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Tinder's native ad approach pays off

News, 13 July 2015

CANNES: Tinder's cautious approach to monetisation appears successful, at least in terms of engagement, as users swipe right on brands 25% of the time according to the founder of the dating app.

Sean Rad told an audience in Cannes, at an event organised by digital agency network SapientNitro, that Tinder's gamification of online dating had proved a hit with users.


Tinder gives users a series of profiles of potential dates, and they either "swipe right" (indicating they are interested) or "swipe left" (if they are not interested). There have been a total of 8bn Tinder "matches" – when both users have swiped right on each other – since launch, with people swiping at a rate of 16,000 per second.

The app's careful early efforts at monetisation have focused on this unique feature, with a limited number of brands invited to create profiles and devise campaigns where users can swipe right if they're interested. (For more, including Tinder's aspirations to being more than a social network, read Warc's exclusive report: Tinder's ad strategy, future plans – and why it's not a social network.)

"Almost all advertising is interruptive [and] the relevance isn't high enough," Rad said. "But with Tinder you're in discovery mode – there's a whole new relationship with brands in there."

He admitted that initially the app had been expecting "blowback" from the brand profiles, but the reaction of users so far indicated that they liked them.

He cited the example of a campaign with Bud Light, which saw the beer brand offered as a profile on the platform that users could "match" with to win a holiday.

"They [users] walk in the door expecting to get new, fun content from people they don't know," Rad explained. More generally, he added, "great advertising feels less like advertising and more about content".

Overall, Rad said that users swipe right on brands roughly 25% of the time. "They have specific intent and have decided to opt in to seeing more from these brands," he added.

Data sourced from Warc