As recently as yesterday, Tinder users have been noticing a steep price increase of paid boosts, luckily some r/SwipeHelper redditors among them. Reportedly, the cost of a single Boost has increased from $3.99 to $6.99, and the price of a ten-pack to $49. Saying that’s rather steep might be a bit of an understatement.

Tinder Boosts are a consumable in-app purchase that show your profile to “up to” ten times as many users as usually, supposedly.

And why did Tinder raise boost prices? The first thing that comes to mind is greed, of course. Though if the intention was to increase revenue by increasing prices by just enough that buyer numbers will not noticeably decrease, then suddenly almost doubling prices seems like a slightly flawed tactic. Putting incompetence aside as a potential cause for a moment, there is another possible rationale behind this:

Tinder might be trying to re-balance match rates.

If you’ve been using Tinder for more than a few months, it will not surprise you to hear that the average (male) user’s match rates have been severely declining to near zero over the past two years. You may also have noticed that the only reliable way to still get a good number of matches has been paying for boosts. Now, this may be purely an effect of so many people using this feature to cut in line that normal users simply get pushed back into oblivion, but what doesn’t quite add up is that match rates have experienced a deep, lasting drop one month before Tinder released boosts.

I have long suspected that there is another factor at play though, and that’s (among others) Tinder’s dwindling (active) female user base. Active as in using the app for dating purposes, as opposed to marketing instagram accounts. This of course leads to the dating market being over saturated with men, which means women can be (even) pickier, which means men will have to lower their standards (even) more, which means women can be even pickier, etc. A.k.a. The vicious circle of Tinder.

Back to the rebalancing theory: Assuming boosts are having as much of an impact on a non-boosting user that it’s becoming a problem for Tinder – a problem such as user numbers dumping, then raising prices for boosts enough to actually discourage their use for a good number of users could be a viable strategy to feed the starving masses some matches again. Simultaneously, they’re introducing “Super Boosts” at ridiculous prices to milk those for whom money plays not much of a role; Or, you know, gambling addicts.

Thus getting satisfactory numbers of matches to those willing to pay for them, while trying to let at least some trickle down to the disenfranchised masses, lest they wander off to the greener pastures that are Bumble and Hinge.

What do you think about this price increase? What has been your experience with Tinder as of late? Any factual (or spelling) errors to correct? Feel free to leave a comment below, or visit the SwipeHelper Subreddit. See you there ?