Tinder’s latest attempt to help you “find common ground” is to start sharing your location – where you are and where you have been – to help you get more matches than before. The idea is simple: if Tinder knows where you’ve been, it can match you with other people who have also been there. Now you have something in common, an ice breaker for your date, and even a possible first date spot!
However, this feature has obvious issues when it comes to protecting your privacy. So should you use it? In this article, we’ll break down absolutely everything you need to know about how this feature will impact you, including:
- What is Tinder Places and how does it work?
- Is Tinder doing anything to protect your privacy?
- How to turn Tinder Places on/off
- Is using Tinder Places worth it? — the pros and cons
Read on to learn if keeping Places on will help you find a good match, or have you rushing to delete your Tinder app.
What is Tinder Places and how does it work?
Tinder Places is a new feature for the Tinder dating app that tracks your location as you visit public places such as coffee shops, bars, restaurants, the gym, and so on. Then it matches you with people who have also been there. The idea is that you will have more in common with your matches.
It works using the built-in location-tracking tools on your device that uses GPS to determine where you are. Tinder Places only focuses on areas they consider “social” – so they won’t show you going to places like the bank, a personal residence, or your doctor’s office. It will however show the social places you’ve been to, and when you turn it on, will show you other matches who also go to that place. Like with the app, swipe right if you like them and left if you don’t, and you’ve got a whole new way to meet people.
Is Tinder doing anything to protect your privacy?
In general, Tinder is actually one of the better dating apps in terms of keeping your information to yourself; you barely have to provide any information to get on Tinder. Whether that’s safer or not is another story, but in general, Tinder has always been light on demanding your information. So why the shift? Is Tinder going to take care of this information, and will people be able to track you and see where you are now like with Snapchat Maps?
The short answer is no, and Tinder did build this feature with privacy in mind. Here are a few things they do to protect your privacy if you choose to use Tinder Places:
- You can opt in or out at any time – Simply choose not to use it if you don’t like it. Jump down here for our simple steps to turning Places on or off.
- Tracking isn’t in real-time – You won’t appear on other people’s radars in a new place until you’ve already left.
- You can delete places to hide them from others – If you don’t want people to see you going to a specific place, just tap its pin on the map and tap Delete Place. You can then choose Just This Once if you don’t want people to see you there today specifically, or Never Show Me Here if you want to keep it private for good.
- People won’t appear over and over – Just because you like the same coffee shop, doesn’t mean it’s love at first sight. If you swipe left, people will not keep appearing as potential matches just because they go to the same places as you.
How to turn Tinder Places on/off
Open the Tinder app on your device, like you would to use it normally. At the top of the main screen, tap the pin toggle – it’s next to the small flame icon that has always been there. When the pin is red and the flame is grey, Places is on. When the flame is red and the pin is grey, Places is off.
Is using Tinder Places worth it? — the pros and cons
Here are the basic positives and negatives about enabling Tinder Places on your smartphone:
- Matches could be better – you’re matching with someone that has at least one thing in common with you
- Date night might be less awkward – you’ll have something to talk about + a possible first date spot depending on which “Place” brought you together
- Meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise – Tinder will show you people you haven’t seen before
- People will know where you hang out – if you have a bad date, that person knows where to go back to if they’re trying to find you
- Tinder becomes less anonymous – if you like Tinder because you don’t have to fill out info about yourself, you’re losing some of that privacy here
- This could add literally no value to your matches – just because you two go to the same spin class, doesn’t mean they’re any more compatible with you than any other person in your general area
If you’re looking for other helpful information, check out our course on how Tinder works, or our online dating page which has dozens of helpful articles where you can learn about the best free dating apps for iPhone and Android, how to plan a cheap and fun date using Groupon, and so much more!