Industry

Tinder’s Head of Product Resigns

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Brian Norgard, who has reigned as Tinder’s chief of product the past two years, announced his resignation.

According to website Tech Crunch, Norgard says he is exiting on a positive note and plans to get back to his entrepreneurial roots. Before he joined Tinder, he founded startup messaging app Tappy, which was acquired in 2014, along with Facebook messaging app Chill, another successful startup with 30 million users. When Norgard first joined Tinder, he was head of revenue and moved on to his chief of product role.

Norgard cites Keith Rabois of PayPal as his inspiration for leaving to pursue something new.

“It’s been a great ride but my strength has always been in the early-stage game,” Norgard told TechCrunch. “What I’m trying to do now is take all the learnings from that wonderful experience and bring them into my investing.”

Online Dating is More Popular Than Ever, But Customers Are Skeptical of Finding Love

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Online dating has become the most popular way for people to meet, but according to a recent article in Forbes, this doesn’t mean they’re are satisfied with the experience. Many are skeptical that technology will help them find love – and in fact, might make it harder.

The Forbes article focused on ghosting, a practice that has become ubiquitous among online daters. Ghosting happens when one person stops communicating with another with no explanation.

The problem with ghosting according to the Forbes article, is not the act itself, which has been around for a while, it’s how prevalent it has become. It has become such a problem among online daters that Plenty of Fish did a study, and reported that 78% of its users admitted to being ghosted at least once.

Tinder Employees Sue Match Group for $2 Billion

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Sean Rad, Co-founder of Tinder

Former and current Tinder employees slapped a lawsuit against parent company Match Group, claiming the popular dating app was purposefully devalued at the time Match Group was valuating stock options. The Tinder employees suing Match Group were placed on administrative leave, according to a report by MSN.

The ten former and current Tinder employees initiating the lawsuit include founder and ex-CEO Sean Rad along with co-founders Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen. Tinder’s VP of Communications Rosette Pambakian has also joined the lawsuit, and claims that IAC/ Match Group executive Greg Blatt sexually harassed her at a company party. (IAC changed its name to Match Group, but the company is still owned by media mogul Barry Diller.)

Pambakian wrote an email to Tinder employees explaining her decision, as reported by Fortune Magazine:

Match Group CEO Speaks Out On Competition From Bumble And Facebook

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As one of the only female CEOs of a publicly-traded tech company, Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg was certain to make headlines. But even Ginsberg herself could not have predicted how dramatic her first year in the role would be.

In March, the company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Bumble in Texas. The suit accused Bumble of stealing trade secrets and infringing on two patents held by Tinder, a Match Group-owned company. Bumble responded with an acerbic full page ad in the New York Times admonishing Match Group for its “scare tactics,” “endless games”, and the “assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate [Bumble].”

The story blew up, quickly becoming the legal scandal heard round the dating world. It was only Ginsberg’s second month as CEO.

Match Group Buys Rival Dating App Hinge

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This week, Match Group announced it has acquired dating app Hinge. According to the press release, the deal gives Match Group a 51 percent stake in the company. Match first started buying shares in Sept of 2017 and has the option to buy remaining shares of Hinge within the next year.

Hinge has spent the last few years revamping its image and features, creating an app that countered Tinder’s hook-up reputation, and aimed to create a space for more serious daters. This included dumping its initial Tinder-like swiping feature and allowing clients to build profiles more like traditional online dating sites. Interestingly, Match Group (which owns Tinder) initially invested in Hinge in the fall of 2017, soon after it debuted its new design.

Hinge is most popular among “urban, educated millennial women looking for relationships,” according to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. It has also grown its user base to “five times what it was a year ago,” according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, making it an attractive purchase for Match Group.

Dating Execs Respond To The Threat Of Competition From Facebook

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At Facebook's annual developer conference F8, founder Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement that spread like an especially voracious wildfire across the web: Facebook is entering the dating game.

The news sparked immediate reactions from key players in the market.

Despite recently ditching the Facebook login requirement for its app, Bumble took a diplomatic approach. A spokesperson described the company as “thrilled”, telling CNNMoney “Our executive team has already reached out to Facebook to explore ways to collaborate. Perhaps Bumble and Facebook can join forces to make the connecting space even more safe and empowering.”

Other major dating players took a less enthusiastic path.