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Happy Valentine's Day: How Tinder profits off of your love

What's better than finding someone to love for millions of single people all over the world? Making millions of dollars while doing it. Free mobile online dating app Tinder wasn't designed to be a money maker. In fact, the online service didn't even have a revenue model just a few months ago, according to Forbes. 

That all changed when Sean Rad, Tinder's CEO and cofounder, announced the Tinder premium service at a summit in Philadelphia this past October. The new offering is meant to give paying members of Tinder a few extra abilities. 

What is Tinder Plus?
For anyone new to the online dating scene, Tinder allows users to scroll through a list of pictures and descriptions of nearby singles in hopes of finding a match in the area. That free service won't be tampered with. Instead, the pay-to-use Tinder Plus service puts two highly requested features into the hands of users, according to the company.

First, the new service adds on an "undo" option. If you accidentally swipe left, forever deleting a potential match from your Tinder searching, you can now click a button to take back your last swipe. 

The second feature is called Passport. Originally, Tinder used GPS and your current location to find people around you that were also using the service. Essentially, you'd be confined to your surroundings only. With Passport, you can pull up a map, drop a pinpoint and start finding matches and people to chat with almost anywhere on Earth. For users planning vacations to far away destinations, you can find potential contacts well in advance and find out what locals think you should do during your trip. 

How much money are they making?
The subscription-based service is intended to reel in some big bucks for the company that once stayed afloat with virtually no revenue plan before. If Tinder's parent company Barry Diller's IAC/InterActive Corp. is making accurate predictions, Tinder Plus may bring in as much as $75 million in 2015.

Roughly four months after the freemium service has been rolled out, Tinder has largely stayed quiet about how much money the new offering is making. That may be because the company is also planning to reveal more money-making add-ons in the future. Forbes suggested the Passport and Undo features are just the first in a series of enhancements meant to entice users and help Tinder make a little cash.

If there's any story that proves making money online is trickier than it seems, it's the story of Tinder. Romantics across the world use the service on a regular basis, but that doesn't mean monetizing the app is a piece of cake. The creative minds behind the dating service are constantly playing a balancing act that satisfies users with a free service on one side and keeps investors happy on the other. Whereas a subscription model would certainly open a big revenue stream, Tinder has to worry about keeping active users on the service and attracting more customers at the same time.

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