Left, Right, Right, Left, Right. These are the motions that people have gotten used to since late 2012 when Tinder was released. For those not fully plugged into the online dating realm, Tinder is a location-based mobile dating app. It shows users others in their area, and interest is expressed based on what direction you swipe in.
It won’t be long though before users will see more on the app than carefully angled profile pictures. InterActiveCorp (IAC), Tinder’s parent company, has announced that they will be introducing advertising into the app in order to monetize it. Seeing as Tinder gets more than 800 million ‘swipes’ a day, this is going to affect a lot of ‘swipers’!
Tinder, however, isn’t the only mobile location-based dating app – and some of these other apps have already started making use of ads and monetizing. MeetMe and Are You Interested (AYI), have premium options that a user can pay for, but also feature ads in their free versions.
To prepare for the coming of ads on Tinder and other dating apps, let’s look at 3 advertising strategies seen on MeetMe and AYI…
1. A focus on placement
When a viewer is on-the-go, advertising placement must be strategically done so the viewer doesn’t have to do much searching to find it. If it takes more than a couple clicks to get to the ad, it’s likely the viewer will be lost.
MeetMe seems to understand this well, as they effectively place their ads where users are not to miss it – at the bottom. They also have a second interesting placement – in their newsfeed, similar to Facebook (shown in the photo below). Not all dating apps have a newsfeed and MeetMe really takes advantage of having one, since this is one of the places users will likely spend most of their time while on the app.
AYI takes a different approach to advertising – instead of typical banner ads, they list sponsored dating apps in their “Deals” page. This directs users to other relevant dating apps that might be of interest (ex. Match.com).
This is a riskier approach, as the user has to search it out, but with the title “Deals” it is certain to catch a user’s eye, and compiling all ads on one page is definitely an effective approach.
2. Content is key
Grabbing the attention of users in dating apps can provide an exciting opportunity for advertisers. Generally speaking, the average users of these dating apps are fairly young (around 25-34 years old), urban, and all have something in common – seeking a date. Through this information they can properly customize their messages.
In MeetMe, the ads are all highly relatable to this ‘type’ of person, a few examples of them are: Sprint (cell phone plans), higher education, in-app games, and McDonalds (fast food).
AYI is a bit of a different story. With their pre-established advertising partnerships, the only ads I could find on their site were those previously mentioned deals. The content in those deals is very relevant though – with them being other dating apps, the calls to action include “See More Men”, and “Chat for Free”, both things that people look for in dating apps.
3. Straightforward actions
In order to run a successful campaign strategy, it is important to keep taps and app switching to a minimum. When a user taps an ad, make sure they don’t have to go through 3 other apps or pages to get what they want.
Both MeetMe and AYI do this successfully – whether tapping on a banner/newsfeed ad, or on a partner deal, the user is taken directly to a landing page or app in the app store. The transitions are direct and leave very little room for confusion.
Below is a newsfeed ad taken from MeetMe, and the page in the app store the user is directed to after tapping.
What does this all mean for Tinder?
Back to Tinder, these strategies from other dating apps show that advertising can be effectively integrated into the service. In-app advertising is nothing Tinder should be nervous about integrating into their marketing strategy. By ensuring good placement, relevant messaging, and smooth transitions, Tinder can run advertising that is useful for both them and their users.