Amid a disappointing set of earnings for the latest quarter, Match Group has announced that it is scaling back Tinder’s dating ambitions and scrapping plans to offer an in-app Tinder Coins currency. Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg, who became the dating app’s first female CEO just last Septemberis also leaving the position, parent company Match Group CEO Bernard Kim announced. Kim himself was named CEO just two months ago.
Nyborg previously laid out ambitious plans to take over Tinder’s Metaverse (or “Tinderverse” as she called it). tinder acquired a company called Hyperconnect last yearwhich focuses on video, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technology, and Nyborg later mentioned the avatar-based “Single Town” experience as a way Tinder users could one day meet and interact with each other in virtual spaces. TechCrunch reported at the time.
Now, however, Kim says he has instructed Hyperconnect to cut back. “Given the uncertainty about the final contours of the metaverse and what will or won’t work, as well as the more challenging operating environment, I’ve instructed the Hyperconnect team to iterate but not invest heavily in the metaverse at this time,” Kim said. . “We will continue to carefully evaluate this space and consider moving forward at the appropriate time when we have more clarity on the overall opportunity and feel we have a service that is in a position to succeed.”
Match Group said the Hyperconnect acquisition contributed to an operating loss of $10 million in the second quarter of 2022, up from operating income of $210 million in the same quarter last year.
There was also bad news for Tinder Coins, the in-app currency which Tinder hoped for would encourage more spending on the service. The idea was that Tinder would distribute coins as a reward for users being active on the service and keeping their profiles up to date, but it would also allow them to be purchased directly. They will then be accepted as payment for premium Tinder features such as Super Likes. From February this yearthe feature had been soft-launched in a handful of markets around the world.
But now, Kim says the company is reevaluating its plans for Tinder Coins. “After seeing mixed results from testing Tinder Coins, we decided to take a step back and re-examine this initiative so it can more effectively contribute to Tinder’s revenue,” he wrote in the earnings release. The company previously said it wanted to make the feature widely available in the third quarter of this year.
Although revenues were up overall, CNBC References that Match Group’s earnings fell short of analysts’ expectations for the quarter ($795 million vs. estimates of $804 million) and that it forecast little to no earnings growth for the third quarter of the year. It says it saw an increase in activity on its services last year due to the vaccine launch, but that “we don’t see a similar increase in activity in 2022.” CNBC notes that shares fell 22 percent in extended trading Tuesday after the report.