Tinder no longer sees physical closeness as a necessity for dating. The company announced today that it’ll soon be testing Global Mode, a new option for daters to opt in to that’ll allow their profiles to show up around the world, regardless of where they live. They’ll also be able to view and match with people who live in other countries.
The feature sounds similar to, but is different from, Tinder’s paid option called Passport, which lets people select a location and swipe in that place. With Global Mode, people’s profiles will populate throughout the world. Typically, Passport is used before people go on trips so they can set up dates or find people to show them around an area ahead of their arrival. Global Mode is also, crucially, free. For now, it’s just a test for some users starting next week, but it sounds like the company plans it roll it out more widely in the future, assuming everything goes as planned.
The pandemic, Tinder says in a press release, pushed the company to speed up its timeline for getting rid of geographic filters. It also turned the company’s focus to launching one-on-one video chats, which should be released soon, as well as other interactive video features, like in-app trivia. Broadly, the company seems to be acknowledging that dating, or at least forming a connection with someone, doesn’t necessarily mean meeting up in person. Global Mode is a direct nod to the virtual world the pandemic made a more immediate reality.