Tinder mostly as a fun game to kill time while I’m waiting for something. When I match with someone, it’s cool for about five seconds before I forget about it. I rarely ever message someone, and mostly just let my matches pile up and up. I’ve only actually met a couple of people in person.
It’s lame, I know, but I’m not alone. This is how many people have begun to use Tinder — as just a marginally-fun mobile phone game to pass the time. In this jaded use case, swiping is the end in itself.
But yesterday, when I was trying to find someone who I could “super like,” Tinder felt different. I looked at people’s profiles much more closely, and felt like I was actively thinking instead of swiping in a yawning stupor. And when I did finally “super like” someone, I felt embarrassingly nervous about whether she would like me back. In some way I felt like I was putting myself out there in a way I wasn’t used to on Tinder.
When she liked me back I was thrilled. I felt like I actually wanted to message someone for the first time in a long time on Tinder.
Tinder claims that, based on tests, if you “super like” someone you’re three times as likely to get a match. But not just that, conversations that start in this manner are 70% longer than average.
Maybe it’s silly, but “super likes” have changed — at least temporarily — how I use Tinder. Now we’ll just see whether I managed to eventually become jaded and bored all over again.