TINDER HAS SWIPED LEFT on paying Google for subscriptions sold through the app, a development you can't imagine that Google is too chuffed about.
As spotted by Bloomberg, the Match-owned hook-up app has a new payment system as the default which ghosts Google Play entirely, leaving the jilted system wondering if it was something it said. Subscribers can enter their card details directly into the app, and once the details are saved, Tinder will remove the option to pay via Google Play in future.
"At Match Group, we constantly test new updates and features to offer convenience, control and choice to our users," Match spokesperson Justine Sacco told the site. "We will always try to provide options that benefit their experience and offering payment options is one example of this."
User choice is indeed a great thing, but do you know what's even greater? Not losing 15-30 per cent of your income to Google. A requirement of the Play Store is that sales made via apps give the company a 30 per cent cut in the first year, and then 15 per cent afterwards. Presumably, Tinder is banking on the fact that Google wouldn't dare remove one of the most popular apps in the world from its store.
Other companies have taken different approaches to dodging the App Store tax. Fortnite, for example, isn't even for sale on the Google Play Store, while Netflix doesn't let people subscribe via the iOS app. Spotify took an especially ballsy approach, putting in an antitrust complaint against Apple, taking a big juicy bite out of the hand that feeds.
Match didn't state whether it'd be taking a similar hardball approach with Apple. Presumably much will depend on how Google reacts. Yes, Google Play Store revenue is a tiny fraction of Alphabet's total income, but it's not insignificant: most recent estimates suggest that Tinder generated nearly $500 million worth of subscriptions across the two main app stores in the first half of 2019 alone.
If Google lets this slide, then why would any other app continue to pay the tax? µ
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