Step back, LinkedIn -- Tinder is coming for your networking niche. The popular hookup app has been working with Forbes to create an app for attendees of the media company’s Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia in October. Forbes will launch a beta test of the app at a launch party with Tinder's cofounders and other community members in San Francisco Wednesday, Forbes announced in a blog post.
Members of Forbes’ Under 30 List -- which totals more than 2,000 -- will have access to a networking app before, during and after the event. The app’s user base can swipe through profile cards of fellow list members that include name, photo, industry and career description. If both users swipe right or tap the checkmark, they can start chatting. Users do not have to swipe endlessly to find their power matches (unlike on Tinder); the app also has a member directory and an activity feed.
Forbes’ Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin refers to the new app as “speed-networking functionality powered by Tinder,” he wrote in a blog post on Forbes.com in June. Forbes does have its own app-making tools. The media company purchased a photo-sharing app startup called Camerama (think Instagram) in May for an undisclosed sum. Forbes plans to introduce a “platform of apps for passionate companies,” D’Vorkin wrote in June, with the “Under 30” app due out first.
But the partnership between Forbes and Tinder seems like a match made in media heaven. Involving Tinder President Sean Rad and his cofounder Jonathan Badeen, described by Forbes’ Head of Mobile Product Salah Zalatimo to TechCrunch as “part of the family,” meant involvement of its own power players. Rad and Badeen made Forbes’ “30 Under 30” List in 2014.
As for Tinder’s benefit, the company is testing the potential of becoming its own platform of apps akin to Facebook and LinkedIn. Indeed, many companies and startups have mimicked Tinder’s signature “swipe left” to reject and “swipe right” to like. Every week a new “Tinder For X” launches -- whether it be finding food, an apartment, a dog or a job. There’s even a “Tinder for Tinders.”
Tinder co-founder Rad cautioned in an interview with TechCrunch that non-romantic networking is not the company’s main focus. “Will this serve as a nice experiment? Sure,” Rad told TechCrunch. “We think about meeting people as sort of a general challenge.”
IAC/InterActiveCorp, which owns several media and dating app companies such as Match.com, OkCupid and PlentyofFish, has acquired a majority stake in Tinder. In June, IAC announced plans to take its dating apps division, including Tinder, public. Tinder, founded in 2012, boasts 1.5 billion swipes and 26 million "mutual swipe rights" each day. The company also pulls in revenues through advertising and a premium app called Tinder Plus.