PR NEWSWIRE - Q2 Revenue was $48M, compared to $55.3M in Q2 2021. On a constant currency basis, revenue would have been $50.3M. Net loss was $8.8M, compared to $49M in Q2 2021. Total paid subscribers grew from 831K to 838K. Zoosk end of period subscribers grew 4% YOY. Zoosk new subscribers grew 17% YOY. The company expects to deliver low double-digit Adjusted EBITDA margins for the full year.
MASHABLE - Hinge has a new FAQ guide full of advice specifically about LGBTQ dating. The NFAQ (Not-so-Frequently Asked Questions) guide is full of answers to questions relating to LGBTQ dating and identity, including how to navigate dating when you're not quite ready to come out.
LA BUSINESS JOURNAL - Dating apps made $5.6B in revenue last year, with ~$3B being made by Match Group. Since the start of the pandemic, more people have turned to dating apps. In a publication titled "The Future of Dating is Fluid," Tinder pointed out that 2020 was an outstanding year. 60% of members came to Tinder because they felt lonely. 50% of Tinder's Gen Z users participated in a video chat, and 30% were playing online video games together. Those who tried virtual dating saw it as a low-pressure way to get a sense of someone and their personality. Hannah Shimko from the Online Dating Association said the pandemic made people more comfortable with being online. She added that new companies are trying to be innovative about bringing back in-person dating. One example is FROME, a dating app that encourages offline dates. When users sign on, they can choose "available today"or "available this week" to set up a date. When a user is interested in someone, they will send an invitation with a day, time and place. Once the other user confirms, they are locked to each other for the day and cannot connect with anyone else.
OPTO - The Tinder Swindler story highlighted the urgent need for greater transparency in order to protect users. In 2020, romance scams accounted for a total loss of ~$304M, up 50% from 2019. A month after the documentary's release, Match Group announced plans to launch background checks on Tinder in partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and Garbo. The news was received well: the group's stock climbed 12.8% on the day of the announcement. While investors have fallen out of love with subscription-based tech stocks, with Match Group down 42% year-to-date, a rising trend in introducing safeguarding features to protect users has taken off. Bumble announced that it is working with trauma support website Bloom to provide free support for women who report physical or emotional abuse. Bumble makes clear that developing a secure environment is front of mind.
NEWS PATROLLING - Indian dating app QuackQuack analyzed its user data and behavior aiming to understand the place of dating apps in terms of friendship. QuackQuack's data and survey show that among the ~22K downloads per day, more and more people are joining the dating app intending to make friends rather than just dating. 41% of the new QuackQuack users are looking to make new friends, and the majority of these people are from tier 2 cities. The majority of users looking for friends are in the age group of 18 to 22. Among the women users, 54% are looking for friends, compared to 40% of men who are interested in making friends.
FORBES - VR dating is on the rise, but Match Group/Tinder pulled the plug on it's (10 month) attempt to build a metaverse dating space, and scrapped the creation of an in-app currency - as revenue growth slackened. Match previously acquired Hyperconnect, an AI & AR company that was developing a virtual romance destination called "Single Town." Now they will iterate but not invest heavily in metaverse. Meanwhile, Nevermet, Flirtual and Planet Theta are showing the different ways in which metaverse dating apps might work.
Nevermet connects VR enthusiasts, who build profiles including in-depth personal bios and avatars. Once two people match they leave Neremet to connect in a virtual world of their choosing. Flirtual sends users to VRChat after they've connected on the Flirtual app. Planet Theta launches November, and will connect matches via virtual speed dating. 1-min chats lead to 3-min coffee dates in a Planet Theta-designed cafe. After virtual coffee users see their dates' photos and can connect in Planet Theta's metaverse world, virtually sipping drinks at a bar or feeding squirrels in the enchanted forest.
MEDIA POST - Bernard Kim, who joined the company as chief executive officer a few months ago, announced that Renate Nyborg is out as Tinder CEO. Melissa Hobley, CMO of Match's OkCupid unit, will move to Tinder CMO. Tinder's revenue growth and new product have been disappointing. "We need to do more to excite our user base to drive top of funnel growth," Kim says. The company is bailing out of the metaverse, at least for now, "given uncertainty about the ultimate contours of the metaverse, as well as the more challenging operating environment." In Q2, Match Group's revenue rose 12% to $795M, and it posted a loss of $10M. "Western markets will settle into slow growth for the next few years," says Mark Brooks, a consultant in the internet dating industry, "until real innovation and shifts into new media are both realizable and can be monetized." When that happens, he says, "internet dating becomes a new game." While he agrees with Kim's decision to back off from the metaverse now, it will have advantages as Web 3.0 gets closer to reality. "It will be important to have a trusted brand because users may have to relinquish more of their privacy in a VR - and especially an AR-driven world." Brooks believes AR has the potential to disrupt dating in ways few can yet imagine, even on par with the way smartphones ushered in a mobile revolution. "AR will bring a different and new level of experience and value in dating."