New Tinder Features: GIF Messaging, STD Testing Locator

Communicating just got a little more exciting on Tinder. The popular mobile dating app is rolling out some new features on Thursday, Jan. 28.

If you’re obsessed with sending GIFs to your friends, then you’ll be happy to hear that you can send those nifty little animated images to your matches on the dating app. Tinder announced on Thursday that they have partnered up with GIPHY to allow users to send GIFs to each other.

Another feature that’s being announced is the ability to “like” a message from another user, which is similar to the new heart favorite button on Twitter, but it’s green instead of red. Tinder users can also change their profile pic using the pics from their device’s camera roll instead of choosing from Facebook. There’s also an option to make your photos appear larger than usual, so there’s no reason to not perfect your selfies.

Tinder also announced that it finally supports 3D Touch with peek and pop actions if you click on a link in a conversation. Another additional feature that’s rolling out is that emojis will appear larger than they used to if you send them without any text.

(Photo Courtesy of Source [WP:NFCC#4] via Wikimedia Commons)

Although it’s not really a new feature, the dating company announced that it will also include a link to a free locator for STD testing via on the health safety section of Users can access the site through the dating app. This comes after Tinder was slammed by an AIDS advocacy group who blamed it for creating a spike in sexually transmitted diseases.

Back in September, 2015, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) placed billboards throughout Los Angeles and New York that featured a man and woman facing each other with the word “chlamydia” between them. The billboards also blamed Grindr – a mobile dating app for gay men – by featuring two men facing each other with the word “gonorrhea.”

Around the time of the billboard launch, AHF cited the buzzworthy Aug. 31 Vanity Fair feature about how dating apps are encouraging casual sex among young adults. The Los Angeles-based AHF public division blamed the dating app for increasing “high risk behavior.”

“In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally be just a few feet away – as well as the next STD.”

In response, Tinder took to Twitter to exclaim that its dating app has resulted in plenty of happy marriages. The company also sent the group a cease and desist letter written by attorney Jonathan Reichman.

“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization. While Tinder strongly supports such testing, the billboard’s statements are not found upon any scientific evidence, and are incapable of withstanding critical analysis.”

If any of Tinder’s new features made you become interested in using the dating app, then you’ll want to know the best time to use it. According to dating results pulled from Nielsen, the best time to use Tinder is at 9 p.m. while the best time to use OkCupid is either between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.

The reason for the increase in late-night activity on Tinder is probably because most of its users are looking for a booty call. Winter Storm Jonas also gave users that opportunity to hook up or find a snow buddy. Over 10 million matches were made through Tinder in areas affected by the snowstorm over the past weekend, a spokesperson revealed to Fortune on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

“We definitely saw an increase in Tinder use and matches this past weekend,” the spokesperson said, adding that “at some points [during the storm], the chances of making a match were up 3.3 [times] higher than usual.”

It’s still unclear whether the spike in activity during the storm turned into actual dates and matches beyond online flirting.

Tinder has increased in popularity over the years because of its easy accessibility. It allows users to look at photos of each other and decide whether or not they’d like to swipe left (move on) or swipe right (make a match). If the two make a match, then they can message each other and move on from there. However, it’s become known as a dating app used to “hook up” with each other.

What are your thoughts on Tinder’s new features? Does it make you want to try it out? Sound off below in the comments section.

[Photo Courtesy of DanielGar93 via Wikimedia Commons Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 2.0]