Tinder is a matchmaking app that was launched in 2012. Value creation: Users download the app and create simple profiles for themselves composed of their phone numbers, pictures, age and summary text of whatever they choose. Following, users are shown images of other users that are within a specified distance and age range and of a specified gender. Users then swipe the pictures left or right, to indicate if they are “not interested” or “interested”. When there is a match, two users both swipe right, users are allowed to message each other through the app, potentially leading to a date.
Today, Tinder has over 50 million active users, which swipe 1.8 billion times per day, resulting in more than 26 matches per day. The company states that on average users log in 11 times a day, women spending up to 8.5 minutes a day and men spending up to 7.2 minutes a day swiping.
Tinder uses data analytics software from a start-up named Interana to analyze conversion, engagement, retention and root-cause analysis challenges. The software provides visual and interactive tools, such as sessions, funnels, metrics and cohorts to better evaluate and analyze data. Interana was founded by 2 former Facebook engineers, who based the software of in-house solution they developed at Facebook, which enabled Facebook employees to run queries a lot faster over many types of data.
Departments across Tinder use Interana from the Data team, to Marketing to Engineering. The Product team uses Interana to gain insights into user behavior, in order to improve user experience. For example, earlier this year, the team found that some users swiped right on every profile, no matter who the person was, potentially decreasing the value of Tinder matches for other users. Tinder Vice President of Technology, Dan Gould, mentioned that this activity “decreases the value of the swipe,” and should be blocked. Therefore, when the team launched its new premium version, Tinder Plus, one of the new functionalities it included was a limit on the number of right swipes a user could make in a day, in order to create higher quality matches.
Value Capture: Tinder charges $9.99/month for Tinder Plus for those under 30, and $19.99 for those above 30. Tinder Plus also includes additional features such as, Rewind and Tinder Passport. Rewind allows users to “undo” a left swipe and Tinder Passport allows users to look for users in a location even if they are not there.
Tinder also uses the data analytics software to determine network failure issues. In one instance Tinder received reports from a small group of users that Tinder was not working on the 4G network but was working on Wifi. Tinder diagnosed the situation through root-cause analysis. It determined that the users were all within the same region and using the same carrier, which had faulty routing. Tinder worked with the carrier to fix the networking issue and restore access.
Tinder faces stark competition from competing dating apps and websites in the $1.17B dating site and $630M dating app industry in the U.S. In order to stay relevant Tinder must continue to use data analytics to improve its competitive advantage. One potential area that Tinder could explore further though data analytics is customer segmentation. It could segment users into cohorts for more advanced behavioral analytics (i.e. Most Swiped Right Schools list), in order to improve its matching capability and customer experience, buy adding new functionalities for super users.