New Tinder update ruins purpose of the app

By Eric Long, Chief Copy Editor

Tinder’s update on March 2 has made the widely-used app fairly unpopular — since the update, Tinder only has a one-and-a-half-star rating on Apple’s app store — due to its new Tinder Plus subscription that has some, myself included, accusing the hookup app of ageism.

Users under 30 who want to pay for the three new features the update included will have to shell out $9.99 a month. Users over 30? $19.99. If this isn’t ageism then I have the wrong definition.

Tinder claims its new pricing isn’t ageist; Rosette Pambakian, a spokesperson for Tinder, wrote in a statement to NBC News that the lower price for users under 30 is due to the fact that they are more budget conscious. But this is flawed thinking; Tinder assuming its older users make more money and can therefore afford its outrageous subscription fee is borderline ageist.

Though the older crowd may in fact make more money than the younger — as a college student, $10 is a precious commodity whereas my dad can spend $10 and not worry about it breaking his bank — who gets to say they can or are willing to pay more, especially if it’s just for the use of the three new features — which should be free in the first place?

The features include: changing one’s location, rewinding one’s last swipe and turning off ads. These three measly changes are not worth my $10 and they definitely are not worth $20, but the price really is not the point.

Let’s face it, Tinder is not a dating app, it’s a hookup app and even those who don’t use it for hookups use the app as a form of entertainment — there is something cynically fun about swiping left on someone. I can’t think of any friends who use the app to find “the one,” so it doesn’t make sense for Tinder to charge any user, regardless of age, any amount at all.

If Tinder really wants to make money, it should either make the subscription fees lower and equal for all ages, or have better incentive to pay for a subscriptive account than three tiny updates that don’t really make the app more usable.

In the end it comes down to function — Tinder is not, nor should it try to be, Tinder provides a very specific service that’s really only desirable because it’s free. If Tinder starts charging to use a service that isn’t really much better than going to a bar, they’re going to lose customers, especially the over-30 crowd who, regardless of their economic situation, probably won’t be able to, or be interested in, justifying $20 a month for a hookup app.