Tinder cofounder Sean Rad has an interesting explanation for why his company charges older users more to use Tinder Plus, Tinder’s premium service.
In a conversation with TechCrunch’s Jordan Crook onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday, Rad said: “Our intent is to provide a discount for our younger users.”
As soon as he uttered the sentence, the audience actually groaned and some people laughed uncomfortably.
Tinder Plus, an in-app subscription, is different from Tinder’s free service in a number of ways. It allows users to expand their dating radius to connect with people in other cities. It also allows users to undo accidental swipes, so you never have a “missed connection” again.
But the one Tinder Plus feature that’s raised a bit of controversy is its age- and location-based pricing. Tinder Plus costs more depending on where you live (for example, if you live in a developing country you’ll pay less; if you live in a country like the US you’ll pay a bit more). If you’re over the age of 30 and using Tinder Plus in the US, you can expect to pay $US19.99 a month.
“It’s not about necessarily optimising for the dollars we bring in. It’s about optimising for the number of people we can bring in,” Rad said, in defence of the company’s dynamic pricing model for Tinder Plus. “If I live in an emerging country or somewhere with an emerging economy, I can’t afford to pay as much as someone who lives in the US. There are some things we have to consider.”
Besides Tinder Plus, Rad also talked about Chris Payne, the former eBay executive who was brought onboard as Tinder’s CEO earlier this year. “Chris is wonderful. I’m already learning so much from him,” he said. “He’s bringing a level of maturity and experience we didn’t have before.”