Tinder Reaches Around Google, Stiffs App Store Payment System
Many app makers are growing tired of paying the relatively high fees that the Apple App Store and Google Play are demanding. Google Play and the Apple App Store each take 30% of the revenue an app generates, leaving many developers looking for ways to maximize their revenue. Some have moved to take payments directly, and others, like Fortnite, have opted to completely bypass Google Play and offer their apps directly to customers. Dating app Tinder is taking a different route.
Tinder has introduced a default payment process into the Android app that ignores the system Google Play has in place. Match Group spokeswoman Justine Sacco said that the company is constantly testing new features and payment options that benefit the user experience and that this new change was an example of that. Google hasn't commented on Tinder's move at this time.
The act of enabling direct payments inside apps and bypassing Google Play's systems is entirely feasible, but usually that requires avoiding Google Play altogether. Tinder is trying to remain in the Google Play store and ignore the Google Play payment process that scrapes the 30% cut of the profits. Google will undoubtedly have a response to Tinder's move, and the answer could be to boot the app for the store altogether for not following the rules.
If Google lets Tinder slide because of the popularity of the app, it will face increased chances that other apps will try the same move. Many apps are wanting a more significant cut of the profits they generate while Apple and Google take 30% of revenue generated per month for the first year and 15% per month after. Google will certainly have a response; there are tens of millions of dollars on the line from losing Tinder profits alone. Sensor Tower estimates that Tinder raked in $497 million across Android and iOS in the first half of 2019, so Google won't let that kind of money go without a fight. Epic's Fortnite bypass of the Play Store is thought to have cost Google about $50 million.