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Tinder unveils its new beau – picture messages

Tinder is about to change gear after announcing that users will soon be able to send picture messages to each other.

Related: Casual dating app Tinder flirts with native advertising to boost earnings

The messages will expire after 24 hours and it represents the first attempt by the fiercely popular dating app to move outside of its comfort zone and towards an approach that is geared in the direction of the lucrative social networking and messaging sector.

"We realised making a connection is not enough," Tinder's co-founder Sean Rad told the BBC. "We needed to help our users come up with better ways to get to know their matches."

Rad went on to explain that picture messaging would help its users to form more “meaningful relationships” and the fact that messages expire has led to comparisons between the new messaging feature and Snapchat’s popular product.

Tinder, which according to ComScore’s April 2014 figures has grown by 960 per cent in the past six months to record 2.7 million unique users, doesn’t make any money as it stands and despite this its owner, InterActiveCorp, thinks its “just a matter of time” before it does.

"Given the unique nature of Tinder, we think it presents sort of its own unique monetisation opportunities," former chief executive Gregory Blatt briefed analysts in April.

Company chairman Barry Diller also stated that the service could start collecting subscription fees, advertising or charging for add-on services, Rad only adding that he has thought about charging users to undo a swipe.

Many think that Tinder could follow in the footsteps of WhatsApp and become the next large scale tech acquisition and to that end Rad was reserved when asked whether the firm would fetch several hundred million dollars if sold.

Related: Which companies could follows WhatsApp and become the next multi-billion dollar deal?

"We don't even think about the valuation,” he added.