Tinder Profits Tied To Premium Dating Service, Not Ads

Tinder just revealed how it hopes to turn its popularity into profits -- and it has nothing to with advertising. Rather, the hookup app plans to launch a premium dating service, next month. 

While offering few details, Tinder CEO Sean Rad said this week that the service would include new features and capabilities. In particular, paying members should be able to expand searches beyond their immediate hometown or city.

The 2-year-old Tinder quickly emerged as a popular online dating app, particularly among millennials. Its free app now boasts about 1.2 billion profile swipes, per day, along with about 15 millions “matches” -- which occur when two users enter into a text conversation after approving each others’ profiles.

Despite -- or because of -- Barry Diller’s controlling stake in the start-up, Tinder is clearly under pressure to start generating revenue. Last month, the company was reportedly seeking additional financing, which would have valued the startup somewhere between $750 million and $1 billion.

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News of the forthcoming premium service -- first reported by Forbes -- is a blow to brands, many of which have been eying Tinder as a potential platform for reaching young consumers.

Yet, brands could still get their chance to mingle with Tinder users. During an earnings call earlier this year, Diller’s IAC said that Tinder was fertile ground for native advertising.

Some enterprising networks have already taken it upon themselves to test Tinder as a promotional platform. Earlier this year, Fox created a fake profile for the main character of “The Mindy Project,” Mindy Lahiri.

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