Digital Transformation SXSW Sean Rad

Tinder has matched over 250,000 trans users since LGBT- friendly feature was introduced, reveals Sean Rad


By Stephen Lepitak | -

March 10, 2017 | 4 min read

Tinder co-founder and chairman Sean Rad revealed that since the app introduced its LGBT-friendly upgrade in November, it has made over 250,000 matches.

Sean Rad SXSW

Sean Rad SXSW

Speaking on a panel at SXSW alongside Sarah Kate Ellis of Glaad and Zackary Drucker, an artist and producer on the TV series Transparent, Rad opened up about the reasons Tinder created the upgrade for its users and the impact it has had within Tinder, as well as on its user base.

Ellis revealed Tinder was working on the feature independent of Glaad. Similar to Facebook, it allows users to choose from an open list of gender choices, and, as a result, she said she was proud to work alongside Tinder on introducing the feature.

Among the changes, Rad said users can pick the gender they identify with and this will display clearly on profiles to avoid later harassment. But Tinder has also sought more education for the community, as well as additional work with its internal moderation team to support users.

"We have a great algorithm that can help, but no algorithm can solve humans and we needed the team to emphasise and help solve these things," he stated, explaining the need for internal change, too.

"We were taken aback by how complex identity is," he added. "It's a very complex area and, at the same time, Tinder is extremely simple." This led to working with Glaad to build a better product overall.

Rad spoke openly about the work undertaken by Tinder, and would only reveal that current user numbers are 'in the high tens of millions'.

"We sent an important message, not only to our community but our internal employees as well. When we were doing this it was very important we built a feature that works - and we are building a better product for transgender users, too," he explained, before revealing that quarter of a million matches had since been made through Tinder to the applause of the room.

"Tinder is about everyone and everyone deserves to meet someone special," he later added, while also answering a question on his acquisitions venture, which he said might not be helpful in aiding inclusivity, but he added he wouldn't buy a company that was counter to that either.

Digital Transformation SXSW Sean Rad

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