So, Tinder Social? What is Tinder Social? Why is everyone suddenly talking about, Tinder Social?

If (like me) you're throwing a sardonic eye-roll and thinking 'another day, another dating app' then listen up: Tinder Social is upping the dating stakes, and us singletons should be feeling pretty excited about it.

The premise is very simple. Tinder Social is a platform from which you can meet potential partners, only in a group situation. No more awkward one-on-ones.

Tinder Social's function is to match you with new lovers, only in a more relaxed, mate-like environment. A great idea when you consider that most of the time, us singles vocally lament the fact that we no longer meet people the 'old-fashioned way'. We're just too busy, right?

'We first test-launched Tinder Social in Australia, where we learned that people were looking for a better way to plan their night out with friends—tonight,' Tinder's offical site explains.

'For this launch, we’ve made changes to the feature to deliver a more real-time experience. People can see who’s going out tonight, what they’re up to, and plan their night, easily and efficiently—all on Tinder Social.'

So, if you want to go out using Tinder Social, you basically invite pals to join your group, then swipey-swipe to try and match with other groups nearby. Sounds pretty good thus far, right? I mean, it does kind of take the whole cringe-factor out of blind-dating some random if you've got your mates around to back you up.

And while Tinder Social isn't the first app to broach the idea of group dating (Grouper and Squad are two apps that follow the same kind of ethos), it certainly has the potential to be the biggest.

Dating expert and founder of dating app Temptr Jack Knowles thinks that the whole premise could revolutionise the way we use hook up online:

'It can be incredibly nerve-wracking meeting someone for the first time, especially when you’re meeting after matching on an app or dating website, and not from meeting through friends or family, therefore having that initial contact,' he explained.

'Launching the group dating feature has potential to help put people at ease on a first date, help those out of awkward situations where they’ve been set up with someone that’s not to their taste, and even encourage them to meet new people.'

Come on, I think you'll agree we've all been there. That nervous smidge of first-date contact can be downright awful, right? However, being on that same date in a group situation will help eliminate that hideousness altogether. But, it does raise the question - what is the etiquette surrounding a group date? I mean, what happens if your friend fancies the chap you've matched with? Or vice versa?

Jack also voiced some concerns about this:

'It is possible that group dating might encourage the idea of a group orgy, therefore rules and boundaries are important! Plus, it’s not necessarily ideal for those who are nervous about meeting one new person, let alone a whole group of new people. There’s also the risk that you might end up preferring someone else within this group, instead of the date that you’re there to spend time with – and that’s just awkward.'

He added:

'Not everyone using the app is going to want to use this group feature, but I’m interested to see how it plays out. For now though I think while the kinks are getting all smoothed out, sticking to one on one dating is advised for those who are uncertain!'

So, if you are planning on embarking on a Tinder Social group date this weekend, here are Jack's top tips for making sure you don't make a total hash of it:

1. Don’t be too forward

'It’s humiliating enough for someone looking for love to be rejected by just one person, so imagine how humiliating it could be if it happens in front of a mini audience? Sounds like a nightmare. If you’re on a group date, be sure to keep the vibes casual and wait until you’re alone with the individual that takes your fancy before opening your heart up to them. Similarly, don’t expect to get lucky on the first meeting (but do take protection just in case the feelings are mutual and he isn’t prepared!)'

2. Meet the same sexes first

'A nice idea is to meet up with the other ladies partaking in the group date around an hour or so before you hook up with any men. This way you can talk about your nerves over a glass of wine together as made a strong connection with your wing-women before the date has even officially begun!'

3. Make sure you still tell people where you’re going

'Even though you are in a group, this does not mean you are automatically safe from harm, and your security should always be number one priority, as on any blind date. Make sure you tell a few trusted friends where you’re going and what time you are expecting to be home.'

4. Don’t partner swap – bad etiquette

'If, halfway through the date, you suddenly change your mind about which bloke in the group you like the most, this does not mean you can make an obvious swap half way through the date. At least wait until after.'

Would you go on a group date? Let team InStyle know your thoughts... 

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