Editor’s Note: This article was first published on September 25, 2018.
Tinder is allowing Indian women to really control the conversation.
The dating app announced a new feature called My Move on Tuesday that gives women the option to prevent men from initiating a conversation — even if they’ve “matched.”
The optional feature is currently only available to women using Apple’s iOS operating system in India, but it will soon be extended to Android users.
“From user feedback, we have understood that while some women would prefer to exclusively make the first move, many other women do not want to feel like they have to — so we are giving them the ability to choose,” Tinder executive Taru Kapoor told CNN.
Kapoor said that My Move is being tested in “select geographies” and will be made available in other countries in the coming months. She did not specify which markets will next get the feature.
“Our aim is to continue to provide our users with a low-pressure environment where they feel in charge of the connections they make,” said Kapoor.
Giving women more control over interactions on the app is particularly relevant in India, where crimes against women have grabbed headlines and prompted outrage.
Around 100 instances of sexual assault are reported to Indian police every day, according to figures from the National Crime Records Bureau. The data show there were 39,000 rapes in India in 2016 — a rate of roughly one every 13.5 minutes.
Social media platforms have also come under intense scrutiny in recent months after more than a dozen mob lynchings in India were linked to hoax messages circulated on WhatsApp. The platform, owned by Facebook (FB), has rolled out several features designed to prevent their spread.