Tinder is a geosocial networking and online dating app that allows users to swipe anonymously to like or hate other users’ profiles, typically including a photo, a brief bio, and a list of personal interests. After two users have “matched,” they can send messages to each other. Lyft, Inc. is a mobile app that allows users to hire vehicles, motorized scooters, bicycles, and food. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, and operates in 644 US communities and 12 Canadian locations.
Tinder and Lyft have teamed together to create a new function that allows Tinder users to purchase a Lyft ride for a possible date. Tinder first teased the new feature in March, and it’s now available to all of its users as a method to “return to forging IRL relationships.” Tinder users can access this Lyft integration from the Explore section, a new feature of Tinder’s app, where they may purchase a Lyft ride credit for someone they’ve matched with. The person purchasing the credit does not receive any information about the recipient’s address, but they can choose the credit’s location, time, and value. The recipient is then sent a link through a phone number or email address. Thoughtful gesture while encouraging personal safety for individuals willing to ‘go back out there after way too many months inside” is how Tinder describes the function. According to the business, the service is entirely voluntary, and users are under no need to accept a gifted ride. However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to altogether opt out of the feature. If the recipient doesn’t utilize the Lyft ride or only uses part of it, the sender will be reimbursed for the one-way or roundtrip fare. A Lyft account is required for participation; recipients who do not yet have one can establish one after receiving the link. Although there are ways to abuse the feature, such as in a dine-and-dash scheme or by tricking someone into providing you with a free Lyft ride for a date you don’t show up for, those are just some of the pitfalls of online dating in general and aren’t specific to any one dating app in particular. Of course, there’s always the option of swiping left.