Tinder swipes left on the metaverse! Dating app pulls out of virtual reality meetings, bids farewell to CEO a year after reporting a $10 million second-quarter loss — representing a $1.7 billion buyout of VR — tech startup and dwindling users
- Tinder pulls back from its efforts to expand into the metaverse
- The online dating company recently reported an operating loss of $10 million
- The metaverse, promoted by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, may include virtual reality and augmented reality
- ‘Uncertainty’ about what the much-hyped metaverse will actually turn out to be means caution is warranted, according to Match Group CEO Bernard Kim
Dating app Tinder has a message for the metaverse: it’s not you, it’s me.
The company is slashing its bet to move into the much-acclaimed virtual reality realm as it struggles with an operating loss of $10 million in its most recent financial quarter.
In February 2021, Match Group bought South Korean company Hyperconnect for more than $1.7 billion. At the time, top executives touted the purchase as one that would see Match Group’s various dating apps slide into DMs of the future metaverse thanks to Hyperconnect’s live video and chat technologies.
The metaverse, which has been pushed heavily by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other Silicon Valley moguls, could include virtual reality and also augmented reality that would combine aspects of the physical and digital worlds.
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Tinder is slashing its bet to enter the virtual reality world as it suffered a $10 million operating loss in its most recent financial quarter
Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg is leaving the company just a year after taking the job. Pictured above is her resignation letter from LinkedIn
Bernard Kim, CEO of Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, praised how that metaverse technology has been incorporated into some of the company’s non-Tinder apps, but also said “uncertainty” about what the much-hyped metaverse will actually turn out to be. is commanded.
“I believe a metaverse dating experience is important to capture the next generation of users, and Hyperconnect has innovated in this area,” Kim wrote in a shareholder letter dated Tuesday.
“Given the uncertainty of the final contours of the metaverse and what will or will not work, as well as the more challenging work environment, I have instructed the Hyperconnect team to reiterate, but not invest heavily in metaverse at this time.
What is the metaverse?
The ‘metaverse’ is a collection of virtual spaces where you can game, work and interact with others who are not in the same physical space as you.
Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg has been a leading voice on the concept, which is seen as the future of the internet and is said to blur the line between physical and digital.
“You can hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create, and more,” says Meta.
“It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you spend online more meaningful.”
While Meta is in charge with the metaverse, it explained that it is not a single product that one company can build.
“Like the Internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not,” it added.
“And it’s not built overnight. Many of these products will not be fully realized until the next 10-15 years.’
“We will continue to carefully evaluate this space and we will consider moving forward at the appropriate time when we have more clarity about the overall opportunity and feel we have a service well positioned to succeed.”
The financial loss is especially surprising as Kim boasted of strong growth in revenue and user base across Match’s various platforms, including Match.com, Hinge, Plentyoffish and OkCupid.
Still, attracting new users during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, as Kim said engagement continues to be greater with existing users than with new ones.
The expensive purchase of Hyperconnect dragged the company further down, despite allegedly helping Match enter the supposedly lucrative Asia-Pacific market.
“There is no doubt that buying Hyperconnect while the world was at a standstill due to COVID, slowed integration and our ability to work together to drive their growth,” Kim acknowledged.
Just a few paragraphs later, Kim announced that at least one match wasn’t made in heaven after all. Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg is leaving the company just a year after taking the position of chief executive.
“I’ve loved every moment of the past two years, working with an INCREDIBLE team on the magic of human connection,” Nyborg said in a post on LinkedIn.
Until a replacement is found, Kim said he and a team of executives will oversee the day-to-day operations of the popular dating app, which has more than 10 million paying users.
“I have enjoyed… working with an INCREDIBLE team on the magic of human connection,” said Renate Nyborg, seen above, in a post on LinkedIn
Match’s reluctance to be fully involved in the metaverse is just the latest indication that not all is merry in the virtual realm.
In October, tech mogul Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company Facebook would henceforth be called Meta.
In a lengthy video, he outlined his goal of developing the social media platform into a full-fledged virtual world that coexists with and overlaps with the physical world – eventually a space for up to a billion people.
But last week, that grand vision hit a big deal. In an earnings call, Zuckerberg said there may be staff cuts after sales fell for the first time in the company’s history and is expected to fall further in the next financial quarter.