Tinder has struggled to move away from its identity as a hook-up app as parent company Match Group talked up ‘premium subscription features.’
Tinder is working on an ultra-expensive subscription offering that seems explicitly geared toward those wealthy enough (or at those feigning affluence) looking to swipe right on other semi-influential folks. The company is leaving the door open to abandon the idea altogether, meaning that those with deep pockets would be left swiping left on the riff-raff like the rest of us base commoners.
A Monday a Fast Company report citing Tinder Chief Product Officer Mark Van Ryswyk confirms the company is still testing out the $500-a-month subscription called “Tinder Vault.” Such a subscription would make them known to the pool of people who are also willing to pay. The feature is still in early stages and the company is leaving itself room to change the name, price, or any other aspect of this potential offering.
There’s been murmurings of an even more expensive subscription than Tinder’s $30 a month Platinum subscription. In February, Reddit user SmithMano posted screenshots of what appears to be a Tinder promotion for “Tinder VAULT.” Users who pay $500 a month or $5,000 a year get a “special status” and a “priority pass” that seems to imply even more profile boosts than the other Tinder subscription tiers. Other than priority in other users’ feeds, the proposed services include a “personalized concierge service” that would act as a kind of pick-up artist 24/7 advice service. There’s also a “premium passport” perk that would give users access to its “most active and influential members.”
Whatever ends up happening with Vault, Van Ryswk told Fast Company that the new feature would be an extension of Tinder’s current features, and seemed to imply that real-life human matchmakers may not make it into the final product.
Such a “Tinder, but for rich people” is not completely out of the wheelhouse for Tinder owner Match Group. The dating app conglomerate owns a huge number of dating apps including Hinge and OkCupid, and last year it purchased dating platform The League. That app comes with some pretty pricey access options and the app is described as “high-powered (and empowered) people who are ready for a long-term relationship.”
Van Ryswyk said that The League subscribers have remained steady despite all those layoffs in high-paying industries like tech, so it seems the company is still bullish on the Vault concept to some extent. Tinder has been on a kind of existential journey of self discovery since last year after the company’s previous CEO Renate Nyborg announced she was leaving Tinder. Tinder is starting to look more like Hinge recently as it tries to get away from the image that Tinder is only for hook-ups.
Last year Match Group reported its total revenue declined by 2% compared to the same time in 2021, though company CEO Bernard Kim mentioned they expected to launch a “bold new marketing campaign” for the world’s most popular dating app in 2023. Alongside expanded discovery features, their product roadmap mentions “premium subscription features” and “premium discovery preferences” under the category of “broadening monetization.”
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