will now let LGBTQ users swipe with a bit more precision.
The hookup and dating app announced its new “Orientation” feature Tuesday, allowing users to pick up to three terms that best express their sexual orientation — for example, straight, gay, queer, asexual or bisexual.
Users can then specify if they want to be shown women, men or “everyone,” with the option to view people of the same orientation first. New users, meanwhile, will experience the changes from the get-go in a revamped sign-up process.
The feature, a collaboration with the LGBTQ media nonprofit GLAAD, launched just a few days into Pride Month. It will debut in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand during this month, the company said.
The new options came in response to a Tinder study that revealed a majority of U.S. LGBTQ respondents “were interested in more options or easier ways to express their sexual orientation on dating platforms,” according to a press release, as well as user feedback.
“We want all of our users to feel empowered expressing who they are while connecting with new people — and we’re always working to make that easier for our users on Tinder,” Tinder CEO Elie Seidman said in a statement.
The move will also, of course, help Tinder reach an even larger share of the dating-app market, which was worth an estimated $2.5 billion in 2015 and is projected to hit $3.2 billion by 2020, according to MarketResearch.com.
LGBTQ adults in the U.S. have a combined buying power of about $917 billion, according to a 2016 estimate by Witeck Communications for the previous year. But these groups also tend to have a worse financial outlook than their straight counterparts, research shows, and some are more likely to be poor.
Tinder follows in the footsteps of the dating app OKCupid, which allows users to choose from 22 genders and 13 orientations. Last year, the company teamed up with GLAAD to include a pronouns feature for users who want to share theirs (for example, “she/her” or “they/them”).
The announcement Tuesday came within a day of reports that Russia had added Tinder to a list of 175 companies required to share user data on demand with law-enforcement agencies, suggesting a new frontier in the potential dangers of online dating.
“We received a request to register with the Russian authorities, and, as of now, we have registered to be compliant,” a Tinder spokesman told MarketWatch in a statement. “However, this registration in no way shares any user or personal data with any Russian regulatory bodies and we have not handed over any data to their government.”
Tinder’s orientation update is not currently available in Russia. The spokesman noted that the company would be mindful of cultural sensitivities as it expanded the feature’s availability.
Tinder previously worked with GLAAD in 2016 to expand its then-binary gender identity options, offering 37 additional gender options and the option to display them on profiles. It also extended an invitation to users who believe they were “wrongfully removed” from the app because of their gender, a response to reports of transgender people being booted from Tinder after other users erroneously reported them.
“We haven’t had the right tools to serve our diverse community in the past, but that changes today,” read an announcement at the time.
The company noted in a blog post Tuesday that its Orientation feature “will continue to evolve and change, just like sexuality.”
Tinder parent company Match Group
is up 58.6% for the year to date, versus an 8.3% increase for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
and 11.4% increase for the S&P 500
over the same period.