This piece was originally published at GenFKD.
Tinder dating has revolutionized the world of romance through a nifty and addictive app that eliminates most of the annoyances associated with online dating. If you both choose to swipe right, you’re matched, can initiate conversation and hopefully live happily ever after.
However, who exactly owns the dating world’s favorite app and how the company exists financially may surprise you.
Tinder is owned by IAC or InterActiveCorp that in turn owns a wide range of brands that includes The Daily Beast, Vimeo, and the Match Group, the whale in the online dating industry. Other familiar brands house in the Match Group besides Tinder that you might recognize include Match, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Our Time, and BlackPeopleMeet.
Interestingly, the Match Group also operates the The Princeton Review, the test preparation company. That’s right, the same company that prepares you for the GRE, SAT, MCAT, and LSAT also caters to the swipe-happy singles of America.
Tinder operates on the freemium model, where the app is free, but if you want an unlimited number of swipes, want to swipe someone besides your current location (that’s called Tinder Passport), undo a mistaken swipe, or artificially make yourself the star profile in your area (Tinder Boost), all of that costs money.
Tinder Boost increases your profile views by up to ten times for a set amount of time for a price of course. Essentially, you can pay your way toward more matches, so your last Tinder date may have been fueled by someone who hastened the swiping process through a boost.
All of these additional features are driving revenue for the company. Tinder’s move towards monetization also includes ads during swiping.
Other similar apps are jumping into the game, in an attempt to carve a niche for themselves on the new swiping industry frontier. Tinder has inspired many similar alternatives in the market such as Bumble. That application differentiates itself through by requiring that women initiate conversations after matches.
Additionally, unlike Tinder, Bumble gives you a fixed time frame to start a conversation with a match, which means that you are forced to interact with someone quickly or your match expires. This addressed one of Tinder’s big flaws: you often collect a large amount of matches that never materialize into a chat.
Apps like Tinder have permanently altered dating culture, as people discover that they can be digitally connected to individuals that they wouldn’t have ever met in real life.
While there are scathing critiques of Tinder, like this one that Vanity Fair put out, whatever you may think about app-based dating, it appears to have found a permanent place in our dating culture.
What remains to be seen is what company, Tinder or otherwise, permanently becomes the market leader and successfully monetizes the swipe right frontier.
GenFKD is equipping millennials with the skills and education necessary to create and lead the “new economy.” To learn more, head over to GenFKD.org.
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David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.