Tinder is finally banning underage kids from its app

Swiping right: now for adults only.
Swiping right: now for adults only.
Image: Reuters/Mike Blake
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Sorry kids, no more swiping right for you.

Tinder is finally booting everyone under 18 off its platform. Parents everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief–the app widely known for endorsing a hook-up culture will not be available to children starting next week. Tinder announced:

“On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences. Consistent with this responsibility, we have decided to discontinue service for under 18 users. We believe this is the best policy moving forward. This change will take effect next week.”

Since its launch in Sept. 2012, the age limit to sign up for Tinder has been 13. Seem young? “There’s nothing wrong with 13 and 17-year-olds making friends and connecting with new people on Tinder,” Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen told The Times of London in 2014. Mateen also told the Guardian that Tinder was not intended to be a dating platform, but a “social discovery” one where people could be introduced to one another. 

To keep the minors and adults on the app separate, 13 to 17-year-olds were only matched with people in their age group. A Tinder representative told Quartz that less than 3% of their 50 million active users are currently underage. 

However, all underage kids aren’t exactly the problem–the ones posing as adults are.

Tinder, owned by Match Group, verifies ages by getting users to link their Facebook accounts to the app. Even though the age limit to register on Facebook is 13, there are no stringent measures to keep kids off—you can report an underage user, but that’s about it. Kids have often snuck into Tinder’s adult pool by reporting a false age on Facebook, Reddit users pointed out. Although both parties do have to mutually consent to chat and eventually meet up, a social experiment in Australia proved not all adults turn away minors. Tinder did not comment on whether it will put additional checks in place to enforce age restrictions.