By: Kerry Ingram, Arts & Life Editor
Featured image courtesy of swiperhelper.com
Never in my life did I think I would be sitting down writing a piece about “Tinder University.” Never.
But hey, it’s 2018. Anything’s possible.
It was recently announced by Tinder owner Match Group that the dating app would be taking a marketing turn straight for a large and specific market of its consumers: college students. The app has launched an extension to its already popular services with a new app titled “Tinder U”, which serves as a college-only filter for users.
For someone like me, who is completely out-of-the-loop when it comes to dating apps, this announcement came as a surprise; I assumed most Tinder users were of college age. However, a recent Statista survey revealed that although college-aged individuals fall into the age group of the highest percentage of people in the U.S. to utilize Tinder, the group of avid users expands from age 18 all the way to age 24, making postgrads a large part of the population on the app.
In order to filter matches though Tinder U, a Tinder user simply has to add their official college “.edu” email to their regular Tinder account while on campus. The new function, which is location-based, will then be activated after further verification of your student status.
This new extension of Tinder is something I actually feel like will not only be of importance and prominence within the next year, but also something I find will bring more people to join the app. A common fear about joining the online dating scene (and something I have always thought of) is the concept of catfishes: people who pose as other identities online. Although such occurrences make for great television (I admittedly binge-watched ALL episodes of “Catfish: The TV Show” with my best friend last summer, in a two-week span), it doesn’t always make for a great date. Being catfished sucks if there are little lies that are later revealed, such as a person being a year younger than they claimed, but things can get dangerous when the person is hiding their true identity for other reasons.
According to a 2016 report released by Psychology Today, nearly 53 percent of Americans lie or fabricate parts of their online dating profile. Again, this can include small lies, like lying about being interested in “Star Wars” just in order to continue conversing with a person, however lies can also include lying about your relationship status, your appearance, and scariest of all: your intentions.
Although Tinder U won’t be able to let you know who is an “f-boy,” who is actually single, or who is completely sane, it will at least be able to assure you that you’re talking to someone who is a college student, and thus, most likely around your age (with the exceptions of transfers and alternative students).
I think the idea to add this extension is a wise one – it makes it simpler for students on campus grounds to mingle with those in the same space, and eliminates the possibility of older adults posing as students. This may invite those who feel extensively cautious about dating apps to take a second look of consideration. Hopefully other dating apps follow suit.
Now it’s your turn to sound off: do you think Tinder U is a good next-step for Tinder? And if so, will you be using it? Tweet us @TheTowerlight and let us know what you think!