Jill Layton
June 08, 2016 10:45 pm
Happy Zoe/Shutterstock

A big change is coming for a specific group of Tinder users. Starting next week, Tinder is no longer allowing people under the age of 18 to use the app. The app will officially only available to users 18 and older — a requirement that probably should have been in effect from the beginning. But better late than never.

Since the app launched in 2012, it’s been accessible to people age 13 and over, but users between the ages of 13 and 17 have only been allowed to match with people in their age group. That’s all about to change.

Tinder’s VP of Communications Rosette Pambakian made the announcement yesterday:

“On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences,” Pambakian said. “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.

This news comes on the heels of Tinder’s promise to make the user experience more transgender-friendly.

“For a long time we haven’t done enough to give them a good experience,” Tinder CEO Sean Rad said. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for. We have to modify our experience to address that.”

No word on what Tinder will actually be doing to address the transgender issues, but one thing’s for sure — the company is doing everything it can to ensure the safest environment possible for all users. And likely because of kidnapping reports.

In May, a University of Kansas student was picked up at her sorority house by a 30-year-old man she met on Tinder, only to be held captive and abused for six days until the man brought her home. Tinder released a statement saying “people with bad intentions exist everywhere,” and the entire company is ““shocked and saddened” by the case. Users were reminded to be vigilant about safety.

And that’s exactly what Tinder is now doing — being vigilant about safety by no longer allowing minors to use the app. It’s a necessary step to keep teenagers safe.

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