Tinder, which turned two in September, officially launched its first paid version today. But, before you start stretching those swiping fingers and pony up your cash, know this: Upgrading may be up to four times as expensive if you're over the ripe old age of...28.
Let's backtrack for a moment. We covered Tinder Plus' soft launch back in November as the app was announcing its bells and whistles, including the widely covered "undo" functionality. And then, as the buzz faded to a low hum, and Tinder's marketing team tested its added capabilities in seven international markets (including Australia, U.K., and Brazil), we sat on our hands and waited. Well, the wait is over, and effective today, the mobile dating app's premium service is expanding to 140 countries around the world, and allowing users to change their locations, rewind on the last swipe, and turn off ads. All this, of course, comes at a price. A price that varies by age and location. For instance, on our own 30-something, NYC-based account, we're seeing the option to upgrade to Plus for $19.99 a month. For the 27-year-old editor across the floor, it's just $4.99 a month to sign up for the same service. If you're a Tinder Plus user in London and under the age of 28, you'll be charged 3.99 pounds a month; those over the age of 28 will be charged 14.99 pounds, the Evening Standard reports. (According to a Tinder spokesperson, the surcharge is for those 30 and above here in the U.S.)
As promised, the "Rewind" button will undo misfired rejection swipes. Perhaps on initial glance, the butt-naked man doing an inverted bent-knee headstand looked unappealing and you swiped left, but then face-palmed and thought, Wait! He's doing yoga. I love it. Just tap the little yellow arrow to get a second shot at the whole thing. The "Passport" function was the L.A.-based company's answer to long-distance conundrums. Instead of limiting your matches to a 100-mile radius, a blue location button allows your eyes to wander. Prepping for a trip to Istanbul next month? Just enter your hotel address and start syncing up with potential flings abroad. These services appeal to many Tinder users, the company maintains, and expecting people to pay for them — on a tiered basis according to their age — is totally fine.
"It's not ageist," says Tinder's cofounder and president Sean Rad (who, coincidentally, is 28 years old). When we chatted with him on the phone earlier today, he cited other companies that offer price breaks to a younger demographic, including Spotify's 50% off student discount. Rad also explained that the dominant price (he quoted us a scale between $2.99 and $9.99 for younger users and "slightly higher" for older users) fluctuates by location because of the consideration of living costs and income brackets: higher in major cities like NYC, London, and L.A.; lower in "emerging countries." "We're adding value to the experience. We've been thoughtfully testing various markets and the price prints are well adopted by the age demographics," he continued. "Younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus as anyone else, but they need a lower price to pull the trigger," he said, citing that more than half of Tinder's users are between the ages of 18 and 24. "And, if you're 34 and single, we're not changing anything about Tinder," he offers. Do we, um, buy the reasoning? Not exactly. After all, this isn't a student discount, but rather, an age cutoff. So, we think we'll swipe left for now, but hey, if we change our mind — that's what the new undo button is for. We'll just have to pay for it.