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It may seem redundant, particularly when there are already dating apps where you can see who’s liked you that don’t cost a thing (Hinge, for instance).
But people are still paying for premium — lots of them.
“In my opinion, if you live in a big, densely populated city, [the upgrade] makes a big difference.
Though convenience is great, I don’t want to limit my dating or hookup prospects to just a couple blocks from my apartment.
The ego boost worked, however: “Seeing who has liked you is kind of wild; it’s completely overwhelming but it was very, interesting.” For 23-year-old writer Dylan, the draw of Grindr Xtra was expanding the radius of potential matches.
In New York City, where he’s based, the free version of the location-based app only showed him profiles within a couple of blocks.
The practice has a long history: Ok Cupid rolled out its A-List feature as early as 2009, before Tinder and Bumble even existed.
And what the freemium pricing model did for online games is becoming the strategy used by dating apps today.
“Arguably getting Tinder Gold was basically just a vanity purchase to reassure myself that people would be interested in me if I started using it more seriously,” she says.
She says having the freedom to use an app without fear of being exposed introduced her to people she wouldn’t have met if she hadn’t known they were into her first.
“I hooked up with two guys separately that were younger than my age range, so I would not have seen them if I had not paid for the app and saw that they liked me first,” she says.
Last fall, Tinder beat out Candy Crush to become the Apple Store’s top-grossing app after unleashing its Tinder Gold service.
And app makers claim it’s worth it: In June, Coffee Meets Bagel co-founder Dawoon Kang told Vice that men who pay the per month for the upgraded version have “a 43 percent higher number of connections (mutual likes) than non-payers” and that conversation lengths increase by 12 percent.