Tinder, America’s fast-growing online-dating juggernaut, last week unveiled its first big branding partnership aimed at its core audience of millennial fling-seekers: a neon-drenched video-ad campaign hyping Bud Light’s mega-keg party, “Whatever, USA.” Meanwhile, over at Tinder’s less-youthful rival e Harmony, a recent ad saw its 80-year-old founder counseling a single woman besieged by bridesmaid’s invitations to take some time (and, of course, the site’s 200-question compatibility quiz) to find that special someone: “Beth, do you want fast or forever?
” Both companies are dominant forces in America’s .2 billion online-dating industry, which in the last few years has quickly become a bedrock of the American love life.
Two-thirds of the singles and fling-seekers in America’s online-dating market are older than 34, IBISWorld data show.
Pew Research surveys show 45-to-54-year-olds in America are just as likely to date online as 18-to-24 year olds, either because they’re divorced or far from the easier dating scenes of college campuses and first jobs.
Tinder shook up the dating world, known for its long personality quizzes and profile-based matchmaking, with its ego-boosting, hook-up-friendly, mobile flirting app: Two daters are presented with each other’s photos, and if (and only if) they both like what they see and swipe right, the service hooks them up with a chat box, where the daters can take it from there.
After taking off on college campuses, Tinder now boasts 26 million matches a day, and its leaders have invested heavily in maintaining its reputation as a hook-up haven for young people.
“The young ‘uns can have it.” The company defended the pricing structure as aimed at accommodating younger “budget-constrained” daters, but analysts have questioned just how many singles will pay up to find an online match.