The feature, which may soon be available in the U.S. for Tinder users, is designed to give women more power and control in the conversations they have with their heterosexual matches.
- Tinder has been testing a new feature called "My Move" that lets women message a match first before allowing men to message them.
- The feature isn't available in the US yet, but Tinder says it plans to roll it out to American users in the future if the test goes well.
Tinder has rolled out a new feature on its app in India that allows women to limit conversations with male matches to those they choose to start — a female-centric option that draws similarities to rival dating app Bumble.
The new feature, which will roll out to the US if the test is successful, has existed on India's version of the popular dating app for "several months," Reuters reported Tuesday. Women who turn on the "My Move" feature in their settings will be the only one in heterosexual matches who can initiate chats.
MarketWatch first reported back in February on Tinder's plans to release the Bumble-like feature. Mandy Ginsberg, chief executive at Tinder's parent company Match Group, told MarketWatch that the new feature was important in giving women more control over how they engage with matches and was "not a reaction to any competitor."
"We have to constantly listen to what women want and address their needs, not just on Tinder but on all products," Ginsberg said in February. In addition to Tinder, Match Group also owns popular dating sites Match.com and OkCupid.
Bumble and Tinder have long had an intense rivalry that includes lawsuits claiming patent infringement and theft of trade secrets. Additionally, Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd — who left the company and sued Tinder, alleging sexual harassment and discrimination — went on to co-found rival Bumble.
While Tinder boasts an estimated 50 million users compared to Bumble's 37 million, the newer Bumble has been closing the gap and expanding at faster rates than its rival. Tinder parent Match Group also reportedly attempted to acquire Bumble in the past year, but was unsuccessful.
Bumble declined Business Insider's request for comment Tuesday in response to news of Tinder's women-centric feature. Instead, a spokesperson pointed to comments that Wolfe Herd, Bumble's current CEO, made to TechCrunch back in February that commended "any company making business decisions that empower women."
India serves as Tinder's largest Asian market, which made it a suitable place to test out the new feature, Match Group executive Taru Kapoor told Reuters. Kapoor, general manager for the company in India, says Tinder is trying to attract more women to the app in India, which was ranked 130th out of 189 countries the United Nations evaluated for gender equality in 2017.
"Women have the autonomy on how to be engaged, to be empowered, to control their experience," Kapoor said. "We’re a platform based on mutual respect, consent, and choice."
Although the option does not yet exist on Tinder's U.S. edition, the company told Reuters it plans to eventually roll it out to the rest of its global audience if the trial runs successfully. No set date for this release was made available.
Tinder had not responded to request for comment by the time of publication.