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Tinder rolls out new ‘SELECT’ feature for $499 USD a month

The new premium tier will allow paying users to see the ‘most sought after profiles’, promises to boost their profile, and grants the ability to DM others even if they haven’t matched.

Tinder is rolling out an exclusive and expensive new feature called ‘SELECT’.

Operating as an invite-only subscription model, SELECT will allow users to be part of a VIP premium tier for the cool price of $499 USD a month. This grants customers exclusive features, such as the ability to message people they haven’t matched with, view the ‘most sought after’ profiles, and be boosted within the app’s algorithm.

It says it is only inviting users who are within the top 1% of active profiles. Tinder also explains that applications will be open on a rolling basis.

If you are selected, you’ll need to meet a ‘5-point’ list of requirements. This includes a verified photo, biography, five interests, at least four images, and details about the type of connection you’re seeking. A SELECT profile has to be in top shape, basically.

Tinder’s parent company Match Group already mentioned the existence of a high end membership tier in August, specifically developed to entice Gen Zers.

The dating app industry is extremely lucrative, and investors will no doubt want to see new novelty features implemented over time to keep daters coming back and spending money. Match Group generated revenue upward of $830 million USD in one quarter this year alone.

However, Tinder has seen a decline in subscriber numbers this year. Match Group president Gary Swidler recently said that he believes Tinder SELECT could significantly impact the app’s revenue stream to help combat this slump.

SELECT is also clearly an attempt to compete with other premium dating apps such as Raya and EliteSingles.

These are services exclusively for people that fit certain criteria, usually involving education or financial stability. By introducing a VIP membership tier, Tinder can still have its much larger install base while also catering to these wealthy, elitist users. It’s worth noting that Match Group bought the premium dating app The League last year, which charges users up to $1000 USD a week.

SELECT Tinder users will have a special badge on their profile to indicate that they’re part of the new programme, though they can opt to hide it if they wish. It is still currently being rolled out and regular users may not see much of a difference in their app experience for a few months.

While these new membership tiers sound flashy, are programmes like SELECT really a good thing for dating?

Apps already extensively commodify what should be a natural part of the human experience. Online dating platforms have carved an industry out of almost nothing, meaning they can gamify and push the limits of forging relationships as much as possible. Tinder SELECT feels so far removed from the original intention of an app – simply meeting people – that the point of it all gets lost.

Are we really going to fork out half a grand every month just to make a few connections? Is this really how dating is supposed to work? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.