Tinder has officially taken stalking to the next level.
The app has just released a new product called “Places,” which tracks every public space you’ve been in — from restaurants to the gym to your local grocery store — and connects you with people who’ve been in the same location. The update was rolled out Thursday in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, and in Santiago, Chile, but it’s expected to go global once they’ve ironed out the kinks.
My humble trip to the supermarket last night? I was matched with three people who were no doubt scouring those same aisles for discount Red Rock Deli chips.
A quick walk through the northern end of Sydney’s Central Station? A sudden swiping hotspot.
The local gym I’ve never stepped into, but have been meaning to sign up to for the past six months? Seven more eligible bachelors.
The idea, according to Tinder, is to give users a mutual interest — whether that be sport, dog-walking, or drinking alone in a dark bar. It’s powered through Foursquare, a search-and-discovery service app that identifies public spaces. “Now, you not only have something in common, you also have a genuine icebreaker and your first-date spot,” says Tinder on its blog.
“Our goal is to create more genuine connections and higher quality conversations,” said Samantha Stevens, the app’s director of location products.
Tinder is not the first app to connect people via their location. Happn works in a similar way, connecting people who walk past each other while logged into the app.
It’s certainly pragmatic, although there’s something a tad creepy about seeing all the places you’ve walked to over the past day logged and recorded on a map. This would be a stalker’s dream. But, according to the dating app, private venues like banks, doctor’s offices and your workplace will not be shared.
If you’re a bit wary based on the data scandal surrounding Facebook — which links to Tinder — fear not. The plus side in all this is that you have to opt in, and you can opt out any time.