Tinder has a lot of identities: Some use the swiping/dating app for group giggles over wine, while others are checking to see who's out on the town, while the company insists on its own high rate of soulmate-matching. (Jessica Carbino, Tinder's in-house sociologist, says that 80 percent of app users are just looking for a real relationship.) At long last, those folks who just want to find their person have a way to cut to the chase.
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Enter Tinder Gold, a new subscription tier that lets you see who's already liked your profile and go from there. Rather than gaming the system by swiping right on everybody, likely disappointing you and a potentially unenthusiastic match, Tinder Gold lets you start out with just the pool of users who think you're interesting first. The service has already been tested in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Australia, but it rolled out worldwide to iOS devices just this week. (Android users should expect to see a version next month.)
At about $5 per month, the package includes the features you may already love from Tinder Plus, which makes this an upgrade, not simply an add-on. And sure, it's tempting to stick with free; Consumer Reports found in January that most users rated free versions of dating apps a better value. But according to a scoop from BuzzFeed, Tinder's stats show that Tinder Gold users see a massive bump in matches — a 60 percent increase, as a matter of fact.
By offering paid services, the thinking goes, dating apps and their subscribers can weed out those who aren't serious about real relationships. Tinder says that 1.6 billion users swipe on the app worldwide every day — if dating is a numbers game, you can give yourself a big leg up by also choosing your pool. Given Tinder Gold's price point, it could be more evidence that sometimes the smallest investments have the biggest payoffs.