Its premium features are especially useful for frequent travelers, but online daters should stay away from ‘super likes’
You won’t want to swipe right on this much money.
The share price of Match Group has rocketed after an analyst predicted this week that Tinder, the dating app Match owns, added 340,000 paying users. Since Tinder introduced a premium tier two and a half years ago, about 1.86 million people pulled out their credit cards in hope of finding a romantic partner, data from Match’s most recent quarterly filing shows. Still, the latest forecast came in well ahead of the 175,000 new paying members that industry watchers had previously expected Tinder to report for the most recent quarter.
Shelling out for Tinder Plus—which costs between $9.99 and $19.99 depending on age—gives users select benefits that those who use Tinder gratis don’t have access to (As of 2016, Tinder had an estimated global user base of around 50 million, with 30 million regular users.) These include more so-called “Super Likes,” shout outs to a potential match that you really like them, as well as the ability to “rewind” to potential dates that you may have accidentally swiped past.
Dating experts say that their clients are increasingly willing to pay because Tinder has outgrown its college hookup facilitator reputation and become seen as a reputable way to find love. “It’s a household word and once you build up that much credibility, people are willing to put money in,” says Erika Ettin, a D.C.-based online dating coach who’s also a trained economist and MBA.
But is actually worth it? Well, frequent travelers who are looking for love may find it especially useful. This is because Tinder’s premium tier allows them to adjust their geographical location to another city that they may be about to visit, and then line up dates in advance. “It’s worth every penny if you travel a lot,” says Ettin.
That said, certain features might be overkill. For instance, Ettin calls “super likes” a potential turn off, since they “straddle the line between serious and desperate.” That’s especially true for female users. “They’re to women’s disadvantage because there’s an unfortunate connotation,” she says. “People wonder ‘if you’re serious, why aren’t you on something like Match.com?’”
Of course, whether Tinder Plus is value for money ultimately depends on those paying for it. Numerous studies have shown that we tend to prize services we pay for more than those we receive for free. And according to a 2004 behavioral economics paper from New York University’s Stern Business School, as prices rise, the better people think of the associated product. That may be why despite the brouhaha over Tinder’s age discriminatory pricing model when it first launched, close to 2 million people are still shelling out to swipe right.
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