A new report in Bloomberg says that Tinder is taking a stand against Google’s aggressive take on in-app payments.
The site reports that Tinder has changed the way that people subscribe, taking payments directly by default in the Android app. If you enter your card details this way, the app blocks you from switching back to Google Play payments afterwards.
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Justine Sacco, a spokesperson for the Match Group, which owns Tinder, told Bloomberg that this was designed to improve the experience for members. “At Match Group, we constantly test new updates and features to offer convenience, control and choice to our users. We will always try to provide options that benefit their experience and offering payment options is one example of this.” Match wouldn’t say whether it was planning a similar change for the iPhone version of the app.
It’s unsurprising that Tinder would want to avoid paying Google 30% of its subscription fees (15% after year one), but it’s perhaps more surprising that it would skirt around Google Play requirements to do so. It seems the company is gambling on the fact that Google wouldn’t dare remove one of the most popular apps on the planet.
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Other companies are responding differently to the App Store taxes. Spotify has filed an antitrust complaint against Apple for the 30% fee, when Apple Music obviously doesn’t have to pay anything. Epic, meanwhile, has excluded Fortnite from the Google Play Store entirely, making players download it directly, and Netflix doesn’t let users subscribe via the iPhone app at all.
While the Play Store represents a small part of Google’s total revenue, potentially losing its cut of Tinder subscriptions isn’t exactly small fry, either. It’s estimated that across iOS and Android, Tinder managed to make $497 million in the first half of the year.
Do app stores take too much of a cut, or is it only fair? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.