Tinder swiping Web-browsing suitors
- By SARA ASHLEY O’BRIEN
- Last Updated: 3:41 AM, July 14, 2013
- Posted: 11:10 PM, July 13, 2013
Miss USA isn’t the only one Tindering!
The dating game has taken on a whole new meaning as dating services seek to capture the on-the-go lifestyles and short attention spans of singles.
Tinder, the fast-growing mobile location-based dating app, uses GPS technology to locate potential mates nearby, but it adds a sport-like element to the dating game, smartly capitalizing on mobile research.
For those who haven’t yet “Tindered,” the app pulls a person’s photos (quite easily if linked to as Facebook account) and displays his or her first name and age.
Users then can swipe the screen left (“No, not interested”) or right (“Yes, I’m interested”).
If users are interested, they will be notified to text via a “chat room” within the app.
In the case of a left swipe, the object of one’s disaffection will be unaware of the action, and the user can Tinder on.
According to comScore, in May 2013 almost 58 percent of those who accessed apps through their mobile devices visited a game app, but only 5 percent visited a dating app. So as services like Tinder turn dating into more of an entertaining diversion, the more likely consumers are to power up the app.
This “Hot or Not” game-like element of Tinder is contributing to the app’s near-viral status.
“Older” services like OkCupid have taken the hint, adopting the addictive yes/no screen-swipe technology.
Tinder was launched last December by Hatch Labs, the incubator owned by Barry Diller’s IAC and has become one of the fastest-growing mobile dating apps, according to Sam Yagan, CEO of Match, Inc., also owned by Diller.
Yagan contrasts “long-form content” (e.g., sites like Match.com and eHarmony, which require lengthy profiles) with “short-form apps” like Tinder.
The latter is “almost like entertainment, like a game. It doesn’t give you tremendous information on a person,” explains Yagan.
In 2012, Match.com saw half its users log in with a mobile device and double-digit increases in new members acquired via mobile.
According to Nielsen, OkCupid, also owned by Diller, had 2 million unique users on its smartphone app in May.
By replacing “browsing” — which doesn’t translate well from desktop to smaller screens — apps that incorporate game-like interactions seek to lure consumers into spending more time in the app.
Tinder has quickly captured a user base of its own, facilitating 1.5 million matches a day, 75 million matches total.
It counts 4.5 billion profile ratings (meaning profiles that have been swiped left or right) and boasts having led to 50 engagements to date.
Yagan says he’s “not worried” about monetizing the app, instead concentrating on acquiring more users — and holding on to them.
But there is big revenue potential in mobile app revenue. In fact, mobile dating is expected to be 12.4 percent of total industry revenue in 2013, according to IBISWorld.
In total, the dating industry brings in $2 billion dollars in digital revenue, and the field is anticipating healthy growth. Already, mobile-dating revenue grew 70.3 percent between 2009 and 2012, to an estimated $212.6 million in revenue last year.