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The ego boost worked, however: “Seeing who has liked you is kind of wild; it’s completely overwhelming but it was very, interesting.” For 23-year-old writer Dylan, the draw of Grindr Xtra was expanding the radius of potential matches.
In New York City, where he’s based, the free version of the location-based app only showed him profiles within a couple of blocks.
Hannah, a 31-year-old teacher in Chicago, bought Bumble Boost after four years of being single and realizing she wanted to get serious about marriage and family.
She says she doesn’t interact with a lot of men on the job (“other than my first-graders, their dads, and our parish priest — none of whom I’m interested in dating”), and all of her friends are couples.
At what point in the completely nightmarish process of online dating does one decide that it’s worth spending money on making that experience slightly less terrible? But a free-for-all doesn’t pay, which is why if you’ve ever spent time on Bumble, Ok Cupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, or any of the other zillion apps promising to make us feel a little less lonely, you’ve likely seen ads for a mysterious paid version of the very same service.
The internet wrought popular paid services like in 1995, JDate in 1997, and e Harmony in 2000, but it wasn’t until Tinder invented the addictive “swipe” in 2013 that online dating became a true free-for-all.
And what the freemium pricing model did for online games is becoming the strategy used by dating apps today.
In three weeks of using it, she’s gone on one date but said she probably would have swiped right on the person anyway.
“Sure, I’m able to reach out to more people because I can connect to them, but the response rate is the same.
Those I talked to who’ve used premium versions of free dating apps didn’t have a singular reason for doing so — their motivations ranged from wanting to expand their location-based potential matches to avoiding the stigma of being discovered by Facebook friends on a kink-friendly app in a conservative town.
But the most popular reason seemed to be the desire to see who’s liked them without having to make the commitment of liking them back.
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I would hate to miss out on meeting someone exciting just because they live six blocks away.” In South Carolina, 36-year-old legal professional Jessica (not her real name) paid for the premium kink-friendly app Feeld because that was the only way her profile could remain hidden from Facebook friends.