Dating apps that only offer you the chance to make a romantic match are a thing of the past. Bumble wants to help you make friends and career connections, for example. Now, Tinder is bringing that feature to the United States with Tinder Social. Tinder Social has a leg up over one-on-one friend-making channels, such as Bumble BFF, because it's an easier way to get a whole crew of existing and new friends together for a night out. To get started, download or update Tinder, then go to your Settings and opt-in to using Tinder Social. When you unlock the friend-finding channel, other friends on Tinder won't see that you are also using the app, unless you want them to. Next, create a group by choosing one to three of your Facebook friends who have also opted in. After that, it gets fun. You can assign a status to your group about what you want to do together. ("Anyone up for happy hour?") Another group can express interest in your status, and once at least one member of each group has swiped right on the other, your groups are matched. You can chat within the app and make plans to go out together.
There is a time limit on meeting up — the match will expire at noon the following day — emphasizing that Tinder sees Tinder Social as a way to make last-minute evening plans rather than a long, back-and-forth, never-ending on-screen conversation between semi-strangers. “Tinder Social is designed to make it as easy as possible to plan your night, get out into the real world, and meet new people," Sean Rad, CEO and cofounder of Tinder, said in a press release. Of course, Tinder Social groups could easily end up just being a double or triple date (and much of the app's promotional materials suggest that this is an intended goal). But for anyone who's just looking for a fun crew to go out with on a Friday night, this is definitely worth a try. We will, for once, actively encourage our friends to download the app.