A Peek Inside the Competitive Industry of Dating Apps

Dating is filled with anticipation, expectation, and drama. This is particularly true when it comes to dating via mobile app, where you’re forced to make judgement calls before you’ve met someone.

Behind the scenes, however, the drama is even more intense than what unfolds in messages between individuals across the world. The history of Tinder, its competitors, and the people who founded these revolutionary dating and hookup experiences is filled with friendships, betrayals, disagreements, and lawsuits. You might not have heard these stories before, but they make up the background for all of the leading dating and hookup apps currently available on your smartphone today.

It wasn’t long ago that Tinder was the unchallenged champion of app-based hookups. They were growing at an unbelievable rate, had revolutionized essential features like the swipe system and others, and it seemed that they were set to be the dominant dating and hookup application for years to come.

But all was not well behind the scenes.

Sean Rad, one of Tinder’s cofounders, and Whitney Wolfe Herd, an early team member that many assert should also have been given the name of cofounder, entered a public battle when Herd accused Rad of ‘horrendously sexist, racist, and otherwise inappropriate comments, emails, and text messages.”

Wolfe Herd also claimed that another co-founder stripped her of the title because he believed that having a female co-founder ‘makes the company seem like a joke’ and ‘devalues’ the company’s business.

Eventually, the suit that followed was settled for more than $1 million. Tinder denied that there was any wrongdoing, but both Rad and the other co-founder were forced out. (Herd had left long before this.)

You might think that that was the end of it. But, in fact, it gets even more interesting.

Why? Because Herd went on to found a dating app of her own— Bumble. Ever heard of it? Chances are that you have, considering it’s Tinder’s chief competitor and has been so successful that it made Herd the youngest self-made woman billionaire in history.

Meanwhile, Match Group (the company that owns Tinder) tried to buy Bumble in 2017 for an astonishing $450 million. But Bumble refused, calling Match Group ‘bullies’ and insisting that they would never sell to them.

So, there you have it. As much drama as there is in the world of app hookups and online dating, there’s even more that goes into the creation and business of the apps themselves. Think about that the next time you’re searching for a match on one of these leading apps.

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