Whether it’s Tinder, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and the more exclusive The Inner Circle – online dating itself has become almost like a competition; or even to an experience like shopping. We browse the infinite “shelves of people”, looking for that right person who possesses a certain style of personality and perhaps even a physical type.
With the emergence and prevalence of dating apps taking over the social dating scene in the 21st century, we have seen dating become even more of a shopping experience in both the number of people engaged in dating apps and the amount they are spending.
In Hong Kong, four in 10 citizens use online dating apps. In 2019, Singaporeans spent US $7.1 million on dating apps – an 80% increase from 2018. While most dating apps on the market are free, some apps offer subscriptions and additional features at a cost. So, what drives people to spend money on apps that are provided for free, and is it really worth the cost?
Why Pay More?
Other than staring at good-looking people all day without being deemed a stalker, let’s face it – the draw of such dating apps is that it’s almost instant and extends your social network easily. For people with demanding work schedules, moving to a new location, or even just difficulty in putting themselves out there to meet people, dating apps ease the stress of traditional dating and partnership and give users access to millions of individuals at their fingertips.
Dating apps make use of their free download to actually lure consumers into spending more on special features through giving their consumers a free trial, letting them dip their toes into the life of a premium subscriber. Once the free trial ends, many apps then offer discounted packages for long term subscriptions, and with the appeal of seeing the features and benefits of these paid subscriptions, users are more likely to pay.
Free for basic
Tinder Plus: S$13/mth
Tinder Plus: S$22/mth
Tinder, the number one dating app in both Hong Kong and Singapore (and third most used app of 2019 in Singapore), has several features that users can purchase to increase their odds of finding a suitable partner through online dating. They offer two different premium subscriptions, Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold.
- Unlimited Likes
- Rewind – no missed opportunities
- Passport – global selection
- Profile Boosts
- Super Likes
- All Tinder Plus features
- Daily Top Picks
- See who swiped yes on you
Free for basic
Bumble Boost: $32.98/mth
Ladies – there’s no shame in making the first move. Bumble is specifically built for women to own that as ladies have to make the first move on Bumble. Once matched on Bumble, the woman has 24 hours to make the first move and the man has 24 hours to respond. Meanwhile, same-sex matches, either person has 24 hours to make the first move. Beyond 24 hours, the connection expires.
- See everyone who has right-swiped you
- Extend matches by another 24 hours
- Rematch with expired connections
Coffee Meets Bagel
Free for basic
CMB Premium: S$46.99/mth
Every day at noon, Coffee Meets Bagel shares quality matches curated just for you, with a focus on developing real conversations and connections. The app gives men 21 matches and ladies 6 matches daily, according to your interests, demographic data, social network and other details to give you matches.
- Activity reports which shows percentage of times a user engage in chats, percentage of the time they send the first message, whether or not they’ve been active in the last 72 hours, and a marker for how long it usually takes that person to respond to messages.
- Read receipts
- 6,000 Beans
- Open Sesame to unlock mutual friends you have with your match
- A/B testing of your profile photo
The Inner Circle
Free for basic
Full Membership: $29.98/mth
Feel a little exclusive? The Inner Circle is all about the most eligible singles. We’re talking about social status, career, passion, and -drumroll- serious daters (or so they claim). Other than that, they also hold monthly events at world class venues that are exclusive for members. The basic account allows you to send messages, browse through (limited) profiles, send likes, see who views you, and send winks.
- All basic features
- No hidden profiles
- Invisible browsing
- See who sent you winks
- Read and send messages