Tinder is moving into original content with new in-app, interactive adventure series, Swipe Night, where users dictate how the story unfolds. Much like Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Steven Soderbergh’s app/series for HBO, Mosaic, each episode presents viewers with a series of choices which they have seven seconds to make, and these choices change the outcome of the story.
The unique aspect to Swipe Night, however, is that it’s also embedded within the dating app’s matchmaking algorithm. Users watch the episodes within the Tinder app and make decisions (both moral dilemmas and practical choices) by swiping left and right. Then at the end of the episode, some of the most critical decisions they made will be added to their profiles and affect who they match with. The series is currently only available to US audiences.
Swipe Night starts off with a party but soon declines into apocalyptic mayhem as it’s declared there is only three hours until the end of the world. It was directed by Karena Evans, known for her music videos for Drake including God’s Plan, Nice for What and In My Feelings, and said in a statement that she “jumped at the chance to work with a brand like Tinder. They gave us the opportunity to experiment with new ways to tell a story, with a highly-engaged, diverse community that’s incredibly open-minded.” Evans worked with writers Nicole Delaney from Netflix’s Big Mouth and Brandon Zuck from Facebook’s Five Points, and the series stars Angela Wong Carbone (Chinatown Horror Story,) Jordan Christian Hearn (Inherent Vice,) and Shea Gabor.
Tinder says the move into responsive streaming video is driven by more than purely technical innovation, but a “new way to use content to start conversations” among its membership, over half of which is Generation Z (18-25). “We know Gen Z speaks in content,” says Ravi Mehta, Tinder’s chief product officer, “so we intentionally built an experience that is native to how they interact. Dating is all about connection and conversation, and Swipe Night felt like a way to take that to the next level. Our hope is that it will encourage new, organic conversations based on a shared content experience.”
Swipe Night launched yesterday (6 October 2019) and will be released every Sunday in October at 6pm US local time, only available for six hours from 6pm – midnight.