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The Big Dating Apps Are Alienating Their Stakeholders

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A guy on my Facebook feed was complaining how his Tinder Gold account of 4 years was banned. They gave him no reason and no appeal. Imagine paying hundreds of dollars to get a big middle finger...

About 15 other guys and even a few women chimed in with similar tales, and others talked about suddenly going from a steady stream of matches and likes to like 1 a week.

This caused me to be slightly curious and look at the reviews for Tinder on Apple's App store. Boy does it look like a treasure trove of frustrated customers looking to jump ship. They all seem to perceive it as having shifted its model to milking them for as much as it can get. There's apparently a feature where users have to pay $39 for a single "Super Boost" for 3 hours. Its even more $ if they want a longer one.

Other users complain about mostly matching with bots and women promoting their onlyFans account. Sounds like an epic shitshow that is out of control and either fueled by arrogance or being bloated. Maybe they are over-squeezing the towel.

Any of you software guys who want to create an app might do some further digging.

Edit: Looks like they are owned by "Match Group" which went public in 2015.
 

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A guy on my Facebook feed was complaining how his Tinder Gold account of 4 years was banned. They gave him no reason and no appeal. Imagine paying hundreds of dollars to get a big middle finger...

About 15 other guys and even a few women chimed in with similar tales, and others talked about suddenly going from a steady stream of matches and likes to like 1 a week.

This caused me to be slightly curious and look at the reviews for Tinder on Apple's App store. Boy does it look like a treasure trove of frustrated customers looking to jump ship. They all seem to perceive it as having shifted its model to milking them for as much as it can get. There's apparently a feature where users have to pay $39 for a single "Super Boost" for 3 hours. Its even more $ if they want a longer one.

Other users complain about mostly matching with bots and women promoting their onlyFans account. Sounds like an epic shitshow that is out of control and either fueled by arrogance or being bloated. Maybe they are over-squeezing the towel.

Any of you software guys who want to create an app might do some further digging.

Edit: Looks like they are owned by "Match Group" which went public in 2015.

Had an idea for a new twist in this... after spotting a common complaint from female users ... but it’s the perfect example of chicken and egg... and by the time you’d build an audience which is a huge job in itself, the big players would have ripped you off!

its a tough nut to crack! My mate made Bristlr for girls looking for guys with beards... but it hasn’t taken off properly!

You’d need balls of steel to hit this industry... :peace:
 

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I got banned from tinder (no idea why)

Creating a dating app that is not a POS could be a big winner.............there's gotta be a way
 

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I have experience here, being 28 years old and actively dating throughout most of my 20s. I've used them sporadically, sometimes for a few months or a year or two, then taking a break for a few years, coming back, etc.

As far as I'm aware, Match Group owns Match, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and PoF. I've tried Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid and currently only use Hinge.

Since I started using them at 20, they have progressively become more monetized and more difficult for the user. For example, let's say you sign up and within 48 hours the app tells you that you have 20 matches waiting for you. Here's what that actually looks like:

- 10 of those matches are bots, which it seems to me they won't remove or they even have them built in themselves to encourage new users
- 18-19 of those matches were made because they gave you a super ultra boost where you are put in front of the queue for a ton of people
- After 24 hours, 48 hours, some set number of swipes, or 1 week (whatever arbitrary stat they use), your newcomer status fades and you become significantly more difficult to find in the queue, at which point you start to get a ranking to determine how often you should be shown to people looking for you

So now you have 20 matches. If you pay for Gold, you can access them all at once. If you don't pay, you might only see 1 match per day if you're lucky before you run out of swipes. They hide your matches from you so that you are encouraged to pay to speed up progress.

App-induced problems are likely just as much from over-monetization as it is from user abuse. Some people will sit there and swipe all day. Others will use it as a means of sexual harassment for the opposite sex. And others will use it to promote their Instagram. Perhaps its safe to say that companies enforcing some measure of monetization would help keep the quality of their user base up.

It's a fine line between monetizing vs. getting users addicted and then turning off the faucet so that they pay. But without some kind of monetization, there are other issues at play.

It's indeed a shit show all around, and a very hard problem to solve for any app that wants to break into the scene.
 

Process

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Had an idea for a new twist in this... after spotting a common complaint from female users ... but it’s the perfect example of chicken and egg... and by the time you’d build an audience which is a huge job in itself, the big players would have ripped you off!

its a tough nut to crack! My mate made Bristlr for girls looking for guys with beards... but it hasn’t taken off properly!

You’d need balls of steel to hit this industry... :peace:

Interesting, I’m not sure if beards is the angle. I think the pain is both guys and girls want to find someone who’s real and at least ok looking.

I got banned from tinder (no idea why)

Creating a dating app that is not a POS could be a big winner.............there's gotta be a way

The libido is the most insatiable demand there is. The problem is of course humans.

I have experience here, being 28 years old and actively dating throughout most of my 20s. I've used them sporadically, sometimes for a few months or a year or two, then taking a break for a few years, coming back, etc.

As far as I'm aware, Match Group owns Match, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and PoF. I've tried Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid and currently only use Hinge.

Since I started using them at 20, they have progressively become more monetized and more difficult for the user. For example, let's say you sign up and within 48 hours the app tells you that you have 20 matches waiting for you. Here's what that actually looks like:

- 10 of those matches are bots, which it seems to me they won't remove or they even have them built in themselves to encourage new users
- 18-19 of those matches were made because they gave you a super ultra boost where you are put in front of the queue for a ton of people
- After 24 hours, 48 hours, some set number of swipes, or 1 week (whatever arbitrary stat they use), your newcomer status fades and you become significantly more difficult to find in the queue, at which point you start to get a ranking to determine how often you should be shown to people looking for you

So now you have 20 matches. If you pay for Gold, you can access them all at once. If you don't pay, you might only see 1 match per day if you're lucky before you run out of swipes. They hide your matches from you so that you are encouraged to pay to speed up progress.

App-induced problems are likely just as much from over-monetization as it is from user abuse. Some people will sit there and swipe all day. Others will use it as a means of sexual harassment for the opposite sex. And others will use it to promote their Instagram. Perhaps its safe to say that companies enforcing some measure of monetization would help keep the quality of their user base up.

It's a fine line between monetizing vs. getting users addicted and then turning off the faucet so that they pay. But without some kind of monetization, there are other issues at play.

It's indeed a shit show all around, and a very hard problem to solve for any app that wants to break into the scene.

I worked at a place that did an online ordering app, it was always a balancing act between profit and user experience.

people always misuse a system.

Would be extremely difficult to get the first few thousand users on board, unless you incentivized it somehow ?

They’d probably have to start ads in one city or a college perhaps. Maybe they’d tie their hook into someone trying to find a corona “snuggle buddy”who’s not a psycho.

maybe if people could rate their experience like how people rate via Uber that could solve a lot of bots and abuse.
 

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Men: Tinder sucks. Not enough girls on there that like me. I gotta pay just to be seen by anyone.
Girls: Tinder sucks. Not enough high quality guys. Just a bunch of creeps and it's annoying to filter through them all.

The issue is the underlying reality of the sexual marketplace.

The issue about inserting a company into the middle of that shit show is that inevitably the blame will be falsely placed on you.

The real problem.

Girls that are 4's think they are 8's, and that 80% of guys are a 3 or worse.

Guys that are 9's and 10's are willing to have the 4's for a night, as well as the 5's - 10's every other night of the week.

Also: girls are the currency of any dating app. Nobody needs guys on dating apps. They will come to wherever the girls are. You think dudes would ever go dance at a club if there weren't girls there?
"If a man could f*ck a woman in a cardboard box he would never buy a house" - Dave Chappelle
 
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active employ

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Tinder user here!

I can confirm the app is going to pieces, squeezing its userbase.

Tinder was sued for discretionary charges.

Tinder settles age discrimination lawsuit with $11.5 million worth of Super Likes

Tinder also gave users Super Likes


As a lonely guy myself. Knowing what I did about the prices, I joined Tinder under a VPN, with a number not tied to my device, using the sandbox app.

Tinder turns out not only shoves advertising on almost every other button press but also water down matches. I know these are experiments, pools of users, and several analytical behaviors in the background. Indeed the app is designed to make money.


How it makes money is the discussion.

In the past, people would delete their account and make a new one as this would make a new profile and show them the best users in their area. (on the start of account, users get an invisible super-boost)

Tinder caught onto this and logged the behavior and now punishes this action.

Those users fall into smaller pools where the app, designed to find sex or love, does what it's supposed to do and cycles through the ever-shrinking collection of users.

Then come the E-thots and E-bots.

Along with the general creep on the platform, women jump off through social esteem using the said app or the public concession that that app sucks. Filtered in among these profiles are fake accounts. The user spun bots that steal photos and mass create accounts hoping to trick horny people into spending money. Perhaps encouraged by these bots, some real women do the same thing, panhandling their paid accounts to gain income. This causes unrest and unease among the male population pools in the app, who turn to sites like Reddit and other forums to increase their pool and find whatever they are looking for on the app.


For girls, the app provides a different set of challenges.

Women are blissfully unaware of bots that solely target men (isn't that an exciting data point?)

Instead, girls are flooded with matches. While on the men's side, they are lucky to see ten real girls within a day's usage, girls will instantly receive thousands of faces, each with its animation of you has matched!

Tinder, it seems, has even made a separate dashboard for women, which loads without them realizing it once they reach 500ish matches.


Thus begin Tinder's monetization methods. For girls, they receive the offers of seeing faces of men. Girls also can buy super likes and pay for "Boosts" however the boost feature will never glow and shine on the screen as it does for guys.

Most women's features are for seeing who they may be speaking with and changing their location within the app with a feature known as "Passport."

Tinder has, with the cause of COVID, made passport free for the time being.

Other options for the woman are locking down their profile, not displaying to specific users, or hiding their profiles.

Men, on the other hand, are given Boosts as a paid option. A boost is a purchase that increases their viewability and "shows them at the top of the stack once added to the account."

What men don't realize, however, is at the top of a conga line, you have 500 more people ready to make you trip

Paying for boost works. It has to, or it would be illegal. However, it also burns one's account as susceptible to the validation of loneliness and marks them as a person who will spend money on the app. individual after the boots session of a long 20 minutes, they fall down the stack, two tacks, only Tinder knows how far they fall until they are in a hole.

In this hole, they can look up and see the party dancing around them.

Tinder seems to give them an invisible boost to expand their VIEW but not visible to others

Often these users start burning through super likes which once the person they paid to send

(again envision a model digging through a garbage barrel here)

their profile glows with a blue star

While Tinder envisioned this would be met with squeals of delight and result in int more matches, it does the opposite. Girls are aware this means a guy paid to catch their eye, and the blue stars are not seen as a good thing… an image tinder has worked to change as these blue badges are cash purchase.

Each sex is plagued by one more additions to the cash slurping app.

Tinder comes with "Tinder Gold," a paid membership which also gives users the options to

Rewind (whoops I swiped the wrong way)

Passport (travel to another place and match with people there)

Extra super likes (get a few super likes to use)

Unlimited Likes

For men, unlimited likes mean they can use the app until it tells them there is no one around them.

Girls hardly ever use this feature as they aren't required to swipe for long and can see their dashboard of users who want to meet them.

The ways Tinder tries to monetize with different methods grows each week as they identify another data point that squishes a dollar from a user.


disclaimer: all thoughts are my own and do not reflect the oponions of any company listed within this post.
 
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Currently on tinder and bumble and get zero matches. Paid for tinder gold as per @ZCP suggestion i think and no one likes me either lmfao. I'll just have to marry ZCP, I know he'd like that.
 

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LordGanon

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From my own experience and in my circle of friends, I can confirm that Tinder must have changed the algorithms heavily in order to squeeze people into paid accounts.

For me, it used to be being a kid in the candy store. Match after match after match (my friends say it's my jaw). While I was single, I had no problem hooking up all the time.

I continued using Tinder, because my best friend and I are "working" (more or less, it's a Google doc that is continuously growing) on a book on the shift in dating culture it caused.

I also deleted it later and only started a new account for my dog during shutdown. Oh, my dog got tons of matches. Even more than I did. It became even better. I created another account. The profile picture was nothing else but a skull I found in the woods. And even that one had around 100 matches in a week.

Then, for the short period I had broken up with my woman, I installed Tinder again and used it for about a month. It's still running, and I got 11 matches. I used the same photos I used back when I got match after match after match.


My theory is: First of all, they're mainly doing this to men. That's what almost every dating platform (and also, every swinger club) does. Women are the bait, men are the customers. During shutdown, in order to grow their userbase, they lifted the restrictions. Now that shutdown is over, they have put them back in place.
 

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Also heard a similar opinion from a friend who is very experienced, to say the least ;) I think he was talking about OKCupid. He used to be killing it, and now he says, they should've done something in the last couple years so that he ended up abandoning it and just meeting women in real life.

As a sidenote, if you want to participate in creating a new dating app, I am involved with one such project :p
 

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How does that saying go? 10% of guys will get 90% of the girls? Much like real life, that's also true on tinder.

To be fair, most guys do look like creeps on tinder, Shitty selfies, awkward conversations with no game. But that's a lot like real life. Most men don't ever do what they need to to not be an awkward loser with no game, So the 10% of men who work on them selves and rise to the top get most of the women.

That's why dating sites have such a hard time getting women to use their product. Men will sign up is droves, And women will dread getting hit on by creeps.

Anyways, Since tinder is just one company in Match's portfolio, The company will be fine if tinder did fail, which I don't think it will anytime soon. Men being frustrated with not getting women is probably the oldest tale of human history. There were probably cavemen with the same frustrations. This isn't anything new.
 

LordGanon

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There were probably cavemen with the same frustrations. This isn't anything new.

Yes and no. Statistically, sex and especially procreation has been oligopolized. This is highly likely a result of the institution of marriage becoming less important. The percentage of men procreating has steadily declined since the 60s.

OKCupid opened up their statistics, and yes, most of the women go for 5% of the men, while men go for a much, much wider range of women. Women use sniper rifles, men use an automatic shotgun.

I think nobody will contest your notion that frustrated men have always existed. But what we are discussing is that Match obviously introduced changes to algorithms in order to make men pay, therefore ruining the customer experience for a lot of people.
 

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I live in good old Utah. There's a local dating app called Mutual for Mormons. It has many of the same problems (from what I've heard) that has been discussed here: girls shoot with a sniper rifle; guys with an automatic rifle.

Although the dating app competition is strong, Mutual does quite well locally. I wonder if there is a niche market that can be targeted (at least initially) with a twist. Or, if you can find a way to address the discussed problems, the market at large.
 

LordGanon

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I wonder if there is a niche market that can be targeted (at least initially) with a twist. Or, if you can find a way to address the discussed problems, the market at large.

Oh, there's so many of them. Muslim/Christian Mingle, there's specialized sites for punk/goth subculture in Germany. I even heard of one especially for right wingers.

But I guess they don't fare that well because for men, it obviously becomes a numbers game. Therefore, extending the userbase is probably key for business.
 

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I love the dating apps myself, but it's always a bit of a gamble you'll get catfished (unless you facetime or something). One app idea I had was to require users to include a 3-5 second video of themselves with sound. The userbase would dwindle as the bots and weirdos ran away, and the remainder would be overall higher quality.
 

brian_petersen

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I love the dating apps myself, but it's always a bit of a gamble you'll get catfished (unless you facetime or something). One app idea I had was to require users to include a 3-5 second video of themselves with sound. The userbase would dwindle as the bots and weirdos ran away, and the remainder would be overall higher quality.

I like the idea of the video. I bet people would still find a way to catfish with it though. I can't imagine it being too hard to detect accounts that use bots and kick them off though.

I haven't personally written a system to detect bot behavior, but I can't imagine it being too difficult.
 

404profound

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I like the idea of the video. I bet people would still find a way to catfish with it though. I can't imagine it being too hard to detect accounts that use bots and kick them off though.

I haven't personally written a system to detect bot behavior, but I can't imagine it being too difficult.
Detecting a bot would probably be a matter of pattern detection, running periodic scans on users for repeated opening lines or sets of opening lines. But then you'd get false positives for people who always type the same opener. Another strategy could be to see profiles that get unmatched early in the convo frequently, combined with repeated openers, or something like that.
 

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I love the dating apps myself, but it's always a bit of a gamble you'll get catfished (unless you facetime or something). One app idea I had was to require users to include a 3-5 second video of themselves with sound. The userbase would dwindle as the bots and weirdos ran away, and the remainder would be overall higher quality.
Already exists
 

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Chapas

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Haven't used Tinder for many years, but must say I was 'addicted' to it back in the days. Sad to hear that it is getting ruined by greediness. As I moved around different countries almost every year, Tinder was the best way to meet new people. Good times!

I actually met my now wife on Tinder - all because I had purchased Tinder Plus and gave her a Superlike. So thank you Tinder :praise:
 

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I never used Tinder. Despite knowing serious relationships that have come from it (much like the post above me!) it's reputation of a hook-up app put me off. Plus it now sounds like it employs some weird money squeezing tactics.

In the end it's a problem of filtering - either bots & sex workers, or creeps & weirdos.

So the last time I used internet dating I used eHarmony because:

1) It's marketed to people looking for serious relationships.

2) Everyone has to pay something.

3) You have fill in their really long questionnaire first.

Basically, if you're after an easy hook up, you're not going to put in the effort & money to reach what you suppose will be an audience of people largely after something else. You're likely gonna just go play in a different pool instead.

So some level of filtering was achieved at least.



When humans want free, quick, & easy access to anything, the odds of that thing being "high quality" are lowered.

Not to nothing though.

And of course technology has made access to things cheaper, quicker, & easier - for example you can watch the same college lecture for free online that you would have had to pay lots to attend in person (or maybe not even attend in 2020!)

But then you run across the problems of human perception. How many people watching the free lecture seriously value it & apply themselves to learning properly? And of those that do, how many brain-dead employers aren't accepting the autodidact over the person with the official bit of paper?

And let's not get into the reticular activating system - filtering is an issue in all areas of life!



Seems to me though that people need to be filtering out Tinder's business model if it's no longer serving them.

I'm not really sure how you could make a dating app with a freemium model work without some of these problems though.
 

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Currently on tinder and bumble and get zero matches.
Get a couple of female friends to help you put pictures / profile together.
Then pay an intern to swipe right all day.
Connect with ANY match and work on your game.
You have no game.

I'll just have to marry ZCP, I know he'd like that.
Better boost your financial portfolio and get your narrow a$$ in shape!
Maybe @Sheens can help show you how to do pushups and eat more than 1100 calories a day?
 

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10 of those matches are bots, which it seems to me they won't remove or they even have them built in themselves to encourage new users
This sounds like potential for class action lawsuit.

But i'm not sure how much would be winning per person, $100?
 

fridge

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Get a couple of female friends to help you put pictures / profile together.
Then pay an intern to swipe right all day.
Connect with ANY match and work on your game.
You have no game.

This this this. I went from getting about 10-15 likes a month to getting 60 likes a month all because I had some high quality pictures taken of me at the beach/hiking/well dressed/out with friends/playing a sport. The key is to get 100~ pics taken of you in one setting, then decide on the best 1-3, get female friend approval, and edit those. But yeah even with a lot of matches dating has been super hard during the pandemic.
 

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The key is to get 100~ pics taken of you in one setting, then decide on the best 1-3, get female friend approval, and edit those.
Ain't there service for that? If no, then there should be.
 

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Tinder user here!

I can confirm the app is going to pieces, squeezing its userbase.

Tinder was sued for discretionary charges.

Tinder settles age discrimination lawsuit with $11.5 million worth of Super Likes

Tinder also gave users Super Likes


As a lonely guy myself. Knowing what I did about the prices, I joined Tinder under a VPN, with a number not tied to my device, using the sandbox app.

Tinder turns out not only shoves advertising on almost every other button press but also water down matches. I know these are experiments, pools of users, and several analytical behaviors in the background. Indeed the app is designed to make money.


How it makes money is the discussion.

In the past, people would delete their account and make a new one as this would make a new profile and show them the best users in their area. (on the start of account, users get an invisible super-boost)

Tinder caught onto this and logged the behavior and now punishes this action.

Those users fall into smaller pools where the app, designed to find sex or love, does what it's supposed to do and cycles through the ever-shrinking collection of users.

Then come the E-thots and E-bots.

Along with the general creep on the platform, women jump off through social esteem using the said app or the public concession that that app sucks. Filtered in among these profiles are fake accounts. The user spun bots that steal photos and mass create accounts hoping to trick horny people into spending money. Perhaps encouraged by these bots, some real women do the same thing, panhandling their paid accounts to gain income. This causes unrest and unease among the male population pools in the app, who turn to sites like Reddit and other forums to increase their pool and find whatever they are looking for on the app.


For girls, the app provides a different set of challenges.

Women are blissfully unaware of bots that solely target men (isn't that an exciting data point?)

Instead, girls are flooded with matches. While on the men's side, they are lucky to see ten real girls within a day's usage, girls will instantly receive thousands of faces, each with its animation of you has matched!

Tinder, it seems, has even made a separate dashboard for women, which loads without them realizing it once they reach 500ish matches.


Thus begin Tinder's monetization methods. For girls, they receive the offers of seeing faces of men. Girls also can buy super likes and pay for "Boosts" however the boost feature will never glow and shine on the screen as it does for guys.

Most women's features are for seeing who they may be speaking with and changing their location within the app with a feature known as "Passport."

Tinder has, with the cause of COVID, made passport free for the time being.

Other options for the woman are locking down their profile, not displaying to specific users, or hiding their profiles.

Men, on the other hand, are given Boosts as a paid option. A boost is a purchase that increases their viewability and "shows them at the top of the stack once added to the account."

What men don't realize, however, is at the top of a conga line, you have 500 more people ready to make you trip

Paying for boost works. It has to, or it would be illegal. However, it also burns one's account as susceptible to the validation of loneliness and marks them as a person who will spend money on the app. individual after the boots session of a long 20 minutes, they fall down the stack, two tacks, only Tinder knows how far they fall until they are in a hole.

In this hole, they can look up and see the party dancing around them.

Tinder seems to give them an invisible boost to expand their VIEW but not visible to others

Often these users start burning through super likes which once the person they paid to send

(again envision a model digging through a garbage barrel here)

their profile glows with a blue star

While Tinder envisioned this would be met with squeals of delight and result in int more matches, it does the opposite. Girls are aware this means a guy paid to catch their eye, and the blue stars are not seen as a good thing… an image tinder has worked to change as these blue badges are cash purchase.

Each sex is plagued by one more additions to the cash slurping app.

Tinder comes with "Tinder Gold," a paid membership which also gives users the options to

Rewind (whoops I swiped the wrong way)

Passport (travel to another place and match with people there)

Extra super likes (get a few super likes to use)

Unlimited Likes

For men, unlimited likes mean they can use the app until it tells them there is no one around them.

Girls hardly ever use this feature as they aren't required to swipe for long and can see their dashboard of users who want to meet them.

The ways Tinder tries to monetize with different methods grows each week as they identify another data point that squishes a dollar from a user.


disclaimer: all thoughts are my own and do not reflect the oponions of any company listed within this post.

wow that is quite the write up. What percentage would you estimate is purely bot traffic?
 

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