Has Tinder Been Toppled?



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Back in February - in time for this year's Valentine's Day in fact - we created one of our most popular content pieces when we explored the world of online dating. Now it's time to revisit those numbers to see if Tinder have indeed been toppled.

Our report, Toppling Tinder - how the dating giant's competitor's are taking a swipe, assessed the data from the top dating apps in the US and in Europe, looking at the key metrics judged to deem app success. Combining app store numbers from Apple and Google, we examined the top dating apps: Tinder, Badoo, happn, Plenty of Fish, Bumble, OkCupid, Grindr, Match and Joyride. In this post we check back on those same metrics to see how the landscape looks as we approach the end of the year.

Downloads - OKCupid hits the target
The report started with a look at downloads for the main market players during 2018. In comparing the numbers with 2019 to date, average monthly downloads fell 2%, with Plenty of Fish and happn hit the hardest. OkCupid strengthened during the period with a 66% jump, which propelled them into the 4th most popular dating app. Although Tinder suffered a 4% dip in downloads, they still hold 36% market share.

Revenues - Joyride enjoying the, ahem, ride

Whilst the dip in downloads might look like minimal, the revenue downturn across the market is far more serious. The entire set of companies we analysed dropped their average monthly app sales by nearly 5%, with market leader Tinder being hit the hardest with a 7% dent in monthly revenues. This could be a sign of market diversification making deeper cuts into established mainstream dating models, with Tinder's own parent group strengthening their grip on the market with their acquisition of Hinge.

Retention - Match fails to last the distance

Aside from the hero metrics of downloads and the sometimes misleading revenue figures, the mark of an app's success is often measured in user retention. Getting a user to download your app is one thing, but how many still have the app on their device after 30 days? D30 retention is an area in which most top dating apps are fighting, with happn and Tinder increasing by 29% and 26% respectively. Match, though, have been hit hard in the retention stakes, with a 30% decline during the period.

Usage - Joyride doubling up, but Tinder hold strong

After retention, the other meaningful measure of app success is usage, assessed by the number of active users during a period, in this case on a monthly basis. Although Joyride seriously increased MAUs (monthly active users) during 2019, their 242k falls into the shadow of Tinder's enviable 16m - a 9% uplift. After Tinder, the other leading players Badoo and happn lost users, perhaps indication that the fragmentation of the market is hitting the smaller players hardest, with users retaining Tinder as a back up to their niche providers.

So in conclusion, it's clear that Tinder has most definitely not been toppled, but there are signs that this market will undergo further fragmentation in 2020. Users may increasingly find their perfect date on apps more able to cater to their specific preferences.