Tinder shook up the dating world, known for its long personality quizzes and profile-based matchmaking, with its ego-boosting, hook-up-friendly, mobile flirting app: Two daters are presented with each other’s photos, and if (and only if) they both like what they see and swipe right, the service hooks them up with a chat box, where the daters can take it from there.
After taking off on college campuses, Tinder now boasts 26 million matches a day, and its leaders have invested heavily in maintaining its reputation as a hook-up haven for young people.
When Tinder last month rolled out its Tinder Plus upgrade, the service said it would charge singles over the age of 30 twice as much for the premium service, about a month.
Online dating isn't just about making love connections, it's about making lots and lots of money.
And as the stigma of meeting a match online falls by the wayside, the industry's growth is accelerating.
The two major players are Match.com, which is owned by Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corp and e Harmony, which is privately held.
IAC's Match sites, which includes and generated $343 million in revenue this year, reporting 1.4 million active subscribers, about 15 percent of the market. That's right, 236 e Harmony members get married every day.
They put all their money on one variable: looks,” said e Harmony founder Neil Clark Warren, a grandfather of nine who’s been married for 56 years. It’s also become increasingly addictive: The average user checked the app 11 times a day, seven minutes at a time, the firm said in 2013. It is one of several dating sites in Inter Active Corp., the monolithic New York media conglomerate, which also owns Match.com, OKCupid and a heap of shallower dating pools, including Gen XPeople Meet.com, Divorced People and Little People
Match alone has more than 2 million daters across North America, a third of whom are over the age of 50.With the industry expected to grow by another 0 million every year through 2019, analysts say the dating game is increasingly becoming a battle of the ages, with both sides hoping their age-based gambles yield the most profit from those looking for love.It’s not clear that the young and perky are the best market for corporate matchmakers.Piper Jaffray's Munster says e Harmony is a natural acquisition target for a company like AOL or Yahoo, or even IAC if Diller wants to make a big push for this market.He says we can also expect some of the larger players to snap up niche sites, as the whole market grows.Though the firm said subscribers are joining at faster rates and staying longer, analysts last year estimated e Harmony’s revenue growth had slowed to a crawl, and was still half that of the Match Group’s, the mix of Tinder, Match and OKCupid that brought in more than 0 million in the U.