Match Group, which manages dating applications such as Tinder and OkCupid, completed the acquisition of the 7-year Hinge app on Thursday after buying a majority stake in June 2018.
Years of Hinge as an Alternative to Tinder, a Way to escapes from the shallowness and disappointment of the overflowing of commercial card profiles in an endless roundabout. The very proclaimed "connection app", Hinge matched people based on their mutual friends, is supposedly "destined to be erased," and boasts love as its core value of the company – a deliberate decentralization of gamification central to slip applications, but never quite not after t advanced match algorithm promises of Match.com or OkCupid. But in essence, all dating apps sell you the same thing that is access to people who would like to meet with you, and some tools for sifting through them. There is very little for the technology itself that makes one or another more valuable, so buying a new dating app almost literally simply buys more customers.
Right now, it looks like the near future will see every big dating app that will end in the same hands, just one of the many consolidation stories in the industry that we are witnessing in what antitrust expert Tim Wu called the second golden age, which may be abstractly terrible ̵
What is a hat, and why does the match group want it?
Dating apps industry is quite lucrative, especially when app creators have figured out how to realize all of their individual features: Matthew's fourth quarter earnings in 2018 showed Tinder added 1.2 million new users last year , and that it has led to $ 805 million in revenue – more than doubled in the previous year. Overall, the Match Group brought about $ 1.7 billion, which is a fair share of the growing pie. Analysts estimate that the world market for dating applications will cost about $ 12 billion annually by 2020.
The empire of the dating app, owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC), was founded in 1995, and Match.com is a milestone. He also runs the management and research firm at Princeton Review, and now owns over 45 dating companies, including 25 acquisitions. Since its introduction in 2009, it has started aggressively courting acquisitions, including OkCupid in 2011, then Plenty of Fish in 2015 – four months before its initial public offering, estimated at 2.9 billion. Dollar. His crown is a binocular Tinder developed by IAC's HAC Lab Incaction Incubator and launched in 2012.
The hinge, on the other hand, almost failed at launch. Founder Justin McLeod said he had completed his first year with just a few thousand consumers and $ 32,000 in the bank. He did not see rapid consumer growth until 2014, relying heavily on marketing that distinguished him as an alternative to Tinder. While Tinder did everything possible to match consumers with strangers, Hinge suggested it would be a little less alienating and confusing if your matches are based on Facebook friends.
By 2015, it was a hit, and McLeod claims to have settled 35,500 dates and 1,500 relationships a week. But the application was extremely ugly and criticized for turning to an elitist desire to abandon Tinder's masses and move on to something more sharper. It did not look like something the company was trying to hide. Hinge spokeswoman for Dylan Matthews of Vox: "Hinge users have 99% education, and the most popular industries are banking, consulting, media and fashion. We recently found that 35,000 users attended Ivy League schools. "
And while the consumer base is growing, McLeod told Vanity Fair that consumer satisfaction is steadily declining. The company surveyed its users by the end of 2015 and found that 54% of consumers reported being "lonely" after attracting and 81% never found long-term relationships. Hinge publishes his findings with the cheek press, calling it "The Dating Apocalypse". The app received a huge visual review and resumed in October 2016 with a $ 7 monthly fee designed to remove the non-serious. New profiles include both snapshots and "icebreakers" – a series of personal questions from which users can choose three to answer and show their accounts. Most importantly, they are arranged in a vertical scroll.
"We pushed left to slide," the company said. "Instead of … accumulating matches, people engage in rich stories about your profile for more human conversations. This is like Instagram dating profiles. "And then: $ 7 is less than the monthly subscription to Netflix or Spotify and is nowhere near eHarmony ($ 60 / month) or Match.com ($ 42 / month). But it's enough to make sure everyone is on the same page and not just using the Hinge for entertainment. "
But within one month, it offers some members free memberships, and by 2017 the free layer is back for everyone. Today, the main differences between free and premium versions are filtering options. The free app allows users to filter by gender, location, age, height, ethnicity, and religion. Hinge Preferred – which is still $ 7 a month – adds extra filters to politics, drinking, smoking, drug use, whether someone has children and whether they want children. It also comes with unlimited likes and access to "Hinge Experts" to help design your profile.
While Tinder boasts the best dating app and the second best application in the app store, Hinge's website boasts that this is the dating application that is most commonly mentioned in The New York Times Wedding Section. (They do not do much about allegations of elitism there, but it's funny.) This is not the only way Hinge is different from Tinder – he's collecting better data. This is a more stable application and knows more about its users. It allows them to place "Dealbreakers" on certain filters, emphasizing how serious they are not to meet a person with a different religion or a certain height.
He uses what we call the "machine learning algorithm" to choose one person a day as the most compatible, and spurs conversations forward with the anti-ghosting inclusion feature. Most importantly, in October 2018 Hinge launched "We Meet", which requires users to give feedback on the real dates they were in. This information is used to improve the match algorithm, and Hinge's site states: "What we learn from" We met "will only be used to improve the algorithm and ensure that the hinge community remains safe and respectful. 19659015]Tone data for people who have chosen the environment between the relentless Tinder game and the serious business of Match.com is valuable to Match, and potentially can be used to target product solutions throughout their portfolio.
Bumble is the one who has escaped and the last remaining main competitor of Match Group … to Facebook Dating
Game Chief Executive Mandy Ginsberg explained that the acquisition of Match Hinge is very important, especially among urban, educated millennium women seeking
An interesting and somewhat sharp choice of words for the Match Group's failed team experience to acquire Bumble – the first women's appendix led by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014, when Herd arranged a sexual harassment case with his former employer.
Match Group sued Bumble in March 2018 for the theft of its intellectual property – that is, Ten days later, Bumble filed a patent infringement claim, saying Match Group had pretended to be interested in acquiring the company in the summer of 2017 just to gain access to privileged information and steal business secrets as well. "[chill] The market also bought a full page from the New York Times and used it to call the" Bully Group "bullying, adding:" We are scouring left to your multiple attempts to buy us, copy us and now to intimidate us. "
Later, Bamble withdrew his counterattack but not avoids Bumble that he has designed the entire drama "[a] with a hook to begin to promote the fact that Bumble was looking for an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange." This is not exactly the dirtiest technological start-up battle of the past 10 years, but it should not be overlooked.
Neither the consolidation of power and a stiff competition on the part of the Match Group, though unlikely to affect the Federal Trade Commission.
"To start meetings, resistance against IAC is pointless," says Wii's Isi Lapouski in 2014, reflecting the acquisition of HowAboutWe, a New York-based company that tried to avoid Match Group selling diversifies its revenue with an editorial hand. Two months later, the company was still sold to Match. In a 2018 interview with Kara Swisher from Recod, Ginsberg, Match's chief executive, said that her company also owns OurTime, the most popular dating application specifically for people aged 50 and over; and BlackPeopleMeet, the most popular dating app for black people; and recently launched BLK "for Young Thousands of African Americans," as well as Chispa, "a great partnership with Univision to attract the Latin American community."
She said the Match Group grew globally at any moment by filling out gaps with acquisitions, and that meanwhile "every person who is 18, 19, 20 should be Tinder … we really want to be integrated into the only "
The dating industry application does not look as urgent as consolidation in industries such as social media or online retail or pharmaceutical products, and if the FTC is busy working on nerves and resources, to do everything for Facebook, it's definitely a better one, azhno. Although, ironically, Facebook has recently begun testing its own dating app – no doubt the only new space project that could jeopardize the dominance of a match. Facebook already has the largest map of social networks in human history, with more than 2 billion active users. We strive for an increasingly monopolized future, where the only challenges come from other existing monopolies.