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“In my opinion, if you live in a big, densely populated city, [the upgrade] makes a big difference.
Though convenience is great, I don’t want to limit my dating or hookup prospects to just a couple blocks from my apartment.
It may seem redundant, particularly when there are already dating apps where you can see who’s liked you that don’t cost a thing (Hinge, for instance).
But people are still paying for premium — lots of them.
She says having the freedom to use an app without fear of being exposed introduced her to people she wouldn’t have met if she hadn’t known they were into her first.
“I hooked up with two guys separately that were younger than my age range, so I would not have seen them if I had not paid for the app and saw that they liked me first,” she says.
The practice has a long history: Ok Cupid rolled out its A-List feature as early as 2009, before Tinder and Bumble even existed.
And what the freemium pricing model did for online games is becoming the strategy used by dating apps today.
For Hannah, the biggest benefit was seeing who liked her before making the commitment to like them back.
“They were fun times.” She also discovered a few surprises about the people in her town.
“Lots of guys that I would not think were into kink were on the app,” she adds.
At what point in the completely nightmarish process of online dating does one decide that it’s worth spending money on making that experience slightly less terrible? But a free-for-all doesn’t pay, which is why if you’ve ever spent time on Bumble, Ok Cupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, or any of the other zillion apps promising to make us feel a little less lonely, you’ve likely seen ads for a mysterious paid version of the very same service.
The internet wrought popular paid services like in 1995, JDate in 1997, and e Harmony in 2000, but it wasn’t until Tinder invented the addictive “swipe” in 2013 that online dating became a true free-for-all.