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Users and community leaders in Muslim countries and in heavily Muslim enclaves in Europe complained to IAC, the company that developed and owns Tinder, that the one-size-fits-all approach to matchmaking did not suit the mores of societies in which women are not given any say in whether marriage arrangement will go forward. Repeated petitions and inquiries led the company to develop Al-Tindr, which eliminates the swipe-left function for any user registered as female, in addition to several other changes.
Tinder is available in over 30 languages worldwide, but the current reworking for Al-Tindr represents the first adaptation for a new market that goes beyond mere translation. Users will be allowed to configure their profiles only to accept suggested matches of the opposite sex, unlike the original version of the app, which makes no such restriction. A beta release of Al-Tindr earlier this year uncovered several bugs, among them that the option for females to select other females had not been properly muted, resulting in a system malfunction when certain registered female users were unable to swipe left on any of the suggested matches, overloading the software.
A second important adaptation for Muslim countries involves the elimination of profile photos that display any more than a woman's eyes. Abstracted statistics will be made available, and male users will be allowed to select an option that renders the color of a woman's eyes in words, lest he be tempted by immoral thoughts as a result of seeing the actual image.
CEO of IAC Barry Diller told reporters he hopes the launch of Al-Tindr would be just the first in a series of cultural adaptations for non-Western users. "Our developers are currently working on a patch that would completely remove the female user from direct interface with any potential suitors, as some of our audiences in the Middle East have requested," he explained. "If a woman is not allowed to drive, or even be seen in public not in the presence of a male relative, there is no reason that standard should not be accommodated online as well, and our product will soon allow for that extra layer of modesty." Diller said the patch will give those male relatives a way to manage their female charges' Tinder profiles and interactions while clarifying for potential suitors that the person on the other end of the app is a male authority over, and not the actual, woman.