Gamified Romance: Tinder ROI and Learnings

In recent weeks, there has been a couple of life changes in the world of “me”. The first was my relationship status changed from “taken” to “single” for the first time in three years. The second was a move to a new apartment and the purchase of a lot of new furniture – all of which I had to put together myself. It took a few days, but I managed to get everything set up, except for… the internet! Thankfully my phone replaced my Internet fix, but I had to find a new way to kill time in the evenings and weekends. I know what you’re thinking, a social media strategist absolutely must have the Internet! So what did I do with my time?
screenshot of tinder match

Introducing Tinder

After being single for the first time in three years, I wanted to test out this new-to-me social platform called Tinder. For those that don’t know how Tinder works, I like to describe it as the new “Hot or Not”. Single (mostly) people post photos of themselves, then other people swipe left for “Nope” or right for “Like”. With over 1.6 billion swipes and 26 million matches per day, Tinder is killing it in the dating app game.

Calculating Tinder ROI

tinder research

As Top Draw is known for measurable results, I chose to calculate my own Tinder return on investment (ROI):

Time Spent on App: 30 minutes spread throughout a day x 6 days = 3 hours 
Amount Spent on Additional Data: $45
Estimated Number of Swipes: 80 per day x 6 days = 480
Number of “Matches”: 40
Number of messages from Matches: 9
Total Engaging Conversations: 0
Total Free Dinners: 0
Total Free Coffees: 0

Tinder ROI = 0


I spent $45 on 6 days of entertainment. Although I didn’t take the app seriously, it did help me pass the time, I still enjoyed it.

What I Learned on Tinder in a Week

As someone new to Tinder, I was way more interested in learning how to use the app and what it was all about rather an actually meeting someone and going on dates. I discovered three things through my highly scientific Tinder research, professionally speaking of course:

1. Tinder is a social networking game

If you end up matching with someone, you are given the option to “Keep Playing” (continue swiping through profiles). You may have “matches”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve met Mr. or Misses Right.

2. There’s “Tinder Plus”

Like most downloaded apps these days, there’s “in-play purchases” available through the Tinder App called Tinder Plus. If you accidentally swiped left on that topless mirror selfie hottie, you can pay for “Tinder Plus”, which will allow you to undo that last swipe. It also allows you to “Super Like” profiles as well.

The odd thing about Tinder Plus is pricing varies depending on your age. While I can buy Tinder Plus for $20/month, my younger cohorts are only being charged $10/month (by younger, I mean under 30 years old).

3. Tinder is a data hog

My smartphone billing was off the charts with the amount of data I used. The additional charges I incurred for theTinder-trial  billing cycle was $43.48.

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 12.54.50 PMI even used the data for my following billing cycle that expires near the end of the following month. Oops.

How Marketers Can Utilize Tinder

This question had me stumped while I was busy swiping. After conducting further research, I came across some great examples of how social media marketing can be executed on Tinder. For instance, Domino’s offered free pizza and promotions to Tinder users who “matched” with them on Valentine’s Day and the television show, Suits, offered matching with Harvey Specter or Rachel Zane.

Tinder is slowly becoming more popular with digital marketers, it’s a great targeting tool, how will you use it?

My True Tinder ROI

Tinder Research for Blog Post = Priceless


Want to chat about marketing on Tinder? On Twitter? On Facebook? Let’s talk!