On Friday, users in Russia reported that the dating app Tinder had stopped working. When trying to log into their accounts, they encountered an error message. Furthermore, Tinder is no longer available for download in the Russian App Store and Google Play Store. However, some resourceful users managed to bypass the issue by using VPN services.
In response to the announcement of Tinder’s withdrawal from the country, a group of enthusiasts in Sochi organized a symbolic funeral for the app. Attendees, dressed in mourning attire, laid flowers at an improvised electronic monument and delivered farewell speeches. This event demonstrates the impact that Tinder has had on the dating scene in Russia.
The parent company of Tinder, Match Group, had previously announced its decision to withdraw from the country, citing human rights concerns. In a statement released on May 2, the company said that it is committed to protecting human rights and that its brands are taking steps to restrict access to their services in Russia. The complete withdrawal from the Russian market is set to be completed by June 30, 2023.
Tinder has been a lucrative business in Russia, reportedly earning more than $14 million annually. It was the fifth most popular dating service in the country, with 3.5 million Russian users installing the app in 2022. However, by March 2023, the number of Russian users had dropped to 1.1 million, according to Mediascope. This decline can be attributed to Western sanctions, which restricted the ability to pay for services on the app using bank cards or ApplePay and GooglePay systems. Nonetheless, users were still able to make payments through mobile operators or non-Russian accounts.
In terms of popularity, other dating apps have emerged as leaders in Russia. DrugVokrug was the most popular dating app with over 2.1 million users, followed by Mamba with roughly 2 million users. There were also significant user bases for Fotostrana (1.3 million) and Tabor (1.2 million). These apps have likely benefited from Tinder’s decline.
Interestingly, Russian internet major VKontakte is reportedly developing its own dating application to replace Tinder. The app will be directly linked to the popular social network and could be launched as early as this summer. This shows that there is still demand for dating apps in Russia, and local companies are seeking to capitalize on it.
Tinder’s withdrawal from Russia is part of a growing trend of international businesses leaving the country due to the pressure of Ukraine-related sanctions. Badoo, Bumble, and Fruitz, among others, have also stopped operating in Russia. These businesses face challenges navigating the political and economic landscape created by sanctions.
In conclusion, Tinder has ceased operations in Russia, causing inconvenience for its users. The company’s decision to withdraw from the country reflects its concern for human rights. Meanwhile, Russian users are turning to other dating apps, and local companies are looking to fill the void left by Tinder. The impact of sanctions on international businesses operating in Russia continues to be a significant factor driving these changes.