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West Hollywood-Based Tinder Forces Users to Either Pay Up or Stop Using the App a Certain Way

Last month, Tinder debuted its new, premium version, Tinder Plus, which provides users with more features for $9.99 to $19.99 per month, depending on their respective age. Though many were dubious of the move, the new version of the dating app has proved to be successful in surprising ways.

Tinder, which is based in West Hollywood, is insanely popular for several reasons. First, its simple design is not only easy to use, but fun, too. About 46% of Internet users have difficulty interacting with websites regularly. In order to make things as simple as possible, Tinder’s designers employ a card-based user experience design. Basically, users are shown cards with another’s photo, name, and age. They swipe right if they want to match with the person, or left if they don’t. It’s both simple, and fun to use.

The app is also popular because it’s free. Young singles are no longer relying on services such as EHarmony or Match, which can cost as much as $30 or $40 per month.

However, data from IBISWorld reveals that the online dating industry has annual sales exceeding $2 billion, so it’s only natural that Tinder would look to monetize itself eventually.

For about $10 or $20 a month, users can undo their last swipe, and choose to match with people thousands of miles away.

Most importantly, they also have an unlimited amount of right swipes. Once Tinder Plus debuted, free users could no longer swipe right as much as they wanted, a change that incensed many users.

Tinder revealed in a blog post that the company’s seen “a small number of users who only swipe right just to see who likes them back.”

Though the implementation of the new “bouncer” — what Tinder calls the limiter internally — could be seen as a way to force certain users to pay up, the company says it’s trying to curb the behavior to improve the overall experience of the app.

“You can only maintain so many relationships at any given time, and that holds true on Tinder in its own way,” Tinder CEO Sean Rad told TechCrunch. “If you go past a certain point with the amount of people you swipe right on, there is a diminishing return on every match.”

Now that limiter has been in place for about a month or two, Tinder says it’s seeing a 25% increase in the number of matches per right swipe, and a 25% increase in the amount of messages per match. The bouncer has also helped eliminate spam bots, the amount of which has decreased by over 50% since the bouncer’s launch.

“We made unlimited likes a paid feature because it would be a big enough barrier to entry for spam bots to cut out that usage, but we still want our users to have the freedom to use Tinder in whatever way they want,” said Rad. “It’s a platform at the end of the day.”

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