Tinder is a dating app that matches users to others based on geographic proximity. It works through a simple interface that allows users to swipe right to ‘like’ or left to ‘pass’. If two users both like each other, it’s a ‘match’ – and they are then able to chat through the app.
Tinder users are able to view selected pictures pulled from their potential match’s Facebook account (also used for verification purposes), a short text bio, and linked Spotify and Instagram accounts if chosen. They can also see age, and if they have any Facebook connections in common. The Tinder app is built around the idea of the double opt-in – taking out the element of embarrassment and unwanted attention. You can only talk to someone if you both like each other.
It was also intended to provide a social platform through which users can meet people that they don’t know and wouldn’t usually meet – as opposed to the traditional social media model that focuses on connecting with those with whom you are acquainted in real life.
With its basis in physical proximity, it dispenses with the complex algorithms utilised by other mobile dating apps and simply reduces it to the simplest level that you might find in real life: physical attraction. For that reason, Tinder has gained a reputation as a ‘hook-up app’ – though with its entrenchment in the world of modern dating, it’s not uncommon for Tinder users to be looking for a deeper connection.
The app was founded in 2012 in Hatch Labs, a startup incubator run by InterActiveCorp (parent company of Match Group), by Sean Rad (former CEO and chairman) and Justin Mateen (former CMO), who had met at the University of Southern California. IAC is also responsible for dating sites Match.com, OKCupid, and Zhenai (China).
After initially being trialled in a series of US college campuses, Tinder was rolled out fully to great success, processing 350 million swipes per day by late 2013 (that’s 4,000 per second), rising to one billion swipes per day before the end of 2014. The free-to-use app introduced a premium subscription model in 2015 with added features (Tinder Plus), and a third level in 2017 (Tinder Gold). One-off in-app purchases can also be made.
Since then, Tinder has only grown bigger to become an irreducible element in the modern dating landscape. Read on to find out just how many users Tinder has today, how they’re using it, and how much revenue Tinder’s parent company, Match Group is bringing in.
Table of Contents
Key Tinder statistics
- 57 million Tinder users around the world
- 4.1 million Tinder subscribers pay for a premium Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold
- Tinder is used in 190 countries, and is available in 40 languages
- Tinder was processing one billion swipes per day by late 2014, that has now risen to 1.6 billion
- Tinder users go on one million dates per week
- Over 20 billion matches made since Tinder launched
- Over 50% of active Tinder users are active at 9pm, according to Nielson
- Active Tinder users log in on average four times a day
- Various studies show different percentages, but most find 18-24 demographic forms core of user base
- Tinder’s parent company Match Group reported $444 million of revenue in Q3 2018
- 2017 Match Group revenue stood at $1.3 billion
- It is predicted that Tinder revenue for 2018 will reach $800 million, with total Match Group revenue standing at $1.72 billion
- Match Group market cap stands at $11.15 billion in December 2018, with share price at $40
- 7.5 million swipes per day in India (2016), where Tinder has established its first international office
- Around 10% of Brazilian internet users use Tinder
- 40% of US college students say “Tinder is for hookups, and Bumble is for dating”, though 54% of claim that there is no difference
- 70% of these college students have never met up with their matches…
- …and 45% say they use Tinder mostly for confidence boosting procrastination
- 95% of Tinder users meet their matches within a week (compared to 25% of online daters overall, and 15% of offline daters)
- 9% of Tinder users said it’s hard to commit to someone due to the vast array of dating options, compared to 44% of other online daters and 42% of offline daters
- 85% of Tinder users say “I love you” within the first year of dating, compared to 80% of offline daters
- Female Tinder users are more careful in their approach, with 91% reporting that they only liked profiles that they actually felt attracted to (compared to 72% of men)
- 35% of men report casually liking most Tinder profiles (with some overlap with the above)
- Researchers using a female Tinder profile and unselectively liking male profiles got 200 matches within an hour, and 600 by the 4-hour mark
- Male Tinder profiles only garnered 100 matches by the same juncture
- For men, the median time between getting a match and messaging standing at 2 minutes (63% of men message a match within 5 minutes), while the equivalent for females is 38 minutes (only 18% message within 5 minutes)
- The average Tinder message sent by a man to a woman is 12 characters long, while the other way around, the average is 122
- 72% of mobile dating app users believe Tinder is the most racially diverse dating app, with 77% of Tinder users claiming to be very open-minded when using dating apps, and 74% having gone on a date with someone of a different racial background (compared to 66% of non-Tinder users)
- One study found that 12% of male Tinder profiles identified as homosexual or bisexual, compared with 0.01% of female profiles
It is estimated that 50 million people worldwide use Tinder, though concrete figures have not been made available. The BBC pin the figure at a slightly higher 57 million. 4.1 million Tinder users are subscribers. These are spread over 190 countries, with the Tinder app available in over 40 languages.
Tinder subscriber growth, thousands of users
Data source: Yahoo Finance
Are Tinder users single?
Of course, the core Tinder demographic is singletons looking for romance of whatever shade…but whether or not that is the makeup of the user base has been called into question. Tinder was a the centre of a storm of controversy in 2015, when a Tinder statistics published by GlobalWebIndex suggested that 42% of Tinder’s user base already had a partner. Breaking that down, 30% of surveyed users (of a sample of 47,000) were married, with another 12% on top of this in a relationship.
Tinder vigorously denied this, arguing that their largest Tinder demographic was 18-24 year olds. Of this group, 93% had never been married Tinder replied – though this figure (drawn from ONS data) pertains only to the UK, as it was made in response to request from The Guardian (in all Tinder claimed 1.7% of its users were married). GlobalWebIndex hit back, arguing the veracity of their methodology.
The proportion of married users was not only discrepancy between the two sets of Tinder statistics. GlobalWebIndex claimed that only 38% of users were aged 16-24, with a further 45% aged 25-34. Tinder on the other hand argued that over half their user base was aged 18-24 (though the two nearly tarry up if we extend the range to 34, with Tinder’s 85% not hugely different to GlobalWebIndex’s 83%).
The GlobalWebIndex survey also shows that 76% of Tinder users were based in an urban setting, while 17% were rural and 7% rural. As has been found in other sources (see below), men outnumber women by 2:1 according to this particular analysis.
Tinder demographics worldwide
Age and gender of Tinder users
The question of who constitutes the primary Tinder demographic is a contentious issue then. Another set of Tinder statistics come from We are Flint, who conducted a more recent survey in early 2018, of just over 2,000 Tinder users in each of the UK and the US.
In the US, it was found that twice as many men use Tinder than women. In terms of age group, we still see the highest levels of usage among younger users. Over a third of those aged 18-24, and a quarter of those aged 25-34 use Tinder, as well as one in five in the 35-44 bracket. There’s a small spike in Tinder usage among over 75s as compared with the immediately younger bracket. Notably the GlobalWebIndex stats cited above mention that 3% of the Tinder user base were widows or widowers.
Unsurprisingly, usage is much higher among urban populations, as there just aren’t as many matches in rural areas. Usage among higher income brackets is fairly consistent at 20%, while those in lower brackets tend to use it a little less. Curiously, the data doesn’t represent a straight line, with the lowest prevalence found among those in the $60,000-$70,000 group.
US Tinder demographics
Source: We are Flint
In the UK, while more men still use Tinder, we’re far closer to parity than. Usage is still more pronounced among younger users, though a greater proportion of 25-34 year olds can be found on Tinder than 18-24 years olds here. As we go up the age groups, usage declines abruptly.
We see the same disparity between urban and rural users as in the US, and the same curious dip in usage among a lower income bracket (here occurring at a lower point than in the US). The UK results also break the users into social grade – based on the type of the work carried out by respondents. We see that Tinder usage is far more prevalent among white collar/skilled workers, with over three times the usage reported by manual/unskilled workers.
UK Tinder demographics
Source: We are Flint
A study carried out by researchers at Queen University Mary University London, Sapienza University of Rome, and the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group analysed 500,000 Tinder users (in London) in 2016 to glean more about Tinder demographics and how Tinder users were using the app.
The study looked at the age distribution of the profiles they came across, finding a median age of 25.2 for women, and 25.7 for men – this is different to other mobile dating apps in which the female user base tends to skew older. There are various cultural reasons for this, the research group posits. According to Tinder statistics, 40% of Tinder users rank age as one their top two most-important characteristics.
Age distribution of London Tinder users
Data source: A First Look at User Activity on Tinder
SurveyMonkey Intelligence break down the geographical distribution of the users of various mobile dating apps in US. The greatest preponderance of Tinder users are to be found in the west and the south of the US, while the smallest number can be found in the Midwest.
This is roughly in line with the overall population of the US, so perhaps the takeaway from this graphic is that Tinder users are fairly evenly distributed among the US population.
Geographical distribution of US dating app users
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
According to Tinder statistics published by SurveyMonkey, only Bumble has a higher proportion of users aged between 18-29. Just over half of Tinder users fall into this bracket according to this analysis.
How old are mobile dating app users?
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
An analysis by Wandera compared the most-used mobile dating apps in the US and the UK. Tinder comes first in the latter, and second in the former, behind Match group stablemate Match.com
Most-popular mobile dating apps US and UK
Another set of US Tinder statistics published by SimpleTexting again found Tinder well out in front for the 18-24 demographic – with over three times as many users as its nearest rival Bumble. Tinder usage level by age describe a simple line, declining as we go up the age groups. Only Coffee Meets Bagel shows a similar trend, albeit with a far small sample. Bumble, OkCupid and Hinge are all most popular with 25-34 year olds.
US online dating age demographics
Top Tinder neighbourhoods in major US cities
Elite Daily published a series of maps which ranked the neighbourhoods of major US cities according to where users swiped right (aka liked) the most.
As we might expect, Tinder users in affluent Downtown Manhattan and Uptown Manhattan were swiping right more than any others, followed by Brooklyn.
Best Tinder neighbourhoods New York
Source: Elite Daily
Before it was all about the tech, San Francisco was known for its diversity. Fittingly, then, the most swiped right neighbourhood in San Francisco is the Castro – which is notable for being one the first gay districts in the US.
Best Tinder neighbourhoods San Francisco
Source: Elite Daily
Tinder users in Chicago’s wealthy Lincoln Park neighbourhood swipe right the most – with right swiping concentrated in a small cluster around the city’s Old Town.
Best Tinder neighbourhoods Chicago
Source: Elite Daily
Boston’s historic South End comes out in front in the hometown of Rocky and Cheers (and MIT and Harvard). Indeed, South End can boast more right swipes than any other neighbourhood in the entire US.
Best Tinder neighbourhoods Boston
Source: Elite Daily
The accolade of most swiped right neighbourhood in Los Angeles goes to West Hollywood, which edges out Beverly Hills (which finishes in third behind Siverlake). Much like San Francisco’s number one Tinder neighbourhood the Castro, West Hollywood is noted for being a gay village.
Best Tinder neighbourhoods Los Angeles
Source: Elite Daily
International Tinder Usage Statistics
Brazil is reportedly the world’s third-biggest Tinder market, after the US and UK. Around 10% of Brazilian internet users use Tinder according to a survey by eMarketer, making it the most-used mobile dating app in the country (as of June 2017).
Percentage of Brazilian internet users who use mobile dating apps
If this data sample is reflective of the wider picture, then it represents a shift since a BBC study (alongside App Annie) of mobile dating apps around the world conducted over 2015. At this point, Badoo was dominant across South America. Indeed, we can see that Badoo had a slight edge over Tinder at this stage globally speaking, though Tinder dominated in several key strongholds – the US, the UK, France, Scandinavia (and Finland), Australia and India. It was running a close second in others.
Notably, this study looks at the number of downloads, based on Google Play and Apple App Store data, rather than any kind of usage after that. It takes into account the world’s 50 biggest app markets, plus Nigeria and Kenya.
Most-popular dating apps around the world
Focusing in on Europe, we see a rough split at this time, with Tinder dominant in northern Europe, and Badoo with the edge in southern and eastern Europe. Lovoo possessed a small stronghold in the German speaking world, while Russians preferred to use Frim.
Tinder already had the European edge at this stage.
Most-popular dating apps in Europe
Unsurprisingly, Tinder claimed first place in the land of its birth, the US, which overspills to its neighbour in the north, Canada. Like the rest of Latin America, Mexico was a Badoo stronghold.
Most-popular dating apps in North America
South America doesn’t really give us much by way of narrative, with the Badoo number one in the four markets analysed. The BBC analysis, however, does reveal that Tinder was a close second in each of these. As we saw above, this may now be a close lead.
Most-popular dating apps in South America
Heading across the ocean, we see a wider spread of apps used in Asia, with seven different apps alternately claiming the status of most-popular across the 13 counties analysed. There doesn’t seem to be any sort of pattern here as such beyond a trend towards country-specific apps, though Tinder again had the edge.
Most-popular dating apps in Asia
In the Middle East, Badoo was more popular, with Egypt the only other nation aside from Russia which preferred to use Frim. In Saudi Arabia, perhaps not the first name that leaps to mind in relation to dating apps, WhosHere was the most-popular app. Notably, this is local to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, so accounts for local sensitivities. Israel was the only Tinder stronghold at this time.
Most-popular dating apps in the Middle East
Finally, the BBC looked at three key markets in Africa. In each of these markets, Badoo was the most downloaded dating app.
Most-popular dating apps in Africa
While the Brazilian market may be a big one, Tinder’s first international office wasn’t opened based in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paolo. It was instead opened in Delhi, the capital city of India. The Indian market is considered to be ripe for the taking. However, while the usage of dating apps – Tinder in particular – seems to be on the up in the world’s second-most populous nation, there are still social norms with which it must contend.
Tinder usage in India
Back in 2016, Tinder reported 7.5 million daily swipes in India, and the highest average number of messages exchanged per match in the world.
There’s one big problem, however – and that is the Tinder app is overflowing with male users, while female users for various reasons have not shown signed up in the same numbers. This is in no small part down to technological exclusion among Indian women, as well as the continuing prevalence of arranged marriages and the stigma attached to women who are viewed as ‘promiscuous’.
This finding is reported by the WSJ, though there is no official data cited.
Tinder has introduced a range of female-specific features in the country to help change the status quo – these include the Bumble-imitating option to only allow the female in a male-female match to message first.
Tinder Passport – top destinations
In 2015, Tinder introduced the ‘Tinder Passport’ feature for Tinder Plus subscribers. While normal Tinder usage uses location settings to cast out a net from users’ current location, the Tinder Passport allows you to change this and look for matches in a different location. Users planning on taking a trip overseas or to a different city can then use the Tinder app in advance to search for matches and set up dates before arriving.
As we can see from the below data (published in 2016), it seems that using Tinder has become a key part of the holiday experience – with a host of top tourist destinations featuring. London comes out on top, followed by Paris and New York. The only county to be represented more than once is Australia, with Sydney edging out Melbourne.
Top Tinder Passport destinations
Source: Tinder (via Observer)
Tinder witnessed a huge spike in matches during the football matches of the World Cup 2018 in Russia: 66% in fact, driven by a 42% increase in right swiping (the liking kind). There was also a considerable spike in users using the Passport feature to transpose themselves to Russia – 24%.
With fans converging from all over the world, looking to celebrate or console their team’s results, it’s understandable. Well, we say ‘their’ team – the top country for passporting to Russia did not even qualify for the tournament – step up the US. India also made the top-10, despite never qualifying for the tournament.
These are the countries in which Tinder Passport usage was the highest:
Tinder usage experienced a similar spike in Brazil, during the World Cup of 2014 – increasing by 50%.
What Do Tinder Users Want?
A survey of college students (so largely leaving aside any issues of the whether users were married or not), found that a significantly greater proportion of users were interested in a ‘hookup’ than were looking for a relationship. We have to bear in mind, however, that these Tinder statistics pertain to a younger demographic, who are more likely to be concerned with experimentation than with settling down just yet. Notably, in August 2018, Tinder introduced TinderU – a product aimed exclusively at college students, which requires a university-affiliated email address in order to access.
Hookups weren’t the most popular option, though; that accolade goes to ‘confidence-boosting procrastination’. Indeed, hookups even drop into third place, behind ‘other reasons’. These aren’t clearly explained, though Tinder does tout itself as a friendship as well as a dating app.
Why do students use Tinder?
When asked to compare Tinder and Bumble (a rival app, the premise of which that women must message first), 40% claimed that “Tinder is for hookups, and Bumble is for dating”, though 54% of respondents claimed that there was no difference.
A US survey carried out by SimpleTexting found that 52% of online daters (users of multiple apps, though Tinder was the most-used) have never had a one-night stand. On the other hand, over 20% had had two or more one-night stands.
Online dating and one night stands
Confirming the popularity of the confidence-boosting procrastination found above, we might note that over 70% of users responding to the LendEDU survey have not actually gone so far as to meet up with one of their matches.
Have Tinder users actually met up with a match in real life?
On the other hand, a survey conducted by Tinder entitled ‘Modern Dating Myths’ found that 95% of Tinder users meet their matches in person 2-7 days after matching on the app. This compares with 25% of online daters overall, and 15% of offline daters (20% of whom wait over a month, and a third of whom have never initiated a first date).
The survey looks to prove that Tinder users are more interested in commitment than may seem the case: Overall, 9% of Tinder users said it’s hard to commit due to the vast array of dating options, compared to 44% of other online daters and 42% of offline daters. It also found that, overall, 74% of online daters of both sexes had had more than one long-term committed relationship as an adult, compared with 49% of offline daters.
The study also found that 85% of Tinder users say “I love you” with the first year of dating, compared to 80% of offline daters.
SimpleTexting looked into how long relationships formed through dating apps lasted (multiple apps). They found a relatively wide spread of lengths. While 24% lasted only one-two dates, 14% had ended or looked set to end in marriage, and 15% had gone on more than a year.
How long do online dating relationships last?
Tinder users on being single
A survey conducted by Tinder along with consulting firm Morar HPI looked at what 1,000 young single adults – that is aged between 18 and 25, i.e. the core Tinder demographic – thought and felt about being single. The study found that a considerable majority of 72% had consciously chosen to be single for a period of time, with 81% agreeing that being single had benefits that ran beyond romantic, reports Cosmopolitan. These include studying (47% of women, 34% of men) – an issue of concern, given Tinder’s targeting of university-age users.
One of the romantic reasons for doing so is making sure that when one does settle, one does with the right person. This was particularly the case for female respondents to the survey – 61% who were unsure about long-term relationships reported feeling concerned about settling with someone for the wrong reasons – 46% of men reported the same.
There were also differences in how men and women felt about being single: 25% of women but only 17% of men felt empowered by not being in a relationship. Flipping the question to whether being single meant more independent gets considerably more positive responses – 54% of women felt this, and 50% (of those who were wary of long-term relationships) were worried that they’d lose this in a relationship, compared with 44% of men.
A majority (55%) believed that other single people were more fun than people in relationships, while 39% worried that being in a relationship would make them more boring.
Tinder used the findings of this survey to inform a campaign, entitled “Single is a Terrible Thing to Waste”.
The results of a survey carried out by Tinder cited by Global Dating Insights found that 70% of women aged between 18 and 35 value finding a partner that respects them as an individual, while 68% valued loyalty. Male users valued loyalty more than anything, with 56% saying this was important to them.
Tinder: Male and Female User Statistics
A survey of mobile dating app users in selected countries around the world conducted by Ogury found that Tinder seems to be more popular among male users than female. Taking sheer numbers out of the equation for a minute , in four of the five countries analysed (the US, the UK, France, and Italy), a greater proportion of male dating app users used Tinder, while female users tended to prefer other apps. The exception is Spain, where a marginally greater percentage (not volume – this is important to note) of female dating app users used Tinder.
The greatest difference in percentage terms comes in the UK according to these Tinder statistics, where male Tinder users outnumber by 25 percentage points. The greatest disparity in relative terms is the US, where over twice as many male mobile dating app users use Tinder as female.
Tinder is notable the only app that makes the top five in each of the countries surveyed – and features for both men and women in each of these.
Top dating apps by country
Staying with the Ogury Tinder statistics, remember what we said about the percentage of female dating app users not being the same as the volume? The next set of Tinder stats reflect this – showing that male dating app user greatly outnumber their female counterparts in each of the cities in question. The closest we have to parity is again in Spain, with around two men for every woman in Madrid. Things look the worst for male dating app users in New York, where the ratio stands at 3:17. London is not too far behind at 1:5.
Dating app usage by international city
A different set of data, collected by SurveyMonkey Intelligence found a slightly less dispiriting imbalance, with the percentage of women on Tinder standing at not too terrible 43% (though it’s well of the pace set by Christian Mingle – though that as imbalanced towards women as Tinder is towards men accordingly to this analysis).
Percentage of women using dating apps
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
According to SimpleTexting, Tinder is comfortably the most popular app among both men and women in the US, with 50% of men and just under 35% of women reporting that they used the app – giving a ratio of 7:10. In this estimation, OkCupid was the closest thing to a fully-balanced dating app.
Percentage of men and women using mobile dating apps
The highest-levels of dating app usage in the US can be found in California, followed by Texas and New York. Roughly speaking, we see higher usage on the coasts, though it’s a little more complicated than that in reality. Ogury report that males outnumber women the most in highly-populated states.
The closest thing we have to balance is the extremely sparsely-populated Wyoming (the population of Manhattan alone is nearly three times greater), where just over a third of dating app users are women. From the standpoint of heterosexual men, California has the worst ratio, with less than a quarter of dating app profiles belonging to women.
Dating app usage in the US
One of the questions looked into by the Queen Mary/Sapienza/Royal Ottawa Health Care Group were how male and female Tinder demographics differed in their reasons for choosing to use the app. They found that – fitting neatly with the stereotypes – that male Tinder users were far more interested in one-night stands than female users.
Female users, on the other hand, were more interested in chatting and looking at profiles. Male and female users were closest in their desire to meet a partner, with male users slightly more keen. Male users were most interested in short-term dating.
Differences between male and female Tinder user intention
Data source: A First Look at User Activity on Tinder
SimpleTexting found that men using online dating apps (Tinder being the most popular in this survey) were far more likely to have had a one-night stand than women. Nearly two thirds of women reported having never had a one-night stand, compared to 41% of men.
Men vs women – one-night stands
Tinder’s own Modern Dating Myths study found that only 9% of Tinder-using men found commitment difficult, compared with 30% of offline daters. In terms of female users, 9% of female Tinder users aged 18-25 found it hard to maintain a relationship due to too many choices, falling to 6% for 26-34 year olds. This compares to 18% and 16% of offline daters in each respective age group.
The SimpleTexting survey found that looking for a serious, long-term relationship was by far the most-elected choice when online daters were asked what they were looking for. Women were more likely to be looking for this type of relationship than men. Men were more likely to be looking for a casual relationship.
A small but solid proportion of both men and women used apps to look for friends, while others used apps to boost their self-esteem. More men than women chose the latter option, perhaps contrary to the stereotypical social expectation. More men than women also said they used dating apps to get free drinks or meals…
What do male and female online daters want?
Male and female Tinder users were also found to take different tacks when it came to their approach to online dating – or tactics if you like. Women were more careful in their approach, with 91% reporting that they only liked profiles that they actually felt attracted to.
While this was also the most-popular option for male users, around a third also reported just swiping right for nearly everyone – then presumably ‘filtering’ at a later point. This was the case for homosexual as well as heterosexual men.
Men were also more likely to switch between tactics if they were not getting a lot of matches, while women were slightly more likely to take a different approach depending on what they were looking for at the time (though the total number of women reporting that they did this comes in at less than a quarter).
Percentage of male and female Tinder users who use various tactics
Data source: A First Look at User Activity on Tinder
Using male and female created profiles, the study also found that female profiles would get a lot more matches a lot quicker than male profiles (chiming with the above tactics). In the case of the former, the researchers recorded around 200 matches within an hour. The accruement of matches slows very gradually, climbing above 600 by the 4-hour mark. The male profiles, however, are still languishing at well under 100 matches by the same juncture.
Number of Tinder matches: male vs female profiles
This collection of Tinder statistics also found that female Tinder users were much more likely to message after they had got a match – with 21% sending messages, compared to 7% of men. This is related, say the researchers, to the tactics enumerated above. As it seems female users are more selective about who they like, they are more engaged and therefore likely to send a message.
When it comes to the timing of messages, males are lot more keen, however – with the median time between getting a match and messaging standing at two minutes (63% of men message a match within five minutes), while the equivalent figure for females is far more patient 38 minutes (only 18% message within five minutes). This may suggest that female Tinder users are waiting to receive the first message, posit the researchers. Some traditional courtship rules remain in place, it seems. It’s also noteworthy that women will look for men who are older than them, while men are less concerned.
The excitement with which male Tinder users message does not seem to be matched with their articulacy, with the average missive weighing in at decidedly unromantic 12 characters. Messages from women tend to average at a more literary 122 characters – though that hardly constitutes a sonnet either (for reference that’s shorter than the first sentence of this paragraph).
Tinder message length: male vs female users
A small anecdotal study carried out ‘Worst-Online-Dater’ and published on Medium found another way in which an imbalance exists between men and women on Tinder. If you use physical attractiveness as your yardstick (let’s face it, this is what Tinder is designed to do), then the ‘bottom’ 80% of men were in essence competing for the bottom 22% of women, while the top 78% of women were competing for the top 20% of men.
How do Tinder Users Describe Themselves?
The aforementioned Tinder study by GlobalWebIndex looked into the some of the personal preferences and brand awareness of Tinder users.
The findings show that Tinder users self-report as an image conscious group – perhaps unsurprising for users of an app that hinges on physical attraction.
They are aware of and conscious of brands – and like to have the latest things. Just over half consider themselves to be affluent. Accordingly, the Tinder demographic is one that is valuable to brands and advertisers – though less than half are aware of buying things as a consequence of it being advertised.
How do Tinder users describe themselves?
Source: Global Web Index
Software engineer Katie Hempenius (currently working for Google) carried out a study of 10,000 US Tinder profiles across 22 US cities and towns to analyse how users described themselves.
Anyone who has used an online dating site or app will perhaps be familiar with the spread of words that commonly arise in relation to Tinder users’ interests will be familiar. Notably the word that comes up most often is ‘work’. ‘Travel’ and ‘music’ are other mainstays, while ‘dog’ is another frequent occurrence. It seems a slightly higher proportion mention ‘420’ than ‘God’, for whatever that is worth (not that one precludes the other of course).
Source: Katie Hempenius
Perhaps the most notable finding from an analysis of the most commonly used body words (presumably mostly used to describe the user’s own body, though perhaps also including what interests them in terms of prospective partner’s body), is that women tend to describe themselves far more than men.
Indeed, the only term that is used predominantly by men is ‘6ft’. The most commonly used term overall is ‘tattoos’. It seems a small contingent of women err towards words like ‘thick’ and ‘fat’ to describe themselves (some of these terms are exclusively used by women, while others are used mostly by women).
‘Hair’ and ‘butt’ are the words closest to equal usage by men and women.
Tinder users’ bodies
Source: Katie Hempenius
In terms of words pertaining to personality, we might also note that users might be talking about prospective partners as well as themselves. Leading the way is ‘nerd’, mentioned by 2% of users – mostly men it seems. Men also like use words that describe themselves as active and healthy, as well as successful in their work.
Worryingly, women seem to use more negative words like ‘shy’ and ‘awkward’ – or words to describe how they might pose something of a challenge to their would-be suitors: ‘bitch’, ‘blunt’, and ‘sassy’. ‘Outgoing’ and ‘positive’ are the closest thing we have to positive terms mostly used by women – though they are also used to some degree by men also.
Tinder users’ personalities
Source: Katie Hempenius
Interracial dating on Tinder
A global survey of 4,000 people carried out by Tinder and Morar HPI found that, of people who use dating apps, most thought Tinder demographics were the most diverse of any dating app (72%). 77% of Tinder users reported being very open-minded when using dating apps.
In total, 74% of Tinder users had gone on a date with someone of a different racial background – as compared with 66% of non-Tinder users. Of those who had, 66% said it enabled them to experience new places, 63% said it pushed them to new hobbies and activities, and 53% say it had made them more politically/socially engaged (65% of Tinder users and 51% of non-Tinder users)
The survey comes as part of Tinder’s campaign to see the introduction of interracial emojis, for which they are currently lobbying the Unicode Consortium.
Tinder and other online dating platforms have been found by a team of Cornell University researchers to increase interracial dating by virtue of introducing people to others that they wouldn’t have normally met otherwise.
Tinder and LGBTQ people
Tinder rolled out options for those who don’t identify as men or women to choose from a range of trans and non-gender conforming options in 2016. This came after a spate of harassment, as well as controversy as Tinder banned trans people for how they had chosen to identify on the platform after other users had reported them.
Tinder India recently introduced the option for users to identify themselves however they pleased, with a free text box.
How to use Tinder
A male model based in London conducted an experiment to find out what (straight) female Tinder users were looking for physically. He posed with five different looks to see how many likes each would get. He found that he got the most positive response rate when he wasn’t wearing a beard, followed by a goatee beard, and then a heavy beard. The likes dried up when he posted two pictures with thinning hair and with no hair – so the lesson is clear here: men using Tinder need to have hair in the right place! It is unclear if the same findings on how to Tinder demographics other than ‘male model’.
Beard or no beard, increasing the number of pictures used on a profile can increase the number of matches. The Queen Mary/Sapienza/Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group survey tested, using real volunteers, whether adding more pictures would increase the number of matches (this test was carried out with New York Tinder users).
For male and female Tinder users alike, profiles with three pictures got more likes over those with only one. This is particularly pronounced for the male user, for whom matches increase more than fivefold. On the other hand, the female user saw a 37% in matches.
How using more profile pictures improves match frequency
Aside from beards, what sort of things should dating app users avoid putting in their profile picture? SimpleTexting found that the single worst sin you can commit is to use a picture in which it is not clear who we’re supposed to looking at. Tops should be kept on, and while you might want to show you’re fun, pictures showing you ‘partying’ are unlikely to work for you…
What are the biggest turn offs in a dating app photo?
Excluding female profiles from the occasion – as they got so many likes and matches as it was (indeed, 42% of women have no bio), the Queen Mary/Sapienza/Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group researchers tested whether adding a bio would improve matches for male users. This was proven to be case, both in terms of homosexual and heterosexual matches. While the former see a greater proportion of matches overall (with or without a bio) and a greater increase in absolute terms, adding a bio increases the number of female matches by a greater proportion. The 30% of men with blank bios would do well to take stock of this, if they want to know how to use Tinder effectively.
How adding a bio improves match frequency
SimpleTexting’s dating app survey looked at what men and women valued when checking out a potential match’s profile. For men, photos are the most-important thing. Women also value pictures, though common interests are nearly as important for female dating app users.
Women care most about the bio section. This study looks at apps other than Tinder, some of which are a lot more verbally-orientated than Tinder – though as stated above, bios are important on Tinder as well. Notably, a solid proportion of men also value a good bio.
What is important in a dating app profile
Once we get to the messaging stage, humour seems to be the way to dating apps users’ hearts, with nearly 30% saying this was the most-likely thing to get a response to them, followed by something related to their profile – so pay attention! Classic flirting also seems to be relatively effective, and 8% of users are looking for nothing more than a simple greeting…
What’s important in a dating app message?
Humour is the most sought-after quality in a first message across age groups. Just saying “hey” is most acceptable among 18-24 year olds (most likely to be Tinder users), while older users would prefer that you had familiarised yourself with their profile and asked or said something related to it.
What’s important in a dating app message for users in different age groups?
Tinder’s Modern Dating Myths survey showed that women were 5% more likely to rank differing career aspirations as their top deal breaker.
Top Tinder users
In April 2018, Tinder revealed its top-30 most-liked users in the UK to Cosmopolitan. The 30 appeared in a Q&A feature discussing what they looked for, their experiences dating, and their standard opening lines.
Too many selfies, filters, or group photos can be offputting it seems – as can too many pictures with sunglasses (or mentioning foot fetishes in your bio). Male top users’ opening lines tend towards the relatively uninspired, think: “Hey, how’s you?” or “How’ve you been?”. On the other hand, female users are a little more colourful. Take Sean from Birmingham, who uses “Kakaw, kakaw, I’m an eagle!”, or Susan from London who asks, “Would you rather have your commute narrated by David Attenborough or your internal monologue by Morgan Freeman?”
Tinder Usage Statistics
According to Tinder’s own press resources, we’re up to 1.6 billion swipes per day, which result in 1 million dates per week.
Cumulatively, over 20 billion matches have been registered.
As a percentage of the entire sample, We are Flint Tinder statistics show an even spread across how often users check the app, with similar percentages using it several times a day, once a day, one a week etc. in both the US and UK. A higher proportion of US respondents use the Tinder app according to this data.
Frequency of Tinder usage in the US and UK
Source: We are Flint
If we parse the data so it only shows users who do use Tinder, we can see the subtle patterns and differences a little more clearly. Around 50% of UK users use the app multiple times per week, with a slightly higher percentage of US users reporting the same sort of level (56%).
In the UK, those who use Tinder at least every few weeks are most likely to check the app once a day, while in the US once every few days is the most-commonly elected option by a whisker. Both of these points represent the highest point of an arc in the data – if we exclude sporadic users, who account for a fifth of US and just over a quarter of US users.
US users are more likely to check the Tinder app multiple times over the course of the same day.
Frequency of Tinder usage by UK and US Tinder users (%)
Data Source: We are Flint
A different dataset, however, produced different results – finding that 55% of Tinder users engage with the app on a daily basis. The discrepancy presumably comes from the differing sample, which in this case focuses on users of dating apps specifically, as opposed to the wider sample of internet users surveyed by We are Flint.
Percentage of users who use dating apps every day
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
How long do people use Tinder?
Research into how long users tend to have dating apps installed on their devices found that a large percentage of female Tinder users (top row) only install the app for a single day – nearly a third, in fact. In second place, not too far behind, however we find the dedicated contingent who still have the Tinder app on their phone.
For men (bottom row), the percentage who try it and instantly dislike it is surprisingly not a great deal lower. The percentage who still have it is a good deal higher however, at 41%.
For both men and women, those who decide they don’t want to stay on Tinder are likely to realise this relatively early in the process, with the rate of attrition highest in those early stages. Indeed, if the app makes it through that first day, there’s a close to 50% likelihood it’ll still be there. Make it to a week, and it’s far more likely to still be there than to be uninstalled.
Average amount of time users have Tinder installed
Looking at it from a slightly different angle, we find that Tinder’s weekly churn rate – that is users that won’t return the following week, stands at 21%. Only three dating apps fare better than Tinder in this regard, while eHarmony is abandoned by a whopping two thirds of users every week (according to this analysis at least). It is unclear how many of these have lost patience with the app, and how many have left because the app was successful in finding them the much-coveted harmony in question.
Dating apps’ churn rate
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
When do people use Tinder?
Ogury produced a study looking at the days on which dating app users are most active, and how long they use apps for on these days.
In terms of Tinder, we see that the longest sessions are indulged in by Spanish women, who spend 43 minutes using Tinder on Sundays. UK men come in second in second, clocking 36 minutes on Monday nights (probably trying to relieve the heady pleasures of the weekend, which seems so far away).
Interestingly men in the US clock the shortest amount of Tinder time, at just under 23 minutes for their peak midweek session.
Italian men are the only demographic who use Tinder longer than they use any other app. Tinder has nothing on Grindr in terms of the length of time, with sessions well in excess of an hour registered among men in the US, the UK, and Spain.
Reportedly the greatest average amount of the time spent on mobile dating apps occurs on Thursday (28 minutes)
On what day do mobile dating app users use apps most, and for how long?
Another set of Tinder statistics produced by Wandera looked at Tinder usage over the course of a day. It seems to operate in a shallow S, that builds up from the morning to peak in the early evening before curving back down over the course of the night. Other apps’ curves act a little differently, with Match.com peaking higher in the evening after a quiet day, and Grindr peaking at lunchtime.
Notable, Grindr and Tinder users are most active at night time.
Daily dating app usage
Nielson data, published by HuffPo, finds that the greatest number of Tinder users are active in the evening hours, with over half swiping at 9pm. Earlier in the day, we usage climbing to around 50% by 2pm, a level at which it remains more or less until the 9pm peak, after which we see users dropping off.
Interestingly, the percentage never drops below 10%, with 15% swiping away at 3am, and the beginnings of the day’s upward curve as early as 5am. Indeed, we see a sharp upward curve after 9am – being at work or university certainly doesn’t seem to be too great an impediment to searching for romance.
Most active times on dating apps
The data is also measured in terms of the percentage of the total daily usage that occurs at any given time. The 9pm peak, for instance account for 8% of daily usage of Tinder. Cumulatively, nearly a quarter of daily usage happens in the peak Tinder hours, by this measure, between 7pm and 8pm.
Confirming the above, a bit over 10% of daily usage occurrs between 6am and 10am.
Most active times on dating apps share of total minutes spent
According to the Queen Mary/Sapienza/Royal Ottawa Health Care Group research (focusing on London), most matches actually occur a little earlier in the day, with a spike at 7pm crowning an evening flurry that had all but died out by 9pm. The other notable active period for matches occurs in the morning, with a double spike at 9am and 11am. The study points out that this coincides with peak travel times (rush hour) in this public-transport dependent city.
When do Tinder matches occur?
Wandera data also shows a Thursday spike in online dating activity, corroborating the Ogury findings.
Dating app usage by day
SurveyMonkey Intelligence Tinder statistics found that Tinder users tend to log into the app around four times per day. This is curiously on the lower end of the spectrum, with happn users logging into the app 10 times per day. This is something of an outlier, however, with the next highest figure (Lulu) coming in at just under seven sessions per day.
Dating sessions app sessions per day
Source: SurveyMonkey Intelligence
Tinder is part of Match Group, which has an effective monopoly on the international (or at least Western) online dating game. As well as Tinder, PlentyOfFish, OKCupid, and the eponymous Match.com fall into this stable. Match Group itself is part of IAC (InterActiveCorp).
This isn’t the most harmonious, well, match: a group of Tinder employees past and present, including founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, brought a lawsuit against Match Group and IAC for $2 billion in August 2018. They accuse Match Group of hiding the growth potential and valuation of Tinder – Match Group’s most profitable brand – thereby denying the team behind Tinder billions of dollars that they feel is their due. The valuation in question took place in August 2017, putting Tinder at $3 billion, with estimated revenues of $500 million over 2018 – a figure that was later revised up to a significantly higher $800 million.
Four of the plaintiffs withdrew from the lawsuit later that month, claiming that Match Group and IAC tried to enact an arbitration agreement, which all four had signed in the period following that in which they claimed Match Group had cheated of them of the money, but before the accusations came to light. One, Rosette Pambakian, told The Verge that they continued to support the lawsuit.
Match Group filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in October, claiming that Sean Rad was involved in the valuation process. Rad cashed out on his Tinder options in 2017, earning $400 million. Match Group accuse him of betting against Tinder. Rad maintains that financial data supplied by Match Group had been manipulated to show performance at a lower level than reality.
Match Group/Tinder revenue
Tinder moved to monetise in 2015, offering the Tinder Plus service. This allows users various added features, such as Tinder Passport (allowing users to move to another location to scout ahead) and unlimited likes (non-paying users are limited to 50 every 12 hours).
Tinder Gold, rolled out in August 2017, offers the ability to see who has liked you for an additional cost on top of this. Pricing for Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold is dynamic, shifting with location and age.
Tinder also offers ‘a la carte’ add-ons, like ‘boosts’ and ‘super likes’. Advertising is the final Tinder revenue stream.
As mentioned above, it is estimated that Tinder revenue will be worth $800 million to Match Group over 2018.
Match Group reported revenue of $444 million in the third quarter of 2018. This is up by just a touch over $100 million on the third quarter of 2017 – or 29%. Revenue for the year up until this point was reported at $1.3 billion, well up on the $950 million that Match Group reported at the same stage in 2017.
Tinder revenue, the statement claims, is the main engine for Match Group. Indeed, if we extrapolate the full year of results from current performance (an estimated $1.72 billion – comfortably up on the $1.3 billion reported over 2017), it seems Tinder revenue accounts for close to half of total Match Group revenue. Indeed, this reflects the proportion of Match Group’s paying subscribers on Tinder – 4.1 million of a total of 8.1 million. Tinder Gold – which allows users to see which other users have liked them – has become the main driver of subscriber and revenue growth since its introduction in Q3 2017. It is credited with improving ARPU by 24% between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018.
Tinder is also extremely profitable, with claims made in the past setting its profit margin at a very healthy 40%.
Net income for Match Group in Q3 2018 stood at $117 million, with the year-to-date figure a $320 million. This compares with $55 million and $140 million in 2017.
Match Group revenue vs. net income
Data source: Match Group
Of Match Group’s Q3 revenue, $234 million came from the US, with $198 coming from the international market (and $12 through indirect sources).
According to Sensor Tower’s analysis of mobile apps, looking at Apple Store and Google Play Store stats over Q3 2018, Tinder was the second-highest non-game app in terms of revenue generation. It is not on the most downloaded list, but that is dominated by free social media apps.
Top apps by revenue/most-downloaded apps, Q3 2018
Source: Sensor Tower
Match Group share price
In December 2018, prices stood at little over $40. IAC have an 81% economic stake in Match. Prices had climbed to close to $60 in September, but came down after Match Group’s forecasted revenues for Q4 2018 came lower than analysts had called for ($440-450 million compared to an average of $454 million).
The figure is still comfortably up on the $30 reported on January 2018. The introduction of Tinder Gold in the third quarter of 2017 took prices up to a new level altogether (up from a plateau of around $20). The Match Group market cap stood at $11.15 billion in December 2018.
Match Group share price
Source: Yahoo Finance
Tinder is not the biggest dating app in the world. Badoo claims 408 million registered users, 60 million of whom are active every month. PlentyOfFish was claiming 100 million way back in 2015.
Nor was it the first: Match.com, which has was launched during Bill Clinton’s first term as US president can take that accolade. While the double opt-in is certainly a winning formula, Tinder is not certainly not the most innovative either – Bumble, founded by a former member of the Tinder team, only allows women to message first (turning the typical online dating paradigm on its head), while happn aims to match users with others with whom they’ve crossed paths in the real world.
And yet there is something about Tinder that makes it feel like it is the defining app of the online dating era. In the Western world at least – the Tinder app always seems to be buzzing away in the background, wherever you go. Its gamified style, its perfectness for mobile, and its honest simplicity perhaps go some of the way to explaining its runaway success.
Match Group is certainly reliant on Tinder – particularly as users seem increasingly ready to part with their money for the benefits of Tinder Gold. Perhaps the ubiquity of Tinder means that the differentiation offered by premium subscriptions seem worthwhile. Perhaps a wider shift to the subscription model across the app world has also played a part in the rise of the Tinder subscriptions.
Subscriptions aside, Tinder has come to occupy a crucial place in dating habits around the world – particularly among younger people. Fewer and fewer of these young people are frequenting bars, nightclubs, and the other places in which ‘courtship’ would traditionally take place.
Tinder seems to have taken the place of these old-fashioned rituals – and with the added benefit of letting users meet a far greater variety of people than they would in the darkened corners of their usual den of iniquity.
Tinder, of course, has its issues. For heterosexual female users, there’s the utter bombardment and potentially intimidating outnumbering; for their male equivalents, there’s the competitive nature and the low odds of success. On the business side of things, the lawsuit between founders and parent company is definitely a bad look for the brand.
While other apps continue to appear on the market, offering various tweaks to the Tinder model to try and address some of the issues associated with it, as it stands, no other app is more representative of the new norm. Tinder is not stagnant though – and with improvements to AI as well as additional post-match offerings, the Tinder experience looks set to move confidently with the times.