Dating giant Match Group announced a series of changes to Tinder’s management team alongside the announcement of disappointing second-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Notably, Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg is leaving the company after less than a year in the top job. Match Group is also killing Tinder’s plans to embrace new technologies, such as virtual currencies and metaverse-based dating.
In a letter to shareholders, Match Group CEO Bernard Kim expressed frustration with Tinder’s current performance, noting that the popular dating app has failed to achieve its typical monetization success in recent quarters and is not meeting the company’s original revenue growth expectations. the second half of 2022.
Kim attributed Tinder’s problems to the “disappointing execution of various optimizations and new product initiatives”, but added that Tinder’s product execution and speed can still be improved.
Along with Nyborg’s departure, Tinder will have a reorganized management team that also includes:
- Faye Iosotaluno, former Chief Strategy Officer of Match Group, as COO of Tinder
- Mark van Ryswyk as Tinder Product Manager. Ryswyk is a seasoned gaming executive who joined the company in June.
- Melissa Hobley, Former OkCupid CMO, as Tinder Chief Marketing Officer
- Tom Jacques, as Tinder’s chief technology officer. An 11-year Match Group veteran, he has been Tinder’s CTO for the past five years.
- Amarnath Man advisor. The current CEO of Match Group Americas and a 15-year Match Group veteran will advise Tinder’s management team on the product’s roadmap and growth.
Kim said she will oversee the team while Tinder searches for a permanent CEO.
Reading between the lines, there was also a hint that the younger generation of users may have lost their appetite for dating apps like Tinder, a cultural shift that can’t just be attributed to the lingering impacts of the pandemic. The letter notes that people have overcome COVID lockdowns and re-entered “a more normal way of life”, but their willingness to try online dating apps for the first time has not returned to pre-lockdown levels. pandemic.
Instead, Match Group reports that its biggest share now comes from existing users.
As part of Tinder’s revamp, its “dating metaverse” ambitions have been scaled back dramatically. The company had been planning to build on its acquisition of Hyperconnect to create a new way of dating online in a virtual setting, but those ideas are on hold as Match Group now has to tackle broader issues.
“…Given the uncertainty over the final contours of the metaverse and what will or will not work, as well as the more challenging operating environment, I have instructed the Hyperconnect team to iterate but not invest heavily in the metaverse at this time,” he wrote. . kim “We will continue to evaluate this space carefully and consider moving forward at an appropriate time when we have more clarity on the overall opportunity and feel we have a service that is well positioned to succeed.”
Also on the chopping block was virtual currency, which Match Group was experimenting with as Tinder Coins. (While Match Group hadn’t gone as far as announcing blockchain integrations for currencies, the virtual currency’s role in its broader metaverse plans suggested that cryptocurrencies could be part of its long-term roadmap.)
“After seeing mixed results when testing Tinder Coins, we decided to take a step back and re-examine that initiative so that it can more effectively contribute to Tinder revenue,” Kim said. “We also intend to think more about virtual goods to ensure they can be a real engine for Tinder’s next stage of growth and help us unlock untapped power users on the platform,” she added.
The company says it still plans to develop features to make Tinder more attractive to women, including a subscription-based package that will provide “curated recommendations” as well as features designed to engage friends in introductions. In other products, it will also look for new features, such as live video streaming, to drive adoption.
Overall, Match posted second-quarter 2022 revenue of $795 million, up 12% year-over-year but below average Wall Street estimates of $804.22 million. It also posted a loss of $31.86 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with 46 cents in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts had expected earnings of 57 cents a share. Match said its operating loss was $10 million, affected by a $217 million write-down of intangibles related to lower financial prospects for its Hyperconnect Azar and Hakuna apps.
Match Group’s paying users increased 10% year over year to 16.4 million. Tinder direct revenue grew 13% from prior quarters, driven by 14% growth to 10.9 million paying users.
Estimates for the upcoming quarter weren’t great either, with Match Group forecasting flat growth in the third quarter of $790 million to $800 million in revenue, falling short of estimates of $883 million. Tinder’s revenue growth is expected to be in the “mid-singles.”
Shares fell more than 20% in after-hours trading on the news.
Updated 8/2/22 6:00 PM ET to clarify that Tinder had not formally announced blockchain integrations for Tinder’s virtual currency.