Tinder is preparing to launch a version of its popular dating app aimed at users in emerging markets. The app, which will be called “Tinder Lite,” offers a smaller, more lightweight version of the current flagship app, the company says. Smaller app size is a defining characteristic of most of today’s “Lite” apps, which are specifically focused on addressing the unique needs of users in areas where data usage, bandwidth and storage space is a concern.
Most major tech companies now offer “Lite” apps for the large and rapidly growing online user base coming from these emerging markets — and specifically India, as of late.
For example, Google has a full suite of lightweight “Go”-branded apps, like Google Go, Gmail Go, Files Go, YouTube Go, Google Maps Go and Google Assistant Go. There’s also Facebook Lite, Instagram Lite, Messenger Lite, Twitter Lite, Uber Lite, Spotify Lite and even TikTok Lite, to name a few others.
Tinder, apparently, believes it too has reached the point of needing a Lite version, given the dating app’s traction and growth. While the company doesn’t share the size of its total user base, the Tinder app averaged 4.7 million paid subscribers in Q1, up by 1.3 million from the same time last year, parent company Match Group said this week when announcing its Q1 2019 earnings. In addition, the BBC estimated in 2017 that Tinder had around 57 million total monthly active users.
Match Group this week announced its plans for Tinder Lite for the first time during an earnings call with investors.
The company didn’t share an exact launch date for Tinder Lite, but, according to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg, the app is “coming soon.”
Ginsberg was speaking about the promise of Southeast Asia in particular when she mentioned Tinder Lite. She noted that internet penetration had grown by nearly 15% in the region over the past five years, which made it a key area to target.
“This area has more than a dozen high-density cities with over a million people, and more young people are moving to large cities. These are really important factors that make the need for our app high,” she explained. “…We are excited about the Tinder Lite app that will be coming soon. It’s a big step forward addressing the needs of consumers there. Tinder Lite will be a smaller app to download. It will take less space on your phone, making Tinder more effective, even in more remote areas or regions. And keep in mind, these are regions where data usage still comes at a premium.” Ginsberg said.
Tinder already has a presence in the key Indian market, and its parent company Match Group recently restructured its Asia-Pacific team with the aim of further growing its dating app brands, including Tinder, in the region.
Tinder Lite, like some of other “Lite”-branded apps from tech companies, may remove some of Tinder’s heavier features to focus on the core experience of swiping and matches. But the company hasn’t said what will or will not be included in the slimmed-down version.
“As a result of our continued investment and growth in this region, we expect that APAC will make up one-fourth of our company’s total revenue by 2023,” Ginsberg added.