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Tinder expands into group matches

By Heather Kelly

SAN FRANCISCO (CNNMoney) -- Tinder has mastered the one-on-one meeting. Now the dating app is moving into groups. But no, not like that.

On Thursday, Tinder launched a new feature for organizing an impromptu night out with friends and a few strangers. Called Tinder Social, it lets a group of friends say they're interested in an activity, such as hitting a bar or catching a concert. The app will match them with other people interested in doing the same thing and boom, a wild night on the town is born.

"The best nights are the nights when you're out and you socialize with other groups," Tinder CEO Sean Rad told CNNMoney. "The whole point of this is to make sure that happens by design."

Like any night out, the next day can be a bit blurry. When you wake up in the morning you'll find that all of your group matches from the night before have disappeared in the app. That's on purpose. However, Rad says the company is working on an update that will let you track down specific people you had a connection with.

Rad describes Tinder Social as a separate product inside the Tinder app. Though it will be available in all English speaking countries, Tinder users will need to "unlock" the feature inside the app.

The company has been testing Tinder Social in Australia, but it made quite a few changes based on feedback. Originally it let people set meet ups for the week, but that was a bit too much planning ahead for its single-and-ready-to-mingle users. Now, it's just for the night of.

To use it, first you need some (platonic) friends who are also on Tinder. You and your BFFs declare your intentions for the evening and Tinder will match you with other groups. The matching group will have at least one person who matches the organizers preferences.

If you are alone and friendless, say a tourist visiting a new city, you cannot currently be matched with a group. Rad says they are considering those situations, and it could potentially open up Tinder to a wider audience of people who are interested in more than finding a hookup or romance.

"We've done a really good job facilitating romantic one-on-one connections but we want to power your entire social life," said Rad.

Of course, you might have a hard time explaining to your significant other that you're only on Tinder for the friends.

TM & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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