Dating App Growth Slows Down

The dating app market isn’t looking as promising as it used to. According to a new analysis by app intelligence provider, global downloads of dating apps saw only tepid growth year-over-year as of this January — a slight increase of just 1.9% to reach 128 million installs, compared with the 29% increase seen during the same time in the prior year. In the U.S., growth has also slowed, with a 2.38% year-over-year increase as of January 2024, reaching roughly 12.7 million installs, down from the nearly 16% growth seen in January 2023. While likes to paint any growth as a positive sign for the industry, there are other signals that the market is losing steam. Dating app giant Match Group, which operates Match, Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, and others, reported its total number of paying customers declined by 5% year-over-year as of its fourth-quarter earnings report in January. In the prior quarter, the company had reported a 6% decline in customers paying for its flagship app, Tinder, which sent the stock tumbling. Tinder’s paying customer growth also slowed again last quarter, dropping 8% year-over-year to reach 10 million payers, the company said in its shareholder letter. Though Match Group still beat estimates on fourth-quarter earnings and revenue — the latter up 10% year-over-year to $866.23 million — it’s become increasingly clear that’s because the company has learned how to squeeze more dollars out of a shrinking paying user base.