Milestones

Tinder Joins Companies Who Are Bypassing Fees from Google Play

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Tinder Google Play Screen Capture

App companies are growing frustrated with splitting their increasing revenues with Google Play and the Apple Store, as they continue to pay 30 percent to the tech giants on every transaction made through their app stores. But now, Tinder is offering its customers a direct payment method, a way to bypass Google Play altogether.

The popular dating app is allowing its Android users to enter their credit card information directly into the app rather than using Google Play to buy premium subscriptions like Tinder Gold and Tinder Plus. Once you’ve entered the information, the app automatically defaults to this payment system for all future in-app purchases and renewal fees as well.

According to The Verge, Tinder isn’t the first company to side-step app stores. Epic Games, a popular video game developer, last year released its hit game Fortnite via its own downloadable launcher to avoid giving Google 30 percent of its revenues. Popular music service Spotify has filed an anti-trust complaint against Apple with the European Union for alleged anti-competitive tactics. Apple is now being investigated by the Union for disadvantaging other companies in favor of its own offerings, specifically Apple Music, which competes directly with Spotify. Netflix is also looking at options to avoid the Apple and Google Play stores, especially with Apple now entering the content business.

Ashley Madison Celebrates 60 Million Members

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Ashley Madison now has 60 Million Members

Four years after a hacking scandal threatened to bring it down, Ashley Madison is celebrating a milestone. The notorious infidelity dating site has reached 60 million members worldwide since launching in 2002.

"Our unique community of like-minded people continues to grow across the globe," said Paul Keable, Chief Strategy Officer of Ashley Madison, in a prepared statement. "We offer discretion to those seeking infidelity, and clearly, with strong results underscoring the company's growth, what we offer is in demand."

Ashley Madison’s latest annual Report on Customer Statistics reveals that more than 14,500 new member accounts were added on average each day in 2018. For every active paid male account, 1.1 active female accounts were created. The site averages more than 440,000 new signups per month and facilitates more than 39.5 thousand affairs per day. In total, over 5.3 million new accounts were registered on Ashley Madison last year.

Spark Buys Zoosk for $258 Million

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CEO of Spark Networks Jeronimo Folgueira and outgoing CEO of Zoosk Steven McArthur
Image: Zoosk

Online dating conglomerate Spark Networks announced its purchase of Zoosk for $258 million USD. The popular dating app was acquired with a combination of cash and stock, and Spark will have full ownership of Zoosk shares.

According to the terms of the deal, Spark will issue 12,980,000 ADSs (American Depository Shares) to former Zoosk shareholders, valued at $152 million based on the closing price of Spark ADSs of $11.78 on June 28, 2019. It also provides for a cash consideration of $150 million, subject to adjustment, according to the company’s press release. Former Zoosk shareholders owned 49 percent of the company.

Owner of Badoo and Bumble Launches New Parent Company Magic Lab

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Magic Labs Dating Apps

Andrey Andreev, who owns popular dating apps Badoo, Bumble, Lumen and Chappy, has created a new holding company called Magic Lab.

Magic Lab seems to be positioning itself to compete directly with Match Group by offering a similar setup: a suite of diverse apps aimed at different dating markets. However, Magic Labs stated how it plans to distinguish itself in its company mission, taking aim at dating app culture overall: “The brands will focus on marketing to solve societal issues such as misogyny, stereotypes, self-doubt and ageism.”

Tantan’s User Base is Growing Rapidly in India

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Tantan dating app is popular in India

Chinese dating app Tantan, which was recently removed from the Chinese app stores, is on the rise in India. The popular app has gained traction among singles and is now the fifth most popular dating app in the country.

“India is one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world, hence it’s very important to be present and win in the Indian market,” Tantan told Quartz. “After doing a soft launch in India, we learned more about the market and users which helped us in serving the market better.”

Tinder to Launch a New Scaled-Down App Tinder Lite

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Tinder plans to launch a new, scaled-down version of the app called Tinder Lite.

According to Tech Crunch, the new app is catering to markets where bandwidth, data usage and storage space have all been challenging, which means customers to pay a premium for access to mobile data. Some of the regions Tinder is targeting include India and Southeast Asia, where parent company Match Group has appointed three new executives and dedicated more resources to growing its brands.

Tinder Lite was initially mentioned in an investor call according to Tech Crunch. However, Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg shared few details about the launch or the app. There was no specific date mentioned, and no details about what features would be removed, but likely the trademark swiping and matching would remain as key elements of the Tinder Lite experience.