This week, Tinder launched a premium service, Tinder Plus, and it’s not the new features people are buzzing about. Instead, the folks are talking about Tinder’s decision to charge users older users twice as much for the premium service as younger users.
Tinder Plus includes the Passport, which allows users change their location and connect with people anywhere in the world, and Rewind, which enables users to recall accidental rejections. Plus users will also be granted unlimited likes, which means limits on the likes for non-premium users.
According to the official blog:
The validity of the swipe is core to the Tinder experience. Tinder works best when swipes are genuine reflections of a user’s desire to connect. Limitations on rewinding and right-swiping give users more incentive to make sure their swipes are honest.
The real controversy is surrounding the stratified pricing strategy. According to Mashable, the standard price in “most developed” countries is $9.99. However, users over 30 will have to pay double at $19.99 for the same service.
Tinder’s VP of corporate communications Rosette Pambakian told Mashable:
We’ve priced Tinder Plus based on a combination of factors, including what we’ve learned through our testing, and we’ve found that these price points were adopted very well by certain age demographics.
Pambakian told ABC Tinder was offering younger users a lower price point because they are “more budget constrained and need a lower price to pull the trigger.”
Paul Kedrosky, a venture capitalist interviewed by the BBC was surprised by the model Tinder decided to adopt. In fact, he called the pricing model “sleazy” and was suspicious about the stated justification.
It seems more likely it’s a way to get the [younger] demographic that Tinder wants on the service, and using price as a way to create a barrier to others.
Perhaps it’s true, and Tinder won’t feel the loss of older users who refuse to pay.