Dating apps are popular in part due to the low commitment factor. Most apps are free to download and begin using, so there isn’t much incentive for people to pay for enhanced services, or pay to use an app at all. You can swipe left and right, checking back for new matches at any time.
Because many dating apps have also modeled themselves after the swiping aspect of Tinder, where potential dates are judged instantly, and some argue, superficially, there is not much incentive for singles to get serious in their searches, and especially to pay for an online dating service. This has contributed to a dating app culture where daters aren’t necessarily invested or interested in serious dating.
However, a new study from Earnest, an alternative lending firm based in San Francisco, California, has revealed that people are willing to pay for a dating app, if it means they get more quality matches and have a better chance of connecting with someone and starting a relationship.
As we saw with online dating sites like Plenty of Fish, free doesn’t necessarily mean that daters are getting their needs met. In fact, many daters tried these free services only to return to the paid services later on, assuming that people using them were more serious.
Online dating services and apps vary in cost, with some starting as low as $10 per month while some can cost as much as $65 per month.
One surprising find from the study is that men seem to be more serious in their search, outnumbering women in terms of who will pay for dating services by sixteen percent.
Another interesting find: those living on the West Coast are 55 percent more likely to pay for a dating service than in other parts of the US. (So no, California residents aren’t so flaky after all!)
Overall, nearly 10 percent of those surveyed said they paid for a dating app, with Match, OkCupid and E-Harmony edging out Tinder as go-to romance resources. Forty-four percent of participants were willing to pay for Match, while 32% were willing to pay for OkCupid’s services and 22% will pay for eHarmony. (Tinder came in fourth at 9%.)
And no surprise, older singles ages 36-50 are 50% more likely to pay for a dating app than their younger counterparts, aged 18-26.