The company has tapped talent from Refinery29, Conde Nast, Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan to help run the site
Tinder, the quick-swipe dating app launched in 2012, has branched out beyond its day job of connecting young, single millennials. The company is now planning to produce original video content through its recently launched lifestyle website, Swipe Life.
The move isn’t a play for ad dollars, according to Tinder’s director of content marketing Kelsey Blodget, who said Tinder’s core dating operation remains a “very healthy business.”
“It’s really just more of an awareness play,” she told TheWrap. “We’re really not thinking about content in terms of monetization right now.”
Over the past three years, Tinder’s revenue has more than quadrupled, from $175 million in 2016 to roughly $800 million in 2018. The company has also courted around 4 million paying subscribers, but would not disclose the current number of monthly active users.
With its new push into lifestyle content, Tinder aims to attract new members to its ecosystem and keep current Tinderers within its walls for longer periods of time (whether on the app, the YouTube Page, or the company’s owned and operated website). To help with this effort, the company hired a team of digital and print veterans to produce editorial and video content for the site.
The Swipe Life team includes Blodget, former head of content for Oyster.com, a TripAdvisor company; Conde Nast alum and Webby Award winner Hannah Lindner, who works as the company’s in-house video producer; former Refinery29 senior editor Ava Feuer; Cosmopolitan magazine veteran Danielle Kam; former Rolling Stone director of photography Ahmed Fakhr; and ex-Bustle writer Kristin Collins-Jackson.
Influencers are a key part of the video strategy, Blodget said. A Tinder video with Hannah Stocking, who has 5.9 million subscribers and 1 billion views on YouTube, has amassed more than 500,000 views and 157 comments since it was posted last month.
The stats are modest compared to Stocking’s regular YouTube videos, which bring in millions of views and thousands of comments. But they have boosted eyeballs to Tinder’s own YouTube channel, where most videos have had trouble breaking 100,000 views.
Tinder has also collaborated with model and actor Emily Ratajkowski, Instagram model Dana Patterson and “Queer Eye” co-hosts Jordan Van Ness and Antoni Porowski.
Blodget said Tinder expects to produce eight videos per month, both scripted and unscripted, and is currently experimenting with distributing content on Facebook, Snapchat Discover and Instagram (not IGTV).
“We’re thinking about all of the places that people watch video,” said Blodget, adding that the company isn’t ready to share any metrics. “We want to provide content wherever there are people in our core 18-25 demo.”
The dating app space remains crowded, though Tinder’s parent company, IAC’s Match Group, controls Match.com, OKCupid and PlentyOfFish as well as Tinder.
But the new website could introduce young millennial to the Tinder ecosystem and to its app, where late last year it started to sell programmatic advertising. The company’s video initiative also comes at a time when video is in high demand. Globally, video traffic will account for 82 percent of all internet traffic (both business and consumer) by 2022, according to a recent study carried out by Cisco.
While Blodget said there are currently no plans to run ads on the Swipe Life website or Tinder’s videos, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the company monetizing this content in the future.