Dating Disruption — How Tinder Gamified an Industry

Dating Disruption — How Tinder Gamified an Industry

Tinder’s gamelike user experience enticed over looked users, resulted in quick section development, and finally displaced industry incumbents.


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An analysis for the U.S. mobile dating application industry from the inception in 2007 to its phenomenal shakeout in 2013 demonstrates that Tinder changed the overall game — quite literally. Such as other situations of industry disruption, dating app upheaval illustrates that newcomers want to compete by transforming noncustomers into clients in place of challenging incumbents for the mainstream market that is established. The opportunity to overthrow incumbent competitors, our research shows that altering the user experience for an overlooked market segment, not technology, is the key success driver for industry disruption although emerging technologies may allow newcomers.

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Dating apps, including eHarmony,, and OkCupid, originated as desktop-based dating internet sites within the dot-com age and transitioned to mobile apps following the iPhone ended up being introduced in 2007. These apps dominated the industry making use of their first-mover benefits and user that is large. Given that they had more users, these incumbent platforms offered users a greater possibility of getting a suitable partner. In addition they emphasized algorithms that are matching that have been constantly refined utilizing sufficient information collected about their consumer bases. New entrants, with little customer bases and not enough historical information, struggled to achieve a good small share regarding the market as legacy brands dominated the industry until 2012.

Enter Tinder, a software that changed the industry to become the absolute most dating that is popular just a couple of months as a result of its launch in 2012. (See “Market Share of Cellphone Dating Apps within the United States.”) The application didn’t introduce a cutting-edge matching algorithm to recommend more-promising times to its users, nor achieved it display technology that is new. In reality, from the standpoint that is technical Tinder initially paled when compared with other apps, plus it usually crashed. Two key factors underpinned Tinder’s sudden success: centering on teenagers, an overlooked market portion; and launching brand brand new gamelike features, such as for example swiping and adjustable benefits, which changed an individual experience and paid off usage barriers for the reason that specific part.

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