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🔥 Tinder’s $1.9B Secret to Selling Love

🔥 Tinder’s $1.9B Secret to Selling Love

Most of you know Tinder – the dating app famous for finding love… or a casual hook-up.

It’s free to download, fun to use, and easy to get addicted to. 

Tinder has more than 75 M active users. That’s more than any other dating app.

But do you know how Tinder became the #1 dating app? Or how they manage to bring in $1.9B in annual revenue?

Here’s what we got for ya:

  • 🎉 From 0 users to #1 Dating App

  • 🎲 The Dating Game

  • 💰 Freemium Model

Read time: 4 min 43 sec

🎉 From 0 users to #1 Dating App

2 years. 

That’s how long it took for Tinder to reach 50M users.

Not many startups can boast that level of success. 

So how did they do it?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Sean Rad had the idea for Tinder at a 2012 hackathon. 

And in just 6 weeks, the first version of Tinder was released on the app store. 

The way Tinder got their first users was genius. 

Tinder didn’t pay for a single ad until 2015.

So their secret to success? Being on the ground, talking to their target audience.

They started on college campuses. If they could get college kids to like their app, soon everyone would know about it.

Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe was a sorority alum.

She would go to chapters of her sorority and get all the girls to install the app. 

Then she’d go to their brother-frat and show them all the cute girls on Tinder.

Wolfe got Tinder more than 10,000 users.

Next, Tinder launched their second strategy:

They threw massive house parties on college campuses. 

But there was a catch…. 

To get in, students had to download the app.

Word of mouth was an easy way to get more users. And it was free. 

The college kids were really interested in what Tinder was offering.

After all, it’s an app promising what everyone wants: the chance to build relationships and find love…or just a hook-up.

Today, Tinder has been downloaded more than 450M times…

That’s more than any other dating app.

And they aren’t just popular, but profitable too. Tinder is one of the most profitable apps on the app store, out-grossing even Netflix.

But Tinder wasn’t the first dating app. So why is their app the most successful? 

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🎲 The Dating Game

You know how they say you shouldn’t play games in relationships?

Well, Tinder took that to the extreme opposite. 

The reason Tinder is so successful is because it's addicting.

The average Tinder user opens the app a whopping 11 times per day. 


Tinder made dating a game.

Suddenly, looking through your options is exciting and easy. Instead of reading through personal ads in the paper or cold approaching someone in a bar: you just swipe left or right.

Tinder also uses the same psychology as slot machines in a casino. 

It’s a variable rewards system.

Users never know what they’ll get with each swipe– a match, a message, or nothing at all. 

This anticipation and unpredictability keeps users addicted.

And this is exactly what Tinder wants. If you get so addicted to the game, you won’t want to leave. 

Sure Tinder makes matches. In fact, they’ve made over 70B matches. And 80% of Tinder users have gone on at least one date from Tinder.

But Tinder wants you to come back. Remember that there are so many options out there for you to swipe through. 

The truth is their goal is not to be the perfect matchmaker. It’s to make money.

More on this:

💰 Freemium Model

Tinder is free. You can download the app right now, make an account, and start swiping. 

It will probably be fun for a while. You’ll get multiple matches a day. 

And then, all of a sudden, you will start getting less and less. 

Your self-esteem will plummet and you’ll long for the day Tinder was fun and rewarding.

Just in time, Tinder will give you a solution. 

Tinder Plus. For $24.99 a month, you’ll have unlimited likes and rewinds, remove ads, and access more features. 

You decide to pay. Why not?

And it helps you for a while. But soon you are feeling the crash again. You need more.

So you upgrade to Tinder Gold. For $39.99 a month, you’ll get 5 super likes a week, 1 free boost a month, see who likes you and get new top picks every day.

Still, it’s not enough. You feel like you’re so close to finding the perfect partner. But you need a little advantage.

So you upgrade to Tinder Platinum.  Surely it’s worth $49.99 a month. For true love!

Now you can message people before they even match with you and prioritize your likes. 

Okay okay, maybe you would never pay that much. But at least 14% of Tinder users do. And 14% is all it takes for Tinder to make $1.9B a year.

Good for Tinder. But bad for people’s wallets.

I did some digging into why people would be willing to pay so much for a dating app.

What did I find?

The majority of users paying for subscriptions are men.

There is a 3:1 ratio of men to women on Tinder. So unless you’re a 6ft underwear model, it’s hard to get matches as a man. 

Unless, of course, you pay Tinder money….

Men get 1 match for every 40 likes. Women get 1 for every 2.

That’s how Tinder baits men into paying.

More on this: 

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