A few years ago, Match.com was the most famous dating website. Today, its popularity is strongly decreasing among young people who surprisingly have gone crazy for highly-simplified dating apps like Tinder. Today, this location-based app is one of the most popular dating apps in the world. It just launched its latest update including its first move towards monetization.
Tinder’s success is casting an interesting light on the dating app world. For Carter McJunkin, COO of Grindr, a general tendency of dating applications is clearly revealed in this case: “Men are looking for women, women are looking for filters”. The asymmetry of demand on this market challenges the way dating companies have to plan their monetizing strategies. Men are willing to pay for a wider selection whereas women are looking for a better selection.
Addressing this challenge has become one of the main differentiation factors that dating companies have developed in the past years. The League, Amanda Bradford’s successful company, proposes to its customer a platform one can access only once one’s profile is validated, the academic and professional pedigree being basically the fundamental component of the selection.
Juggling this two-sided market issue and different cultural demands seems to be the key to internationalization. While dating apps are flourishing, very few manage to export themselves. Match.com or AshleyMadison.com websites are almost unknown in continental Europe, although being extremely successful in Northern America. The hyper simplified features of Tinder and Grindr helped them overcome this challenge.
To put this debate in a nutshell : the great amount of ways to answer the specific demands of dating apps users (sexual, cultural, emotional) leaves a wide field of innovation for the sector. Tinder might not be our last surprise.