Paying for Love? The Monetization of Tinder

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost accidentally dragged Tinder into the games folder when I rearrange the apps on my phone. Is it my subconscious telling me that my dating life is a joke? Maybe. But I’m not alone in the feeling that the endless swiping seems like a game rather than a real shot at love.

In a New York Times article by Jonah Engle Bromwich, the author compares Tinder to another popular app called Clash of Clans. The similarity lies in what we know as in-app purchases, where the initial app is free to play/use but you can exchange real life money for in game features like gems or extra lives. On Tinder however, you’re paying for the opportunity to boost yourself to potential matches and unlock other features such as a list of the people who already swiped right on you, or more than one “super like” a day.

Bromwich doesn’t mention the prices of Tinder’s extras, so I opened up the app and did my own research. There’s two ways to upgrade your Tinder experience: Plus and Gold. The Plus option gives you the ability to control more factors like who sees your profile, matching with people farther away, hiding your age/distance, and more. This choice will set you back anywhere from about ten bucks, all the way to 55 depending on how long you want to subscribe for. Tinder Gold will cost you even more, ranging from about 15 to 83 dollars a year in total.

The Times article also states that both paid versions of the app have ranked up over 5 million users paying to increase their dating prospects. The chief financial officer of the company that owns Tinder said that approximately seventy percent of the app’s revenue comes from paid subscriptions.

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