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Dating Apps Tinder and Hinge Sued Over Addictive Features

Lawsuit claims dating apps like Tinder and Hinge use addictive features to encourage compulsive use and prioritize profit over relationships.

A recent class-action lawsuit has been filed against Match Group, the parent company of popular dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, claiming that these apps are intentionally designed with addictive features that encourage compulsive use. The lawsuit, filed on Valentine's Day in federal court in California, alleges that Match Group prioritizes profit over helping users find relationships by creating game-like features that lock users into a pay-to-play loop.

The lawsuit argues that these dating apps make money through subscriptions, with different tiers offering additional features for more engagement and better matching potential. The design of these apps, according to the lawsuit, turns users into "addicts" who purchase increasingly expensive subscriptions. A 2023 Pew Research study found that 35% of adults who have used a dating site or app have paid for one.

Tinder, for example, rolled out an "exclusive" Tinder Select membership last year that costs $499 a month, while The League reportedly has a subscription level in the thousands. The lawsuit claims that Match Group's business model depends on generating returns through monopolizing users' attention and fomenting dating app addiction to drive expensive subscriptions and perpetual use.

The lawsuit was filed by six dating app users, and representatives for Match Group have not yet responded to the allegations. Match Group's dating apps in the U.S. include Tinder, Hinge, and others.

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