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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Swipe Right, Spend Money: How Dating Apps Keep You Hooked

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Dating apps are ubiquitous in today’s world, promising to connect you with your soulmate with just a swipe. But, have you ever wondered if these apps are really designed to help you find true love? Or are they just designed to keep you swiping and spending money on their platform?

The truth is, dating apps have a business model that relies on you not finding true love. While they may advertise that they want you to find your perfect match, their ultimate goal is to keep you using the app and generating revenue for them. Apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge thrive on user engagement. The longer you spend swiping and messaging on the app, the more likely you are to see advertisements and pay for premium features. In other words, dating apps make money from your continued use of the app, not from your successful matches or relationships.

One way dating apps keep you hooked is through their algorithm. Many dating apps use algorithms that prioritize engagement over finding you a perfect match. They do this by showing you more attractive and popular profiles, even if they don’t necessarily match your preferences. This keeps you swiping and using the app, even if you’re not finding a real connection.

Another way dating apps drive revenue is through their premium features. Many apps offer premium subscriptions that promise to give you more matches or more visibility on the app. However, these features often don’t actually improve your chances of finding a meaningful connection. They simply encourage you to spend more money.

Furthermore, dating apps are designed to keep you coming back for more. The constant swiping and scrolling through potential matches creates a sense of excitement and anticipation, which can be addictive. However, this addiction can also lead to disappointment and frustration when matches don’t lead to meaningful connections.

Dating apps are not incentivized to have you leave their platform. If you do find love and delete the app, you’re no longer generating revenue for them. This is why many apps have features that encourage you to keep coming back, such as daily free swipes or notifications about new potential matches.

In conclusion, dating apps have revolutionized the way we approach relationships and finding love. However, it’s important to understand that these apps are ultimately businesses, and their primary goal is to make money, not help you find your soulmate. The algorithms and design features of these apps are created to keep you swiping, clicking, and messaging, with the hope that you’ll stick around long enough to see ads or purchase premium features.

But that doesn’t mean that dating apps are all bad. They can be a great way to meet new people, especially if you have a busy lifestyle or live in an area with a limited dating pool. Just keep in mind that the app’s success metrics may not align with your own goals, and be mindful of how much time and energy you’re putting into the app. While it’s tempting to put all your faith in touted algorithms, it’s important to remember that there’s no substitute for real-life connections and human interaction. At the end of the day, the most successful relationships are built on mutual respect, trust, and shared experiences, not just swipes and likes.

Vanna Chen

Texas '23

Senior Computer Science Major Sleepy, Funny, Addicted to Kombucha