Tinder, the matchmaking app beloved by college kids and Olympians alike, is adding a new feature that ought to help settle that debate about whether your friend is chatting with Ryan Gosling or just an impostor: celebrity verification, similar to Twitter's little blue badges.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the startup's CEO at SXSW and found him full of grand schemes:
Tinder CEO Sean Rad tells THRsome of the photo-centric app's high-profile users make few matches because people assume they are fake. Tinder requires users to create profiles through Facebook, but "sometimes celebrities use different names on Facebook," he sayswhile lounging in the lobby of the W Hotel in Austin during South by Southwest. "This will allow celebrities to enter Tinder in a different way."
So Tinder plans to create a way for stars to sign up via Facebook, but change the name that shows up on the app.
But there's a preeeeetty good chance this has more to do with Tinder's strategic goals than a usage spike on the Paramount backlot. THR offers three examples of celebs: Jamie Kennedy, Lindsay Lohan and Ashton Kutcher. Maybe you were really into Kelso, but that's not a very extensive list and there's no proof George Clooney is swiping right for his next girlfriend. But it sure makes Tinder look good for us to think there's lots of celebs lurking on the app!
Plus, Rad very badly wants you to see Tinder as more than just a hookup app. He told Fortune back in June that, "The long-term vision," has always been "for you to use Tinder to find new people for any purpose." Given that celebrities are (for good reason!) completely paranoid about their privacy, it seems far more likely they'd sign up for something a little less hot-and-heavy than hooking up. It seems like a matter of time before Kim K. signs up in search of ways to further the Kardash empire.
That said, if you bump into Linz, tell her we've got a LOT of questions.
Photo via Getty.