Tinder removed Google Play Store integration within its Android app today. Tinder users who want to subscribe to premium services will now have to enter their credit card information directly into the app. Once a user has entered their payment information, the app not only remembers it but also removes the choice to swap back to Google Play for future purchases. Most subscription-based apps processed their payments through the Google Play Store, which earned Google a percentage. Now that Tinder has its own payment portal, Google stands to lose its cut.
Tinder is right up there alongside highly-addictive mobile games when it comes to generating revenue. The app earned a $275 million last year just by selling premium subscriptions. According to Bloomberg, Tinder made more money from the Play Store than Netflix, Pandora, and HBO Now between January 2012 to August 2018. While the cut Google makes from Tinder is a drop in the bucket as far as its overall revenue, this is still a big problem for the search giant.
The company that owns Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com joins the list of companies that are disgruntled with how much Google charges per app. Tinder joins the likes of Spotify and Netflix who have also been critical of Google and Apple when it comes to the cut that both companies take. Epic Games was one of the first companies to launch their hugely popular title—Fortnite—through their own website. Although their CEO Tim Sweeny stated otherwise, the real reason is clear as day. It’s hard to blame any of the companies, considering that Google can charge up to 30 per cent in some cases.
Tinder isn’t the first app that decided to cut Google out of the equation and it won’t be the last. It’ll be interesting to see what steps Google takes to prevent companies from undercutting Google. A reduction in the cut it takes might be a good start