Tinder is unmatching teens. Most of them, anyway. Starting next week, the dating app will ban everyone under 18 from using it, changing its current policy — which has been in place since it launched in 2012 — of allowing users as young as 13.
Even when those under 18 years of age were allowed to use the app most often associated with hookups, there were safety checks in place. Those between the ages of 13 and 17 could only match with others in the age group. But school-going kids will now need to find other avenues to find dates. When the rule comes into effect, their existing accounts will simply disappear.
Tinder uses Facebook data to verify details of users, and assuming that Facebook profiles of its users are all legit and real, the new regulation would work. However, it is entirely possible that an adult creates a fake profile posing as a minor, or the other way around.
The company put out an official statement Thursday: “On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences. Consistent with this responsibility, we have decided to discontinue service for under 18 users. We believe this is the best policy moving forward. This change will take effect next week.”
TechCrunch reported Tinder spokeswoman Rosette Pambakian as saying: “We’ve been reviewing this policy since early this year and believe it’s the right thing to do. A number of factors go into making a decision like this, but we’re confident we landed on the right policy.”
Less than 3 percent of the app’s global user base is expected to be affected by the change, the company said. As of April, about 50 million people were estimated to be using the app, with about 10 million daily users swiping 1.4 billion times a day, according to Complex.
Some other dating apps, such as OkCupid and Bumble, that compete with Tinder always had an “18 and above” policy for their users.