Tinder sets age-based pricing tiers

With Tinder becoming one of the most popular forms of online dating, will tiered payment costs defer users from continuing to use the dating app?

Today Tinder launched a premium service called Tinder Plus. Users in the U.S. between 18-20 will have to pay $9.99 per month, and users 30+ will have to pay $19.99 per month. Tinder plus offers users the ability to have unlimited likes, rewind when swiping and even change your location to anywhere in the world with the passport feature.

But is the price for Tinder Plus really worth it?

The passport feature that allows you to change your location while traveling is helpful for those looking to create real world connections wherever they go before they get there. This is great for avid travelers or those looking to make new friends, but isn’t a feature worth paying for. The rewind feature that allows you to go back on a match is helpful but also not worth paying for. When have you ever thought, that was the love of my life I swiped past, I wish I paid money to be able to swipe them again?

But the biggest issue with Tinder’s new rollout isn’t the features- it is the age-based pricing tier model they adopted. This is Tinder’s first attempt at monetization, and the PR component of this launch was handled very poorly.

In an email to Bloomberg Business, Tinder spokeswoman Rosette Pambakian justified the price points by saying “lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example. Tinder is no different; during our testing we’ve learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.”

Tinder is trying to get an older subset of the population to subsidize the cost of operations of their core users. As Jessica Goldstein pointed out, Tinder is still not solving the basic problem of getting core users to pay for themselves. But that is only one of many problems for Tinder. Their CEO has already made headlines (and not in a good way). As a woman, this is one more check against wanting to use Tinder knowing you have to pay more after you reach the ripe old age of 30.

When I went to Santa Monica recently, I stopped on the pier and wanted to take a touristy photo. The salesman asked me, “Where are you from?” When I said New York, he said it would be $10 for the photo. The Malibu native I was with said, “Wait a second, I was just here last week and the photo was only $5.”

Sizing up your customer base and charging them based on what you think they are willing to pay vs. a standardized rate is wrong.  If Tinder wants to charge users for a premium experience, I have no issue with it. But at least charge everyone the same price. The price for finding love in this country should not have to literally double the second you turn 30.

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