Earlier this week, dating app Hinge’s parent company, Match Group Inc., announced plans for a monthly subscription fee of $60. Essentially, the company is betting that Gen-Z users, the company’s fastest-growing demographic, will see the unspecified enhanced features as a worthwhile investment.
That said, as a member of Gen Z, I can’t help but wonder if the company actually consulted anyone under the age of 30.
I don’t know anyone who pays for dating apps. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence. But as dot.LA’s resident Gen Z reporter, that has to count for something.
Even those willing to pay for dating apps have cheaper options. Tinder, which is also owned by Match Group, offers three different tiers for paying users. Tinder Platinum is the most expensive $26 per month. Match is also apparently testing interest for a Monthly fee of $500 for Tinder, but since most young people don’t have that much to spend on rent, it’s too ridiculous to even take the time to think about. Bumble comes to $30 a month. And Grindr’s most expensive option is $40 a month. For what it’s worth, Grindr plans to do just that try different price points for its subscriptions, as 80% of the company’s revenue comes from paying users.
Hinge hasn’t revealed more details about what features would make this subscription more attractive than a $30 Bumble Premium account. But even if the features did indeed improve a user’s experience, other factors could dissuade Gen Z from shelling out the cash. People are worried for recessionand Gen Z in particular is struggling unemployment. That doesn’t even take into account the price of the dates themselves. So, no, most Gen Zers aren’t going to pay $60 each month on a dating app.
Financial concerns aside, it can’t go without saying though half between 18 and 29 years old have used dating apps; the evidence suggests they are not enjoying themselves.
According to data and market research firm Savanta, around 90% of Gen Z users have he expressed frustration with these apps and features being hidden behind paywalls is just one of the many reasons that add to this dissatisfaction. A study of Goldman Sachs interns, a very specific group of people, found just that 6% of them hope to meet your partner through dating apps. In other words, it doesn’t make much sense to ask young people to make big investments in a service they don’t think works.
Anecdotal evidence online seems to suggest a similar sentiment. A look at TikTok reveals the bad vibes towards these apps. There are countless videos of young people lamenting the surprisingly common trend of men including photos of themselves holding dead fish on their profiles. People also take to social media to retweet dirty messages they receive and explain theirs failed dates application completions.
Then there’s the fact that there’s a whole cottage industry helping people improve their profiles – tips on what types of photos include, how to write interesting biographies i red flags to avoid. Why pay money for access to new features when you can just try to optimize your experience on the most basic version?
All of this means that if a dating app wants to make money from its users, it needs to be realistic about what those users can afford. And young people with spare cash might be better off honing their goblincore fashion or buying it romantic novels trending on BookTok. At least one of these choices guarantees a happy ending.-Kristin Snyder
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