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June 4, 2014

Why Tinder wants to expand beyond being a sex app

Co-founder talks third-party integrations and banner ads.

By Ben Sullivan

Tinder, the geolocation-based dating app, is looking at options for greater monetisation and expansion beyond its initial purpose of hooking up singles.

Speaking onstage at Street Fight Summit West 2014 in San Francisco on Tuesday, Tinder co-founder and VP of product Jonathan Badeen, said how the company, which sits in a "local mobile personals" app industry estimated to be worth $2bn, is considering third-party integrations.

Badeen said: "Right now, third-party integrations are not on the immediate timeline, but they would be at some point.

"You’ve got local businesses all trying to get the attention of people who are looking to spend money in the local area. It would only make sense to tie them together."

Tech website Gigaom, which was reporting from the summit, said that Badeen was joined on stage by Grindr’s head of global sales Steve Levin. Grindr, the gay dating app, uses banner ads for its 12 million users on the free version of the app to monetise the service. Badeen is reported to have said Tinder is considering different advertising possibilities such as ads, freemium features, and third-party advertising from small businesses to new couples that met on the app.

Badeen then went on to describe how Tinder could be expanded past a hookup service, and become a friend-meeting platform. One of the problems Tinder faces is the redundancy of the app once users find a match. It is looking for ways to continue its usefulness once two users have hooked up.

"We have the momentum and the name that once we do enter that market, we’ll be able to gain a lot of ground.

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