Tinder is making a move.
The dating app has acquired West Hollywood startup Chill, the maker of Snapchat-like mobile messaging app Tappy, in a deal that could potentially build out Tinder’s photo posting feature Moments. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Tinder Moments lets daters post photos that, for 24 hours, are visible to all of their matches. The idea is for users to share real-time moments that start new conversations with their admirers. But Tinder hasn’t allowed photos to be privately or selectively sent, which is where Tappy could come in. The messaging app allowed users to share 24-hour photos with individuals or groups.
Chill and Tappy will shut down as part of the deal, meaning Tinder’s buy probably has less to do with the actual app as it does with the team behind it.
With the deal, Sean Rad, Tinder’s chief executive who will soon be settling down in his new role as president, has essentially secured spots in his company for two of his buddies. Rad and Chill co-founders Dan Gould and Brian Norgard previously worked together in 2009 to launch Adly, a social media agency that matched brands with celebrities for endorsements.
Whatever the motive behind the move, an improved Moments or any addition of enhanced photo messaging features could further fuel Tinder’s massive growth. The app is processing 1.5 billion swipes and making 21 million matches every day. That’s nearly twice the number of matches the IAC-backed company said it was seeing just three months ago.
“We’re very good at connecting people, but there’s this ‘what happens after that?’ moment that we want to improve,” Rad told TechCrunch. “We not only want to get better at the way we use criteria to connect people, but we want to broaden the reasons for connecting in the first place. The Tappy team will help us tackle both fronts, the pre-match experience of creating that first connection and the post-match experience of communicating with that person.”
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