Tinder “experimenting” with direct payments to sidestep app store fees

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Fees looks to be a divisive issue between app stores and developers, with both groups not seeing eye to eye on how large a percentage the former takes from the latter. We’ve already seen Apple and Spotify go back and forth over it, and now Tinder is taking action with the dating app trying out a new system where users make direct payments in an effort to ensure app stores don’t get a cut of its profits.

More specifically, Bloomberg reports that the platform has introduced a default payment process to the Android version of the app, which skips the method currently employed by the Google Play Store.

The publication adds that users who opt for the new method of payment are also unable to go back to the Google facilitated option.

That company that owns Tinder, Match Group, explains that this new system is an “experiment” only, with it having a history of testing out new features that aim to improve the experience of the user.

While we certainly understand Tinder’s desire to keep testing out features on the popular dating app, it’s quite a peculiar move for any app developer to circumvent Google Play procedures when an app is still a part of that platform.

As Engadget points out, in the past Epic decided to add its own payment system to the Android version of Fortnite, but the game wasn’t heavily dependent on Google Play, as Tinder is.

How Google will react to this latest feature remains to be seen, as representatives are yet to respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment at the time of writing. Nevertheless app developer’s desire to limit the amount of money that Google and Apple takes is easy to understand, with up to 30 percent of revenue from in-app subscriptions being taken in some cases.

With this issue far from resolved, it should be interesting to see if other large app developers and platforms take a similar stance to Tinder and Spotify moving forward.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.