Tinder: Going Gold
So. First off like, to thank. Google for having us throwing this awesome event I did got to do London when last year it was a lot of fun and, for making, a platform, allowing us to do. All of this great, stuff and. Make money which I know we all like. So. Anyway, I'm, Jonathan, badeen I'm co-founder. And chief strategy officer served tender, I. Am. I, guess, known a little bit for making. That swipe. Right thing. So. Just, trying, to do better it's not going to happen probably. But. Today. Jeff, and I'd like to share our success story with, going, gold our. Latest subscription, offering and. How we got to that, and. I think to, do that need, to kind of see. Where we started from, and how we got to that point and and a way we think about these things so. Tinder. Was. Launched in 2012. We were. Really trying to help people meet people around. Them you've, got your phone. Now everybody's, looking down, at it at that time they're, not really interacting, with the people around them we. Wanted to change that. So. We launched in 2012. Today. We're now in a hundred ninety six countries, 1.6. Billion swipes, per. Day that, results in about, 26. Million daily matches, that. Comes out to over 20 billion matches. So far and. That. Comes. To what. Really matters is 1.5. Million, dates a week. But. To. Achieve all of that we had to craft an ecosystem. And. We. Looked at the things that existed, prior to us most of these things came from the desktop world and we, looked, at what, we felt could be improved upon. In. Addition, to just doing a mobile first. Platform. So. We. Had quite a few goals for the for, the platform in the ecosystem. But a few of them stick out, specifically. For how they relate to our monetization. Later, on. So. We. Really focused on location. It turns out that locations, this pretty. Important thing when you're trying to match. Two people up to physically. Meet in the real world so. We focused on that a lot of the things before us had allowed, the user to search, for. Whatever or put where they were and all but. We made it required, that you use location. Services, from the app the GPS, and all that. Was the only way you could do it so you could only see the people around you. The. Next is that we had noticed that a lot, of you. A lot of people especially. Women were. Getting tons. Of messages and. It created a lot of noise so, you had, too. Many you. Got all these messages from people you didn't want to be interacting, with and then, you couldn't find the people that you were interested in. So. It was pretty overwhelming, for, especially, for women to go through the previous. Products. The, next couple are, pretty. Crucial we, were trying to reduce, feelings, of rejection on, the on the flip side this kind of goes actually hand in hand with the filtering, of noisy messages so, you've. Now got a system, previously, where you're sending a whole bunch of messages hopefully. Meaningful. And linked, lengthy. Ones to try to stick out. But. You had this outbox, or this sent messages list that was basically, just your rejection list so. We. Really were trying to solve that. In. An, addition. Is. Tube. Solved that we, actually. Did. One thing to kind of solve both of the both, the the noisiness, and the rejection. We, added the double opt-in or what we call the double opt-in, so only two people who, swipe right on each other are allowed to message each other. That, kept you from getting unwanted, messages and, it kept others. From spending too much time on a single user that they, weren't going to get a response back from. To. Reduce the feelings of rejection we also did a couple other things we. He decided, you can't go back you can't sort, of dwell on a user there's once you see them they're gone because it's kind of hard to feel rejected by somebody you can't remember. Alcohol. Works too. So. We, also wanted, it to be anonymous. You don't feel quite as rejected, if you, if. The other person doesn't know. That. You're out there it's the worst thing is putting yourself out there and then say hearing, no so. Nobody. Would know whether, you liked them or not unless they at all right unless, they also like you. The. Last thing we did. Was. We, tried to create something that was fun and simple that, comes through and the the lightweight the game-like, interactions. The. Swipe itself. And. This. Sort of gets us to the point where. About. Two years after launching, we're. Now trying to figure out how, are we gonna make money off this thing. Costing. Us a lot of money run this and. We. Started to think of how we wanted to do that and we decided that we wanted to accomplish this by adjusting the, we. Needed to adjust some of the rules of the games which of, the game which we felt. We'd. Learned from. From. Some unseen, unforeseen. Behaviors, but we also wanted, to perhaps. Let people break our initial, rules. So. In, 2015. We. Launched tender plus we, did.
We. Launched. It with three different features, and we did price testing, which, showed us that, we would, start out with a $9.99. Price point, those. Features included. Passport, passport, allowed, us and allowed you to break the location. Rule and the. And, so you didn't, have to go off the GPS and you could virtually travel, anywhere in the world. Then. We also had. Rewind. Which, allowed. You to go back, spend. A little bit more time maybe change your mind on. Whether. Which way you swiped for somebody. Now. The next, feature paired. With was, paired with a change. To the overall game. We. Hadn't really expected. This. When we created tender. What. Weather. With your finger or a piece of meat, what. You're really doing is creating a lot of noise one of the things that we were really trying to get away from. You. Didn't have these earnest matches, and, so. What we decided to do was to limit the number of match number. Of swipes right swipes that, you could do per day to hopefully, make people think a little bit more about their choices but. Because. We like money. And. Because we thought maybe there are reasons for you to be. Able to. To. Have, a little bit more we gave you unlimited, right, swipes and. This. Concludes. The, first. Feature set that we had launched, but. As time went on we added a few more, that. Included. Super. Like and boost super, like allows you to sort of break the anonymity, rule it would. Allow. You to express interest in somebody which in turn actually, I, guess, maybe displays, confidence, or and, makes. It more likely that that person is going to swipe right on you them knowing that you already liked them, and, then we gave boost which basically. Everybody. Has to stand in line it's only fair but, boost. Allows you to cut, in line a little bit for a temporary amount. Of time. We. Also added a slew of other features I won't really go into them but. What. I think the real point here is is we. Had a whole bunch of features and our. Price point stayed the same so. We're giving you that much more value than we originally did with. Tender plus. So. Now, that you kind of know. Where. How, we got to all of this and and where we were at this point how. It ties into our ecosystem. To. The point of before, making gold I think, it's time for Jeff. To share, with us how we went about doing that sure. Thank. You guys thanks. To the Google team I had the pleasure of traveling to Asia last last. Year with with a bunch of you guys so really. Nice to be here again. So Jonathan just went through how. He created sinner and I'm gonna I'm gonna show you how I broke tinder. Because. That's what I do. But I'm Jeff Morris I'm the director of product and revenue. Responsible. For tinder gold and also. Built Bruce and a few other things. So. This is this is the team I work with it's. About 18 people I'm showing you this slide just so you know to. Build kind of a global, business you don't need this massive, team so if you're sitting in your, office thinking. You. Know that's great that tinder did that but I probably, can't do that you you can you. Just need the right kind of the right roadmap instead of ideas. So. As mentioned, Jonathan. Just showed you all the other rules that he created. My. Job when I walk in the office every morning is to think of what rules we can break and. And, what features we can give some subset, of customers, but. Not everybody, because it would literally break the game of tinder so. If you think of Bruce as an example if everyone was boosting at the same time, the. Whole world would be boosting, and the, game would just break and so, I'm thinking of things that we can give people and limited. Cohorts. That that will make the game more efficient, or fun. And. The key thing here is if you if you think that any rule that you build in your products so all those rules that Jonathan does should you if, you think those are sacred and you walk into work of it and you're like you. Know we could never do that your, job is to is to challenge that so go to work every day think. Of what's what's, in your game your application, that you can you.
Can Unlock for a certain subset subset of people. So. If there's any two things to take away today it's it's these two it's this. Is how I think about monetization. Its, access. And exposure and. You can read all sorts of books on. Game theory and how you how you design games but if. You just have those two things in mind you, can probably go to work and come up with some pretty cool ideas. A. Lot, of what we do and and, this is this is a newspaper, article from the 1800s. I. Show. You this because you. Don't always need an event something new, what, you can do is make it a lot better, so this is this is a a male. Paid 25, cents for this which is four dollars and fifty cents now, he. Took out an odd scene he's an honourable gentleman, waiting for the right woman. Tinder. Is obviously a lot more efficient, but, you. Know we're, not always inventing. New things and if you if, you look at some of the features we built you can probably find something. Historically, that did something similar, but. Our jobs to make them kind of 10x, better. And. So, speaking, of history this this is what we built last year 2017. It's, a feature called likes you which we package within tinder gold and I'm, going to show you kind of the crazy. Development. I've never shared this actually so we'll see how it goes well show you the development. Process that went into this we. Made some some really bad decisions and some good decisions but ultimately. Really. Happy where we landed. So. So, I'm gonna and feel, free to make noise if you think this is a good idea bad idea but. This, was the first version of likes you which was the main feature so, I. Broke, one one of Jonathan's rules which was I want. To show you who, likes you before you swipe, we. Kept the double opt-in so you both need to like each other to message but. I really thought that the game could be more efficient, if I just knew who liked me and. So and, so ignore, these prices by the way this is a designer. Who clearly doesn't know how to how to price things. It's. Our. Average, price was, anywhere. From $9.99, to 1999. We. Had this very dense feature set so you saw that lists, of items probably. Ten features that we had already packaged, within tener Plus and. Kind of the debate we had on the product team was we're. Unlocking what's probably the most valuable thing we could ever give away on tinder which, is showing you who likes you and now. We're just gonna give, it to everyone within tener Plus, that. Didn't seem like a good idea and so, we went back and forth and this was the original design, again. We were gonna package it within tender plus and, so, one, day one. Of us came to work actually. Were text messaging and we, said what if we just allowed people to have multiple subscriptions. You could literally have two different you. Can have tender plus and tender gold at the same time which, we had seen games do and it seemed like a really, cool idea, and, then I met with our finance team in our accounting team and they thought it was a terrible idea. And then we just talked more about the customer journey and what, it might feel like to have two different tiers at the same time, that. Would get pretty confusing we. Have seen games do this and it's kind of a cool model which I could. See becoming. A thing one day but but, not, quite yet and then, v3, where we landed on which. I'm really happy we discovered, has, a simpler. Version so as a tinder plus upgrade, which is now, we create tinder gold, one, key thing is is we spent a lot of time on the branding, so. We didn't just want to call this like tinder plus plus, we. We thought about what's actually cool fun, what's.
Gonna Get people's attention so, one, of the things which we didn't show here is when you when you tilt the phone the, gold kind of tilts with you and it has a shiny, animation. Effect, all, of our pea wolves have like crazy animations. And fun things. Probably. Inspired by people like Jonathan who are kind, of product, perfectionists, /, nerds, oh sorry. Jonathan. Who. You know we spend a lot of time, making. Our paywalls better which seems crazy but we kind of we geek out on that stuff as, much as we do the core product, but. Basically what you're seeing here is is this is the upgrade below so, as you see here you can upgrade for $9.99, a month we. Still feel like so at, $19.99. You're, basically paying $29.99. A month if. You're if you're on the $9.99, tier you're paying $14.99, we. Still felt like that was probably low but we thought $9.99, felt like a good place to start. And. One of one of our concerns, was I'm sure you're sitting here saying you. Read articles about different people raising their prices and. Customers. Revolt and we definitely had that fear you, know what what. Customers think this is fair I'm paying, for tender plus now. After to upgrade, would. They think it's too expensive would they find enough value in one feature to justify, an upgrade. And we definitely were worried about all these questions, ultimately, we we. Solved everything through, testing, so. You. Know our older. Cohorts. Showed, us that they were willing to upgrade and we proved that through a very limited tests but, if you're if you're kind, of scared about customers, revolting, like definitely. A great concern but I, would, challenge you to to. Run, tests to see if that's the truth also, we have as, was. Mentioned we have a, shorter, kind of life cycle so. We have cohorts, coming. In and out so there's, no like hopefully, there aren't people have been on tinder for like five years who are sitting at home really. Upset about this because we, have new. Customers coming in every day and people leaving because, hopefully. They found something that they really like. I'll, just show you a breakdown this isn't anything that appears, in the application. But. If you really look at what we did we created a new tier off of one feature so. If you have one, thing you're thinking about unlocking, you. Can you can possibly. Create a new tier just. Off one feature. This. Would be a very boring thing to see in the optic kind of looks like a SAS. Billing, page but. But, you. Know the key thing to see here is we have this rich feature. Set which is tender plus and we, just tweaked it a little bit and create tinder golden. One. Of the challenges, we've run into and we're still figuring. Out is how do you how. Do you sell multiple, tiers and so, we have this this, baby we created it's tinder plus business. Is going really well stock. Price is doing well like the company is really, comfortable and happy, and, now we're gonna release gender gold so how do we sell two things at once within this. Small real estate that's your mobile phone, ultimately. We we were very conservative actually, so. We probably have dozens, of entry points to pay walls within our app but. We really only sold two nor gold from two places one, being your your. Matchless which we had never monetize before so. If you tap on that that, ten says this person has ten plus people who like them. Or. You can use your settings, page and we we started to tinder gold more than tinder Plus again. People who worked on tinder plus it's. Kind of like telling them like their. Babies no longer like the. Focus of our attention we're. Not moving on but we're we're. Willing to try something new and focus on something new and that was, definitely. A concern internally, but again. We tested. Also. Certain cohorts, we emphasized tinder gold to more than others so if there are price sensitive customers, maybe you. Do wants it to get them hooked on the kind of the intro package, again.
You'll Have to test this a lot but. Merchandising. Definitely becomes a challenge. Only. Recently so we're about a year into -, tinder gold we're. Just starting so if you think of the game pad on tinder. You, know things like rewind, things. Like running of likes we, weren't even letting you subscribe, to tinder gold until, about. A week ago, from those paywalls and the. Big concern there is what, if you just. What. If conversion flops, from, your main pay, walls and then you're suddenly in, a, world where we're, trying to kind of like revert. Back to your old model, we, also considered, a tabbed, version, again like that, sass page that, I showed you we. Don't want our pay walls to start feeling like there. Are so many different choices that I have to make so. Right now we have a single and three point option which is you can only buy tinder gold from. Our core paywalls. One. Cool thing that we saw I think for any revenue feature you build you, want to build complimentary features so. You. Know rather than having things that that cannibalize, other paid features we, made boost more valuable as an example so here's. A user who's sitting there likes lists Bluestein. And they're collecting more likes kind of in real time so, a very powerful kind of way, to augment, what was already a great, feature with, boosts so. Just as you're building new features think about how they'll interact with your other paid features, and. If you're designing a game or anything that's social hopefully. They'll make that feature better. Here's. The results so proud. To say we were number one in Google, Play last year I'm, not sure where we finished this is January. We finished the year number two behind that flicks for non gaming apps. You. Know this was all kind of there. Were many many ways we got here but but the goo the tinder, gold tweak was was what really kind of pushed us over the top. We. Nearly doubled subscribers, more, than doubled our revenue, 3.1. Million average, subs, which was an increase of 544. K and. Then again second second highest group Christine app this. Is kind of the hockey stick that we like to see. Again. I'm not gonna give tinder gold all the credit in the world because. Other. People match group might be here a might beat. Me up in the alley afterwards, but but. Again we saw this this great result in the public markets. Which. Was our, stock, price more than doubled and. Again there. Were many many ways we got here but but we. We were happy this happened. One. Other result we're always searching for features. At tinder that, will appeal to women, subscribers. The. Honest truth is in the dating space. Men, are far more likely to pay for for features than women. It's. It's just how the how our vertical happens to work we, did see and here's this was actually a tweet yesterday, it. Said a few people couldn't, attract tender gold and honestly the quality of my conversations, and dates went up a lot, we, did see an increase for female, subs of 7.4. Percent when, we released gender gold which. Were really excited about. GQ. Said, this was. It's. More lady friendly which is good news for everyone, I'm, not sure what's going on here but. But. We were happy about this article. So. So. If. I want to leave you with any rule it's go back to your office after today. Go, to people like Jonathan and say that you want to break your own rules that's.
How You monetize and. Yeah. Go forth. You.