Contributed by: kellyseal Monday, March 23 2015 @ 06:40 am
Are you excited about the new Tinder Plus service that has rolled out in the U.S.? Don't get too carried away – turns out, if you’re 30 or older, you’ll have to pay more than your younger single counterparts.
Tinder is charging users of its premium service only $9.99 if they are under 30, but those 30 and older have to pay $19.99 per month for the same service. In the U.K., the pay gap is even larger.
Tinder has been testing pricing and features of Tinder Plus in various markets prior to its U.S. roll out, which is expected to happen in late March. Reports have been mixed – while Tinder claims that its users have responded favorably to the premium service and its features (as well as pricing), the app’s ratings have declined in the U.K. app store thanks to several harsh reviews.
The success of the new service is important to Tinder, who has yet to capitalize on the sheer number of users of the free service. The company has struggled to come up with viable revenue streams that don’t take away from the user experience (they have tried to avoid in-app advertising), in order to maintain their growing user base. Offering a tiered premium service like Tinder Plus seems the best answer, adding some popular features based on users’ requests - such as the ability to go back and see rejected profiles, or to meet matches in different cities.
But along with these improvements, there are reports that Tinder is placing limits on the number of swipes any user can do per day for the free service (which sparked outrage in the U.K. app stores), prompting users to buy the premium service if they want to continue swiping.
And the latest controversy appears to be age discrimination. In a statement to defend its unusual pricing technique, Tinder said this to NPR: "Over the past few months, we've tested Tinder Plus extensively in several countries…Lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. Tinder is no different; during our testing we've learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus but are more budget constrained and need a lower price to pull the trigger."
Not everyone is buying Tinder’s explanation. As website Engadget pointed out, this “sleazy” move by Tinder will likely cause more people to lie about their ages on Facebook.
The real test will has come now since Tinder Plus made its U.S. debut this month. Perhaps this is the move that will make room for other competitors in the crowded dating app market.