The Controversial Feature Tinder Almost Unleashed On The World -- Then Changed Its Mind And Killed

Popular meet-up app Tinder almost launched a controversial feature but thought better of it, CEO Sean Rad told Business Insider.

Tinder is an app used by millions of people to find friends or dates nearby. It works a lot like hot-or-not: swipe right if you find the person attractive or left if you don’t to find another user. When two people find each other attractive, Tinder lets them know there’s a match and allows them to message back and forth.

(Not everyone matches based on looks, however. Sometimes you match because it’s someone you recognise from your local coffee shop or because it’s someone who shares a lot of mutual friends. In that respect, the app is a lot like Highlight.)

So what was the controversial feature it nearly launched?

A trending tool, says Rad. As in, Tinder built a feature that highlighted the most popular users on the app at any given time. The entire feature was finished and ready to launch, but Rad changed his mind and killed it. It was never even tested beta tested.

Rad’s team came up with algorithms and crunched data to surface trending users. “Trending” doesn’t necessarily mean most attractive. Tinder’s trending tool examined the quality of conversations people were having on the app as well as who had the most matches and more.

Rad says he decided not to unleash the feature on users because he felt like it was a “double-edge sword.”

Tinder users don’t necessarily want other Tinder users to realise how frequently they use the app or how many conversations they spark on it.

His team is thinking about ways to provide users with data more discretely though. For example: Tinder has thought about showing users which of their Facebook pictures perform best on the app. One day, Tinder might let users cycle through all their photos then present statistics about which generated the most matches.

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