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Figures out this week suggest that Tinder is pulling in more profit than ever, with more people shelling out for the premium service Tinder Gold.

But while some are paying out something scandalous like £28 a month to find out who has liked them (and will probably never talk to them), it feels like its target audience is now shifting further away from young millennial and Generation Z users to a specific gullible audience willing to splash the cash.

Speak anecdotally to anyone who has used the app and the reviews of modern-day Tinder are particularly negative. We might all have used it, but the culture is turning more and more off.

No longer is Tinder’s own marketing strategy for users about promoting opportunity for meaningful relationships, it’s actually about promoting that the single life isn’t so bad, and their most recent social media post talked of “romantic friendships”.

The move suggests even those in charge of the app have come to the realisation the beast they created has limited success with bringing real love.

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Some will claim that Tinder has only been beneficial for hook-ups, but even that is giving the app more credit than it deserves. With data showing that millennials are having less sex than the generations that came before (pun not intended), it doesn’t appear to have generated an uplift.

Now in 2019 I have found more are trying to combat the rise of online dating with the more traditional ways and means of meeting someone.

Historically going out and meeting someone face to face was once the way of finding someone, but changes in how we all socialise means the trends are changing.

The rise in online dating means many of us no longer base our decisions on informed choices or through personality, but through looks, whether we’re willing to admit that or not. This is evident from the amount of people using the app without even filling their profile in beyond giving their name and a photograph.

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But those attempting to defying the grip Tinder has on our generation are turning to the old ways of dating to meet new people. Speed dating is back with a vengeance and from my own experience recently it is clear the main driving force for people signing up is the fact they are tired of swiping left, right and the culture that it all brings.

Moreover not a week goes by when a dating television show isn’t in the schedules, decades after Blind Date first appeared on our screens. People fed up with the apps are prepared to humiliate themselves on shows, like ITV2’s Love Island or Channel 4’s First Dates and even Naked Attraction, with the view that it has got to be better than dodging pictures of people holding fish, posing with tigers, and their cars.

Last year it was reported more people applied for the ITV2 series than sent off a UCAS application for Cambridge or Oxford universities. Sure, an element of those applying will be looking for fame and even free protein shakes, but a search of social media will soon find those who genuinely believe they can be the next Amber and Greg (rather than Tommy and Molly-Mae).

Even the parent company behind Tinder appears to be keeping its options open. Hinge, an app the company admits is for this who actually want something meaningful, has been launched by owners Match. 

Whether Hinge can really pick up where Tinder failed remains to be seen, but while shareholders at Match might be happy with the profits recorded for Tinder, it shouldn’t underestimate that the bubble is bursting and the generation that helped make the app are turning away from it.

Written by Jono Read
Jono Read is a 32-year-old writer from Norfolk. He is a social media manager and a journalist. He blogs about politics, popular culture, and marketing.