Over 30? New Tinder Dating App Costs up to 4x More

John Lister's picture

Smartphone dating app maker Tinder, Inc. has sparked controversy after announcing it would start charging based on age for its newly revised premium services. Users in the US will have to pay $9.99 a month if they are under 30 years old, and $19.99 if they are 30 or older. In the UK, the price difference in age for the same service is almost quadrupled.

The move has not only outraged older customers, but ignited accusations of cynicism with the suggestion the people behind the app want to make it full of younger, and theoretically more attractive, singletons.

How Tinder Works

Tinder is a dating app that aims to recreate the experience of seeing potential dates in real life, rather than matching people based on their interests and personality.

Users of the app are shown photos of people in their area and, using a phone or mobile device, can either swipe left to reject or swipe right to show interest in a person. If two people both swipe right on each other's photos, they can exchange messages and arrange a meeting. The app has earned a reputation as often appealing to people looking for relationships of a short-term nature.

Tinder New Pricing Structure Varies With Age

Having attracted a reported 50 million users, it's not entirely surprising that Tinder has now announced the previously free service will now carry an optional premium service. The paid service will hide advertisements and include access to additional features such as the ability to "undo" a mistaken swipe, and the option to search for matches in another location, such as in preparation for visiting a city on vacation. (Source: mashable.com)

In the USA, the price for Tinder's premium service is $9.99 a month for users aged under 30 years, and $19.99 if they are 30 or older. In the UK, the price structure is quite different at £3.99 for those under 28, and a whopping £14.99 if they are 28 or older. The prices also vary by country, with people in developing countries paying $2.99 a month.

According to a spokeswoman quoted by the BBC, "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." (Source: bbc.co.uk)

User Base May Become Younger

Analysts are split over both the logic and morality of the age-based pricing. Some have argued it simply makes sense to charge more for older people who likely have higher incomes than their younger counterparts. However, critics argue it is a manipulative move designed to fill the service with younger possible date partners, make the dating pool more attractive to older would-be daters, then exploit their desires with the higher fee.

It's not yet entirely clear how Tinder will verify claimed dates of birth or will simply take people at their word. Of course, that could mean some awkward real-life encounters if and when potential romantic partners discover they are dating somebody who has shaved a few years off their profile in order to save a few bucks.

What's Your Opinion?

Is it acceptable to charge more for older users to use an online dating tool? Is it smart business to make the most of people who may have higher incomes? Would you lie about your age if it meant saving money?

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guitardogg's picture

I don't give a crap about Tinder, not something I would ever use. However, I think it sets a bad precedent for age discrimination! Is this even legal?

Dennis Faas's picture

I wondered that myself, but then thought that they also sell car insurance and life insurance which is based on age. Makes you wonder, though.

guitardogg's picture

I thought of insurance companies too, but at least they can show higher or lower costs to them based on age. Tinder has no such justification.

infopackets.com_4228's picture

In the EU, car insurance used to be sold with prices varying by age and gender. The latter differentiator was recently scrapped as being discriminatory. It'll be interesting to see if anyone will challenge this company's pricing structure.