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Are Dating Apps Going To Stop Being Free?

by Graham Gremore October 19, 2016


Finding Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Right Now, has never been easier thanks to the advent of hookup apps. Grindr, Hornet, Jack’d, Scruff, Tinder, and the list goes on and on. These apps have revolutionized how gay men connect.

Related: Are Hookup Apps Good Or Bad For Dating?

Part of their appeal, aside from the obvious, is that they’ve always been free. Unlike dating sites like Match.com that charge steep monthly fees and offer no guarantees, getting laid using an app costs a person nothing more than the time it took to swipe right and typically yields better results.

But that may soon be changing.

In a new report by Bloombergover the past five years, dating apps have slowly but surely begun introducing paid monthly subscriptions. And they don’t appear to be stopping anytime soon.

It all started back in 2011 when Scruff launched an upgraded subscription option ranging from $9.99 to $14.99 per month depending on the subscription level. Today, Bloomberg reports, nearly 20 percent of its more than 10 million users pay to use the app.

Related: Everything Wrong With Dating Apps In One Hilarious Infographic

But Scruff isn’t the only one doing this. Grindr soon followed suit by offering an upgraded Grindr XTRA membership for $11.99 per month, followed by Jack’d Pro for $4.99 a week. Today, countless other apps have jumped on the “pay-to-lay” bandwagon. As Bloomberg points out:

Tinder launched a paid monthly subscription—$4.58 to $9.99 a month, based on the length of subscription—and in-app purchases in spring 2015. Bumble was free until August, when it launched a monthly subscription service—$6 to $9.99 a month. The most recent convert is Hinge, which had been free since 2013 but this month began charging $7 a month for its paid service.

Tons of research has been done on exactly how much people are willing to pay to get laid. Most people, marketers found, will shovel out between $7 to $10 a month without batting an eye.

Related: Six Dating Apps That Deliver, Including The Sexy New Kid On The Block

“Our testing showed us that $7 is around the right range that both indicated ‘I’m serious, and I’m looking for something serious’ but not ‘I’m going to pay $50 on eHarmony,'” Karen Fein, vice president of marketed for the app Hinge, tells Bloomberg

The key is to keep the monthly fee low enough that users more or less forget they’re even paying it. Tinder say it’s paid-member count expand by 30 percent in the second quarter of this year.

The question now is: With so many people demonstrating a willingness to pay for upgraded versions of their favorite dating apps, will the free versions eventually go away?

What are your thoughts on dating apps subscriptions? How much are you willing to pay? Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

Graham Gremore
Graham Gremore


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