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Meet the parents: Tinder introduces approval tool for friends and family

Robert De Niro sits at a machine that is wired up to Ben Stiller

One of the most gruelling hurdles in any new relationship is when it becomes time to meet the parents. But now Tinder has come up with a way to make sure your partner has the familial seal of approval before they’ve even been introduced.

The dating app has created a tool called Matchmaker, which allows users to offer up to 15 friends, family members or guardians 24 hours to scrutinise their possible matches. They can view the profiles and make suggestions without having an account of their own – and, fortunately, cannot start messaging on your behalf.

Once the session ends, Tinder users can review the profiles recommended by their matchmakers before making a final decision on whether or not they see them as a good fit.

The feature would have saved Robert De Niro’s character a lot of turmoil in the film Meet the Parents, in which he was at loggerheads with his potential son-in-law, played by Ben Stiller.

Tinder Matchmaker is available in the UK, US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam. It will be rolled out to other countries over time.

The dating app said the feature built on a common phenomenon whereby users gave their phones to friends for their opinion.

“For years, singles have asked their friends to help find their next match on Tinder, and now we’re making that so easy with Tinder Matchmaker,” said Melissa Hobley, the chief marketing officer.

“Tinder Matchmaker brings your circle of trust into your dating journey and helps you see the possibilities you might be overlooking from the perspective of those closest to you.”

The dating app, which first launched in September 2012, has radically changed the landscape of online dating.

In September, it launched a $500 invite-only membership tier for “elite” users, called Tinder Select. The option is being offered to less than 1% of users.

And in August, the firm announced it was testing an artificial intelligence tool that selected users’ best-looking photos for their profiles, in the hope it would enhance the chances someone would swipe right. The tool will look at a user’s photo album and select the five images that best represent them.

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