Tinder is taking a note from competing dating app Bumble by letting exclusively women be the first to message a potential partner.
Dubbed “My Move,” the feature (which was announced back in February) lets women flip a switch that determines whether or not a male can be the first to initiate a conversation. To date, if a woman swiped right (or “liked”) a potential male match, Tinder allowed that male to start the conversation. This has led to harassment around the world.
— Tinder India (@Tinder_India) September 26, 2018
The feature is only available in India as part of a trial run before being issued globally. Tinder had previously been holding smaller tests in India.
The fact that it’s only available in India is of particular note, given the country’s rapidly expanding use of the internet and trends of online harassment. Earlier this year, Amnesty International India launched a campaign to address the violence and threats women face on social media platforms like Twitter. In a 2017 poll of 4,000 women, Amnesty International found that 76 percent of women made changes to their internet usage after being harassed. This includes refraining from posting opinions on political or social topics.
According to Reuters, an emerging demographic of young, relatively well-off Indians in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru have made India Tinder’s largest market in Asia. Tinder also says India is the “chattiest,” with users messaging each other through the app at a rate well above any other country.
Tinder, which was founded in 2012, sports an average of 3.8 million users across the globe. It has not yet announced an intended launch date for the global release of the My Move feature.