The owner of such popular dating apps as Tinder, Match.com and Hinge wants to find out how it can use generative AI to make the modern dating experience better.
Match Group, which also owns other apps like OkCupid, Plenty of Fish and Our Time, is making generative AI foundational to its plans going forward, the CEO said during its quarterly earnings call with financial analysts earlier this week.
“AI has really inspired our technologists and product people across the entire company to really think about ways that we can create new experiences, but also solve for key dating … pain points,” Bernard Kim said. “I’ve kind of harnessed that like energy and the data that we have as an organization around delivering great products over the next couple of months that solve against some of these problems.”
He pointed to features developers are creating that will leverage AI to improve the user experience. One will help users pick the best photos of themselves to use for their dating profiles. The technology will scan a user’s photo album and select the five photos that will best represent them to possible connections.
“Sometimes people are really excited to jump into the Tinder experience,” Kim said. “They download it off the app store and then, in that exact moment where you have to upload five pictures, people get generally nervous or uncomfortable, like, ‘What is the right picture that I’ve taken over the last year to make my dating profile great?’ Sometimes those people just literally turn out of the process and say, ‘Maybe dating apps are not for me.’”
Tinder already has a website up for the feature that tags it as “Brand New” and allows users to sign up on a waiting list.
“Our AI technology takes a series of your selfies and creates high-quality images that showcase the best version of you, helping you stand out from the crowd and increasing your chances of getting more likes and matches on dating apps!” the site says.
In another instance, Tinder is testing a feature that will leverage AI to help users update their bio. The AI-powered system will suggest a personalized bio that is fine-tuned to their interests and relationship goals. The company said it is in the early stages of the feature, which is now available in select test markets.
Never Too Much Generative AI
Tinder–and for that matter, Match Group and its other apps–is no stranger to AI. It already leverages algorithms that crunch users’ profiles, interactions and swipes to come up with personalized match suggestions. But the parent company is looking to further expand the use of generative AI–the technology behind ChatGPT, Google Bard and other tools–across its portfolio to help its apps adapt to the changing demands and needs of users.
In his second-quarter letter to investors, Kim noted that Gen Z users approach online dating differently than their Millennial counterparts.
“Tinder is seeking to make it easier to create and consume content with features such as prompts, quizzes, and conversation starters that enable deeper self-expression throughout the dating journey,” he wrote. “Tinder plans to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to surface the right content to the right people to help improve relevancy and, ultimately, user outcomes.”
While the iconic “swipe” feature is staying–Tinder’s new global marketing campaign is “It Starts with a Swipe”–everything else is being looked at to see how AI can improve it. Match Group created internal centers of excellence to enable AI engineers to more easily work together on features that can be used across multiple sites.
“By the end of the year, we expect to have launched a number of initiatives that will use generative AI to eliminate awkwardness, make dating more rewarding and surprise and delight users, all in a way that focuses on authenticity and maintaining the highest ethical and privacy standards,” he told analysts.
A Lot of Options
The online dating scene is replete with mobile apps that promise their generative AI capabilities can help users attract and find better romance prospects. For example, Rizz uses generative AI to create personalized responses by uploading screenshots of a match’s bio and conversations. Users “receive instant and witty replies tailored to your unique situation,” according to the app’s developers.
Similarly, apps like Iris Dating and MatchMde use AI to analyze users’ information and interests and use the information to match them with others.
An app called Teaser AI does the same to create a chatbot that analyzes a user’s bio and other profile information. That chatbot will then reach out to the chatbot of a possible match and the two chatbots will handle the initial – and sometimes awkward – initial contact.
Match Group’s Kim said generative AI will bring significant improvements to dating apps, saying the technology is “really fun and engaging, and when applied correctly, can drive curiosity and make the dating journey more enjoyable.”