Elisabeth Timmermans explains the algorithm of Tinder in Charlie Magazine

Why is swiping so addictive? How did dating app Tinder succeed in popularizing online dating? And more importantly: how does a dating app that seems mostly free to use become part of a billion dollar industry? Elisabeth Timmermans has been doing research on Tinder and similar dating apps since 2014 and answers these questions in an article she wrote for Charlie Magazine.  

Tinder is using a freemium business model. This means they have two main sources of income: 1. Users that pay for premium features and 2. the data they gather from their users. Following this logic, the developers of such an app benefit from keeping their users as long as possible on the app, as it is their main way to gather more data from those users. In addition, they do not want their users to be too successful in finding potential mates, as they will be more likely to try out premium features if they are not too successful on the app. Elisabeth Timmermans states her arguments based on findings from an academic study she conducted in collaboration with Cédric Courtois at the KU Leuven.

More information

Read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of Charlie Magazine or read the published academic paper (in English). Want to read more articles by Elisabeth Timmermans? Check out her website www.liefdeintijdenvantinder.be (content both in English and Dutch).