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Dating App Tinder Courts Native Ad Dollars

  |  May 5, 2014   |  Comments

Soon, brands will be able to run ads on Tinder – will users respond favorably?

Tinder, a free mobile dating app, is looking to attract more ad revenue through native advertising, says InterActiveCorp (IAC), the brand's majority owner.

Greg Blatt, chairman of IAC's Match Group, told analysts in an earnings call that the nature of Tinder's user experience presents a big opportunity for brands and advertisers. Moving forward, the company will employ native advertising as part of its overall strategy to monetize the app.


"Tinder has a very focused purpose: finding a date," says Catherine Davis, president at strategic agency Vizeum US. "Products to help you look your best, brands who can provide credible conversation-starters, and interesting places to go on a date are all great options within a native ad, and offer revenue potential for Tinder."

The app already dipped a toe in the native advertising pool earlier this year by allowing select brands to create fake profiles on the dating service. For example, in January Fox promoted its series The Mindy Project by creating profiles of Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina's characters. And Domino's Pizza also tapped the app for its Valentine's Day campaign, where users could "swipe right" to get matched with the brand and then start a conversation to potentially win a date with the pizza chain, in the form of Domino's Pizza deals.

"Advertising on Tinder is not just to promote your brands, but to get feedback from your consumers," says Paul Munkholm, director of strategy at digital agency Kettle. He points out that Tinder's simple "swipe" and "match" features could help brands build conversations with more targeted consumers.

While the dating service hasn't disclosed any financial figures, nor the number of its active users, Bloomberg reported in April that Tinder had reached 10 million daily users, compared to 5 million in December 2013. A representative for Tinder did not respond to requests for comment.

The numbers seem to indicate that Tinder is growing, so if the company adopts native advertising, how should marketers respond?

"Being there is the first opportunity," Munkholm tells ClickZ. He says that although Tinder may not be able to generate ad revenues on the scale of Facebook and Twitter (or even Instagram), marketers should still take advantage of the app's growing user base.

To do this, Davis provides three suggestions:

  • Make sure your ads don't feel intrusive
  • Have a sense of humor
  • Consider the other advertisers on the app

As the dating service rolls out these native ads, it will be interesting to see how users respond to ads in the space. Leave your predictions in the comments below!

Image via Google Play.


Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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