Is online dating entering the next phase of the Internet?
Dating app Tinder is exploring how to blur the boundaries between offline and online worlds, CEO Renate Nyborg said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.
The chief executive of the Match Group Inc-owned dating app cited the company's newly launched Explore feature. Interactive events like "Swipe Nights" allow users to choose their own adventures and match with others based on their choices.
The company is testing in-app currency that daters will use to pay for premium services and receive it as rewards for good behavior on the app, she said.
Asked about the company's plans around dating in the metaverse, Nyborg said: "From a Tinder perspective, we've been talking about a Tinderverse internally, which is more about blurring the boundaries between offline and online."
The metaverse broadly refers to the idea of shared virtual spaces that people can access through different devices and where they can move through digital environments. These spaces may use virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).
Facebook, which recently changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc, is one of the many tech companies making bets on metaverse technologies.
Dating app Bumble said during its November earnings call that it wants to prepare for "whatever emerges in the metaverse."
Nyborg said Tinder was still focused on helping people meet in real life.
She said that while the COVID-19 pandemic had shown it was possible to feel connected only using the internet, it also demonstrated the importance of real-life connections.