- Tinder next month will debut its first in-app video series aimed at giving users something to talk about while helping them to find the perfect match. The dating app's "Swipe Night" is a scripted, choose-your-own-adventure show that gives viewers a first-person perspective of living through an apocalyptic event with three friends, per an announcement.
- The story presents viewers with moral dilemmas and practical choices, with only seven seconds to decide by swiping right or left on a smartphone screen, and no way to reverse the narrative. After each episode, Tinder will add those choices to member profiles, giving potential matches some fodder for future conversations. The title "Swipe Night" is derived from Tinder's "swipe right" action to indicate interest in someone's dating profile.
- Tinder will release each episode in the four-part series on Sundays at 6 p.m. local time starting on Oct. 6. Each episode is available for six hours. Tinder members can follow the #SwipeNight hashtag and the @Tinder accounts on Instagram and Twitter, or visit its "Swipe Life" website for the latest updates, per its announcement.
Tinder created "Swipe Night" as a conversational icebreaker aimed at members ages 18 to 25, who make up half of its user base. The series is an acknowledgement that young adults are comfortable communicating through mobile apps, using a visual vocabulary that includes video clips, emojis and GIFs.
"We know Gen Z speaks in content, so we intentionally built an experience that is native to how they interact," Ravi Mehta, Tinder’s chief product officer, said in a statement. "Our hope is that it will encourage new, organic conversations based on a shared content experience."
Tinder describes "Swipe Night" as a "5-minute interactive story where your choices can lead to matches." By limiting the story to a few minutes, Tinder may be able to engage young adults who tend to prefer "snackable" content that fills gaps in their day. More than half (61%) of Gen Zers said watching video content on a phone is as good as watching TV, and only 39% of Gen Zers said they always prefer to watch videos on TV, per a survey by entertainment company Whistle.
"Swipe Night" comes as content providers and marketers experiment with interactive video. Netflix last year demonstrated with its "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" movie that millions of viewers were willing to participate in a choose-your-own-adventure narrative. The movie also just won an Emmy for best TV movie, suggesting interactive content can also tell a compelling story. Porsche this month was the first brand to test interactive video on Amazon's livestreaming platform Twitch. The luxury carmaker's choose-your-own-adventure-style game let viewers vote on actions taken by two real people who explored a Porsche facility and solved puzzles to reveal a new car model.
Tinder's scheduling of "Swipe Night" on Sunday nights is well timed for the app's heaviest usage. Dating apps typically see a spike in activity on Sundays as app users aim to line up dates for the following week. The biggest day of the year for dating apps is Dating Sunday, the first Sunday after New Year's Day when people resolve to meet someone new. "Swipe Night" may give Tinder members another reason to check in with the app next month.
"Swipe Night" may help Tinder to boost engagement metrics that have declined this year from 2018, according to SimilarWeb data cited by TechCrunch. Tinder boosted subscriptions by 40% to 5.2 million in Q2 from a year earlier, helping to drive revenue growth for parent company Match, which is majority-owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp.