Earlier this week Apple launched an update for iOS 10 that introduced their new Apple TV features. This update replaced users’ “Videos” app with a “TV” app, and is supposed to make your TV watching easier. Now customers with Apple TV are supposed to be able to have all their TV shows in one centralized locations–though, according to The Verge, this update isn’t as great as it’s boasting (for now at least). The article implies that the update/feature was rushed and that several major content providers did not partner with Apple for this.
One plus, however, is the new Tinder app for Apple TV. Now Tinder users can swipe through potential matches on their TV screens, using their remotes as the right and left controls. Tinder premiered more than ten short video commercials to go with the launch of this new Apple TV feature. All of them star the same family members using their tv to swipe through people on Tinder (though we don’t officially know this until the end when the “Tinder for Apple TV” tagline shows up on the screen). There are no voice overs or any music — just the voices and environmental sound effects of the actors. The videos start out decidedly uncomfortably because of this. It feels too quiet. But they all center around funny possible situations that could arise from Tinder being on your TV.
Tinder did a couple smart things here. First, launching an app for TV. Over the past year or so Tinder has come out with several new features that personally hold no value for me (i.e. super like, social–maybe more regular users enjoy these features, I don’t know). I appreciate their drive to expand and become more than the original app they started with, companies have to grow, but those all seemed like sad attempts. This new app however is something I would definitely use (if I had an Apple TV that is–Santa?) because it’s an extension of what people were already doing. Tinder might have started out as a lone activity that people were embarrassed about but some of that stigma of online “dating” has started to shed in recent years. When I was a regular user of Tinder, I could have spent hours sitting with friends swiping together. The app is almost designed like a game and I think for people who don’t take it too seriously, that is exactly what it has become for them. My friends used to joke even that they wish we could do this on the TV so that everyone could watch. Moving Tinder to this platform shows that the company understands its users and is trying to push away any stigma that remains by bringing together different generations over this seemingly harmless app.
The videos were also such a well thought out and executed strategy. By showing families in these humorous situations, we can imagine ourselves in the same scenarios. The timing was perfect too (I’m sure that was no mistake) since many people in Tinder’s target audience will be traveling home for the holidays. Our parents are always nagging us to get off our phones and we (usually) all want to be together while we can, so even though this is a potentially weird way to connect, it could be fun. Tinder is turning family game night from Monopoly to swiping. At first this was an extremely uncomfortable thought, but I think with the right families and targets, this could be a perfect fit (that I might be okay with).
So, Happy Holidays and Happy Swiping-