Tinder Struggles To Attract New Gen Z Users

Tinder is looking for new ways to attract younger users as Gen Z users are drawn to newer platforms in their search for love. Gen Z users who are returning to the online dating world post pandemic appear to have shifted away from Tinder.

In 2021, the downloads of Tinder dropped by 5% to 70.7mn. This is opposed to companies such as Bumble and the new start-up Thursday, who have both had rather consistent growth over this time.

In order to combat the dwindling number of downloads, Tinder has restructured its leadership and looked into embarking into the metaverse.

“Sign-ups have not returned back to pre-pandemic levels,” Gary Swidler, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Tinder parent company Match Group, told the Financial Times. “New users remain a challenge and that’s where product innovation comes in. We need to give people a new reason to come into the [dating app] category, they haven’t had something new and exciting in a while.”

These comments follow Match’s realisation that Tinder was failing to reach its expected revenue growth in the second quarter.

Tinder generated $1.65bn last year which equated to more than half of the Match Group’s total revenue.

Going forward, Tinder’s goal is to enter the metaverse but they are struggling to execute this vision. 

“A lot of older people are using Tinder now,” Swidler said. “If you’re looking for somebody who is a teenager and you’re thinking what are they going to use in a year or two when they are dating app eligible? That’s the audience we have to be looking at, the Gen Z audience.”

It has been said that Tinder has gotten itself the reputation of being a site to find hookups rather than a long term relationship, something Swidler admits is a hard stereotype to try and shake off. 

“The key thing is the user experience being up to standard, making sure you actually are tackling those issues that younger people are very upfront about [like] abuse, harassment and unpleasant experiences,” said Rebecca McGrath, a senior technology analyst at market research provider Mintel.