Dating is weird and the internet has only made it weirder. Also easier, because it really can't get any simpler than super-popular dating app Tinder's swipe left/swipe right interface. Choices can quickly be made and you can move on to someone who seems like a better fit. That straightforward dynamic may soon change, though, because Tinder has acquired video app startup Wheel, and may end up looking a lot like Snapchat.
On video people inevitably give a different impression than they do in still images, so a Tinder with video messages from potential matches could be very different from the current set-up. Wheel's app, like Snapchat—and now Instagram, for that matter—permits users to create "stories" and will be integrated into Tinder. Variety reports that Tinder head of product and revenue Brian Norgard said the acquisition is part of how they "are always exploring new ways to innovate while helping our users make connections" on the app.
Norgard also reportedly expressed excitement that Wheel's team will be integrated into Tinder to "drive special initiatives" that will help people continue connecting through "innovative content."
The Daily Mail noted that Wheel's video stories let total strangers get in touch with each other, which is unlike Snapchat. If used on Tinder, that function could, the Mail notes, "allow users to send X-rated clips." Tinder, for what it's worth, hasn't commented on that particular wrinkle yet.
Snapchat-like add-ons could end up simply making Tinder more a generally social app, move it away from its rep as hook-up central. Or it could make hooking up safer and easier, permitting plenty of video foreplay before a date is even made. Millennials, at least, apparently like to cut to the chase that way.
They probably have a point. Tinder plus video will help us find out, eventually.