Tinder Executives:

You have either not figured out a decent pricing model, or you have refused to implement it. Either way, what you’re doing will crash an impressively useful and ubiquitous app.

First off: cut the “Tinder Plus” spam. There will always be other start-up apps that will offer unlimited free swiping; there’s just too much competition. From my personal experience, the quality of options on Tinder has had an unmistakable inverse correlation to your new pricing system.

Instead, your revenue stream must build on your greatest strength: your massive market share. Like I said – Tinder is ubiquitous. You were there first. Why would you possibly want to erode your own strength by implementing “Tinder Plus” – alienating users?

A much more efficient system of monetization is right in front of you – once two people “match,” they chat. They flirt. Whatever. If a date is a possibility, give either party the opportunity to buy movie tickets, a dinner reservation, put-put tickets, etc – through your app.

All you have to do is start with a simple beta test – partner with Fandango. The film ticket industry is in a perpetual state of worry; they’ll love the increased revenue. Obviously customer service matters – the tickets will be purchased for $25, but it must be completely refundable (dates do fall through). In return, the tickets will be made out with the names of each partner, and they can be made up to one week in advance.

Then you upsell – coupons for popcorn, suggestions for romantic restaurant reservations, etc. Here’s the key – currently, once two people enter into a relationship, “deleting Tinder” has become a milestone (much like becoming “Facebook Official” once was). This is bad for you. What is good for you? Allowing users to *privately* upload their address. Once the users inform Tinder that they are dating, then partner 1 can use Tinder to spontaneously order partner 2 flowers, chocolate, massive teddy bears … etc. All through your app. Of course, this feature only becomes unlocked once both partners indicate that they’re in a relationship – which automatically blocks them from swiping other users. As long as each partner knows that the other is still listed as their “partner” on Tinder, then they have the peace of mind that the app won’t let their partner swipe others.

All the while, Tinder can offer encrypted picture swapping, messaging, and one-swipe purchases – Fandango movie tickets, restaurants, flower delivery, whatever. 1-800-Flowers.com would jump at a partnership opportunity. So would Redbox, or Amazon Instant Video for at-home movie rentals.

This is incremental revenue – what is massive revenue is the data this provides. Hell, you could probably offer most of these products to your customers at a loss, simply because their preferences would provide very, very valuable data to any of the companies. What’s more – each date a Tinder user goes on can earn them “points,” which earn discounts to the above services. And the app grows at an incredible degree.

I could be way off base … but it’s better to try something than just make your users constantly swipe left on beer ads … Which you do for the data feedback, anyway (I assume).

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