Swiped

Tinder owner Match expands to human matchmaking to fight swipe fatigue

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures
A match made on Match [Stephen Zeigler/DigitalVision via Getty Images]

A match made on Match [Stephen Zeigler/DigitalVision via Getty Images]

“Voice Prompts” on Hinge… slightly cringe. Dating giant Match Group owns Tinder, Hinge, OKCupid, and 20+ other e-romance businesses. Algorithms rule the world, from suggesting your Spotify tunes to hooking you on TikTok. Match has long used algorithms to surface eligible singles who also love Nirvana and vegan sushi. Now its techy selection process is getting a human edge:

  • Matchmakers: For $5/week, Match.com users can lean on human dating coaches to handpick two top candidates based on their answers to four personal questions.
  • Match said it created the feature because, for some singles, the pandemic added urgency to find a serious relationship.

#CuffingSeason… During the pandemic, couch-bound singles flocked to dating apps for (virtual) company. Bumble video-chat usage soared 93% after a national emergency was declared, and Match added features to its apps — think free video calls, virtual trivia nights, and Insta-like social feeds. But the real money is in paid subscriptions like Tinder Gold and perks like unlimited swipes. Case in point: Tinder is the #1 grossing lifestyle app worldwide, with a record 10.4M “payers” last quarter. Human matchmaking could be apps’ next premium perk.

THE TAKEAWAY

There are too many fish in the sea… Algorithms have enabled personalized experiences on a broad scale. For a low cost (or for free) tailored music, entertainment, and even people can be surfaced to us via apps. Now the differentiators are curation and quality. Human curation is more expensive, but it increases the IRL connection that many crave in an algo-driven world. That could become a competitive advantage for apps like Match.