Tinder is the latest app to join the growing revolt against the fees charged by app stores, with the launch of a new payment process that bypasses the Google Play Store.
Tinder’s new default payment process skips the Google Play Store by requiring users to enter their credit card information directly into the dating app, Bloomberg reported, citing Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter. Once users have entered their payment information on Tinder, the app will not only remember the details, but will also remove the option to route payments through the Google Play Store.
“This is a huge difference,” Schachter said in an interview. The Google Play Store is an “incredibly high-margin business for Google” that rakes in billions of dollars, Schachter added.
Some developers decided to skip listing their apps on the Google Play Store so that they would not have to give back the standard 30% fee. This is what Epic Games did with Fortnite Mobile, as the massively popular battle royale shooter was distributed through its own website. Meanwhile, some companies such as Netflix and Spotify have removed the option to access subscriptions through their Android apps. This makes people sign up for memberships through their websites, where Google will not be able to take a share.
Tinder’s move is a different case, as the app remains listed on the Google Play Store but in open defiance of its requirements. The dating app may be banking on the hope that the Google Play Store will not take down a massively popular app despite the obvious rebellion.
Tinder, as well as the other apps and services that have bypassed app store fees to Google and Apple, are simply seeking to make more money from in-app purchases and subscriptions. While the 30% that Google and Apple collect halves to 15% after the first year after an app’s launch, that is still a sizable chunk of the income that developers are losing to app store fees.
We’ll have to wait and see whether Google does something about Tinder’s new payment process. If no sanctions are made, this may break the ice for other apps and services to do the same, which will result in lost income for the Google Play Store.