Match’s latest app turns dating into a game – literally!
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Match’s latest app turns dating into a game – literally!

Match Group, the dating giant behind popular online romance sites like and Plenty of Fish, has a new app. And, while the Match growth story has been defined by outperforming “casual hookup” app Tinder over the last couple of years, this new app could change that. Because Crown, as it’s called, takes the gamification process that spurred Tinder to incredible heights and ramps it up a notch. That is, Match’s latest way to find love online is literally a game.

Match Group’s share price is up by 37% so far, year to date

graph 1806 match

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

It works like this: every day, the app “curates” 16 possible matches for you. You then get confronted by these matches in pairs – and pick the one you like. Once you’ve trimmed your daily allowance of potential partners to a more manageable four, your matches are given the option to initiate a conversation with you – or shut you down. Whoever you eventually “crown” the gets the date – provided they want it too. And, of course, you may find someone else gives you the crown, meaning the game has a kind of double appeal – both choosing and getting chosen.

But why, given Tinder’s huge success, would Match want to focus on a narrower dating pool? The answer was given to us a few years ago, by the company’s scientific advisor, Dr. Helen Fisher: “The more you look and look for a partner the more likely it is that you’ll end up with nobody…It’s called cognitive overload. There is a natural human predisposition to keep looking—to find something better. And with so many alternatives and opportunities for better mates in the online world, it’s easy to get into an addictive mode.”

Dr. Fisher’s description was prescient: at time of writing, Millennials that date online tend to spend 10 hours per week in their apps of choice. Popular opinion is that this time quickly goes from exciting to tiring. Andy Chen, the company’s vice president, said: “It’s like a ‘Bachelorette’-style process of elimination that helps users choose between quality over quantity. Research shows that the human brain can only track a set number of relationships…and technology has not helped us increase this limit.”

The market has kept its eyes out for a “Tinder killer” for a while now. Who would’ve thought it would have come from the same parent company? Of course, there’s little chance of Crown really killing Tinder – users tend to split their time over a number of apps – but it may be another run away success for the group. So far, Crown is in its earliest days – but Match claims that it has retention rates which are “already as strong” as Match’s other apps. Will the company manage to disrupt itself and ride yet another wave to market outperformance?


Dominion holds Match Group in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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