Tinder was a pioneer in the US online dating arena at the time of launch in 2012. People could use Tinder to find singles in their area, regardless of where they happen to be in the world.
It uses a freemium business model that lets anyone sign up for free, but also has paid subscriptions.
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What does Tinder do?
To put it simply, Tinder is a hookup app with dating app features that offer prospects for longer relationships and possibly even marriage.
To its users, Tinder opens up the possibility of forming connections and relationships that may lead to more. Those who want to meet new people, expand their social networks, or meet locals while traveling will find Tinder a helpful facilitator. However, it requires a significant change in attitudes to venture out and interact with total strangers. Tinder brings a diverse dating pool that most users cannot improve.
How does Tinder work?
Tinder users create a profile, giving gender and gender preferences, age, location, and distance for desirable potential matches. The next step is looking for a date which begins by looking at photos and biographies.
Tinder famously lets users swipe right on profiles they like and left on those they don't. When another person swipes right on your profile and you are matched, the next stage is to begin chatting with each other.
Tinder says its algorithm is designed to be open and gives priority to the most active users, who are matched with others on the app simultaneously.
Tinder does not collect race and income data. However, it considers other details disclosed at sign-up, like how far someone is for a matching profile and their gender and age. In addition, newer features such as Smart Photo can identify photos that profile your best face.
How Tinder makes money
Tinder makes money from three revenue streams: subscriptions, Super likes, and Boosts. It operates on a freemium business model. Their free dating service has been designed to offer limited features, so users feel compelled to upgrade for more and better matches.
These are tier-based subscription options to pay monthly or annually. For example, it is possible to subscribe to Tinder premium services month by month, every six months, or for a year.
Approximately one in ten (6.7 million) Tinder users have a paid subscription.
Tinder’s 3-tier paid subscriptions are Tinder Plus, Tinder Gold, and Tinder Platinum. Tinder’s paid subscriptions give users access to perks that are not available for free users. These include messages for every super like, prioritized likes, unlimited likes, the ability to view who likes you, and top picks among a variety of others.
Tinder subscriptions range between $4.99 per month to $99.99 and can be selected according to the premium features you wish to use.
Tinder offers three types of premium features as in-app purchases: Super Likes, Boosts, and Super Boosts.
- Super Likes. Tinder claims that using Super Likes—a privilege that comes at a cost—increases an individual’s chances of matching by up to 3 times. In addition, conversations following Super Hikes last longer last 70% longer. All members get one free Super Like a month.
- Tinder Boosts. Users buy and use Tinder Boosts with just a tap of a button. When they do, they become eligible for up to 10x and qualify for up to 10x more profile views. Boost allows you to be one of the top profiles in your area for 30 minutes. Increase your chances for a match—you can get up to 10x more profile views while boosting.
- Tinder Super Boosts. A super Boost upgrade helps Tinder users get to the front of the queue at a cost. As a result, tinder claims they would be seen by up to 100 times more potential matches on the Tinder platform.
Future growth engine
Tinder revenues have been growing ever since it was launched. Revenues increased to $1.65 billion in 2021, a 17% rise over the $ 1.41 billion revenues achieved in 2020.
Tinder had 10.7 million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, which puts it ahead of any competing dating apps. It has over 75 million active users globally, 10% of which are in the US.
Tinder first introduced its premium subscription, the Premium Plus, in 2015. Since then, the company has added three more: Silver, Gold, and Platinum, to the range, strategically upping its potential for upselling to the existing customer base.
Tinder uses marketing strategies to stay ahead in a relatively saturated dating app market with dozens of potential competitors.
Identify audience correctly
They work on identifying their audience and catering to their needs. For example, before Tinder came along, online dating platforms like eHarmony targeted the older generations of baby boomers and Gen Xers. Instead, Tinder saw the huge unserved market of younger millennials. Success among millennials rubbed off on Tinder, giving them an edge in service Gen Z. And Tinder has made the right bet because there are estimates that around 83% of Tinder users are less than 34 years old.
Tinder’s mobile marketing strategy focuses on finding the right users to re-engage.
Implementing local strategies
Although Tinder has a global footprint, the success of any dating app depends on the localized service offering for free and paid customers. Among them were college campus visits encouraging students to use the app.
Gamifying the dating experience
Tinder’s early online dating services appeared much like mobile games. Its swipe-based interface is intuitive and ready for action. Its interactive experience with drop-ins and drop-outs and the engaging thrill of making connections appear similar to the reward earning present in online games. These are all meant to encourage and draw them into a core gameplay loop so that they log in several times a day and spend a collective 90minutes engaging with the app.
Beyond the exciting match-up experience, gamification also helps Tinder monetize its freemium business model, making the upgrades a desirable outcome that many users cannot resist. Individual in-app purchases of boosts and likes help enhance user profile visibility for a limited duration. This means the more you want to stand out, the more in-app purchases you need.
Tinder has almost one-third of the dating app market in the US, with a 32.2% market share.
Its closest competitors by market share are Bumble, Plenty of Fish, Hinge, and Grindr. All others, including Badoo, OK Cupid, Match, and Zoosk, have less than 5% of the dating apps market.
Bumble was created by one of the founders of Tinder following a contentious breakup with the company. It differentiates itself as a female-friendly dating app — more than three-quarters of Tinder users are male — Hence Bumble is very much like Tinder, subject to a critical difference: women get to send the first message on Bumble. The exception is same-gender matches, where either party can send them first.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish was founded in Canada in 2003 and has been around longer than Tinder and Bumble. Match.com currently owns it, although it still has unique users of its own. Instead of Bumble and Tinder’s swipe-based experience, Plenty of Fish operates a more traditional approach using questionnaires and specific life features when matching couples.