Tinder's newest feature is made for dating during a pandemic

Swipe-based dating app Tinder has announced plans to release a new feature that's designed specifically for making connections during a pandemic. The new feature was revealed by parent company Match Group as part of its Q1 2020 financial details; the company cited social distancing and a willingness to virtually date as the reasons for the new feature.

For obvious reasons, few people are going out on physical dates right now — instead, many people are turning to video and messaging apps, enabling them to make a connection with a new person without physically exposing themselves to strangers. Many dating apps only feature rudimentary messaging features without video and, in many cases, even the ability to send images.

That will change with Tinder, according to the shareholder letter. Match Group explained, 'Social distancing has required adaptations and pivots and has impacted our business because the manner in which singles engage with our products and start relationships has quickly evolved.' The company claims that 94-percent of OKCupid users plan to date virtually and that 70-percent of Hinge users report a willingness to date using video and phone calls.

The company says that the use of its services has increased; that people are sending more messages and spending more time chatting on the app. Tinder, in particular, has experienced all-time highs amid the pandemic, with swiping numbers up 37-percent in April compared to February.

Among other things, Match Group said in its shareholder letter that it plans to release one-on-one video chatting on Tinder in its next fiscal quarter. Additional details on the feature weren't provided, but when it arrives, users will be able to engage in private video chats with other users, eliminating the need to move to a different service that may reveal more personal information.