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The future of Match could hinge on an app not named Tinder

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After turning Tinder into its main financial engine, Match Group Inc. is looking to repeat that success with Hinge.

Since Match MTCH, -1.43% made its first investment in Hinge back in 2017, the dating app has seen its user base grow 20 times, the company shared exclusively with MarketWatch.

Now Match fully owns Hinge, and its goal is a more serious revenue push that draws from some of Tinder’s lessons without losing sight of what gives Hinge its core appeal with an audience of mostly urban millennials.

Hinge was launched in 2012 as an app seeking to move beyond the “hookup culture” that Tinder is known for and into more serious relationship building, with a main selling point of leveraging existing connections to meet people.

When Match initially got involved with Hinge, the app had a fairly limited set of revenue-generating features, namely the ability to pay for more search features or unlimited likes.

Match left that strategy in place at first as it worked on growing Hinge’s user base and building its relationship-focused brand, but now it’s “finally focusing on monetization,” according to Amarnath Thombre, chief executive […]

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