Swipe to success
Philip Ellison 23 October, 2014 at 10:10
Last week we reported on Snapchat’s move into advertising; now dating app Tinder is unveiling its own money-making plans. At present, Tinder is a free app with no revenue model, but that could all change as early as next month, as the company rolls out plans to offer a premium service that goes beyond romance. “We are adding features users have been begging us for,” says CEO Sean Rad, who appeared onstage at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. “They will offer so much value we think users are willing to pay for them.”
“Tinder doesn’t make any money but the potential for profit is clearly there,” writes Kerry Flynn at The Huffington Post, pointing out that the online dating industry in the United States has been valued at over $2 billion.
Currently, around 1.2 billion profiles get swiped every day on Tinder, leading to around 15 million daily matches. In addition to matching users with potential partners, Rad has implied that the app’s location-based services will be used to help people find restaurants, accommodation, and contacts while traveling.
It is unsure yet how exactly this new model will work. For instance; will swipe-able local recommendations appear at random? Will the closest appear first? Or will businesses be able to pay to show up before the competition? The only thing we know for certain is that the existing free version of Tinder which so many know (and love to hate) will stay the same.
“The core offering will remain free,” Rad confirms, while also stating that “revenue has always been on the road map… We had to get our product and growth right first.”