Tinder is bringing back "Swipe Night," its interactive in-app event that allows its users another way to break the ice besides just matching and chatting. After the first season's "choose your own adventure" apocalyptic storyline brought in over 20 million users, Tinder said it would introduce a new installment, this time featuring a "whodunit" murder mystery. That event, "Swipe Night: Killer Weekend," will kick off starting on November 7th at 6 PM, the company announced this morning.
"Swipe Night" will go live in Tinder's new Explore section, first introduced in June, where the company will now house more of its social experiences. In addition to "Swipe Night," this section also includes "Hot Takes," which let members chat in real time in a sort of speed dating, timed experience, and "Passions," where users can meet others with similar interests, among other things.
This time, Tinder has made some changes to how "Swipe Night" will work. Instead of watching a story play out and then making choices as to what they should do next, the new event more directly involves Tinder users themselves, where they become a suspect in the murder mystery. Players will also be able to explore and search rooms within the house and investigate objects for clues.
At the end of each week, participants are asked to choose their suspect and they'll be paired with another user who chose a different suspect in a "Fast Chat" experience (where users can chat without matching), in order to discuss their thoughts, analyze clues and solve the mystery together. These pairings will be algorithmic, based on the user's profile preferences where they've indicated who they're looking for in terms of factors like age, gender, distance and others. But their choice of a different suspect is meant to help facilitate a conversation -- something that's been tricky on online dating apps, where users often struggle with opening lines.
When the conversation ends, players can choose to match with the other person if they want to continue to talk to them beyond the "Swipe Night" experience.
The company believes this type of low-pressure chat will make it easier for users to test out their compatibility before matching and provides a better overall experience than sending a message to someone in the app, which they might not see until the next day. And by playing a game together, users may be able to be more authentic as they describe their thoughts and choices. This, Tinder argues, is a better way to get to know someone than making a snap decision over a user's profile.
Plus, notes Tinder VP of Product Kyle Miller, this type of real-time chat is preferred by Tinder's younger users, like Gen Z.
"Demographically, we're seeing Gen Z engage with these kinds of interactive, fun ways to meet new people features a lot more," he explains. "This is one of the big reasons why we built 'Explore' -- we wanted Tinder to feel alive, experiential and immersive...When you're doing kind of the same pattern over and over again of swiping and matching and then chatting...it can become monotonous. Not what we desired," Miller continues. "Injecting that kind of fun and novelty, but also substance, I think is what we're finding Gen Z is really latching on to."
This time, Tinder will also make "Swipe Night" more broadly available, by launching it in 25 global markets, while the original version started off only in the U.S.
And it will be playable at any time, unlike the first season.
"Last time we did 'Swipe Night,' it was pretty limited in its availability -- Sundays, or only on the weekends," says Miller. "This will be live in 'Explore' and even after the season is out, it will continue to be available in 'Explore.' Six months from now, you could actually participate in 'Swipe Night' and, similar to streaming to today, you'll be able to rewatch, or re-experience, the episodes to go back to find more clues."
He also didn't rule out a future where there's a catalog of interactive experiences for users to participate in, at any time, even if they weren't all versions of "Swipe Night," necessarily.
These types of experiences, as they launch, could help Tinder increase user engagement over time, as well as provide better results for members. The first "Swipe Night's" 20 million users saw a 26% increase in matches, noted Tinder. And now, interest in the "true crime" genre is at an all-time high, with bios mentioning it having increased by 20% since the year's start. Over 30,000 Tinder bios say they're looking for their "partner in crime," as well.
This season of "Swipe Night" is directed by Sasie Sealy and features a young, Gen Z cast that includes Ashley Ganger (Grand Army/Netflix), Calvin Seabrooks (Dollface/Hulu, Westworld/HBO Max), Luke Slattery (New Amsterdam, Late Night), Francesca Olivia Xuereb (Room 203, The Sex Lives of College Girls/HBO Max), Nozipho Mclean (The Inheritance, Are You Happy Now), Ivan Carlo (Gossip Girl/HBO Max) and Emile Ravenet.