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The ego boost worked, however: “Seeing who has liked you is kind of wild; it’s completely overwhelming but it was very, interesting.” For 23-year-old writer Dylan, the draw of Grindr Xtra was expanding the radius of potential matches.In New York City, where he’s based, the free version of the location-based app only showed him profiles within a couple of blocks.Last fall, Tinder beat out Candy Crush to become the Apple Store’s top-grossing app after unleashing its Tinder Gold service.And app makers claim it’s worth it: In June, Coffee Meets Bagel co-founder Dawoon Kang told Vice that men who pay the per month for the upgraded version have “a 43 percent higher number of connections (mutual likes) than non-payers” and that conversation lengths increase by 12 percent.A small percent of the people I match with respond or move past a few back and forth messages.” That wasn’t an issue for Molly, a 25-year-old producer in Leeds, England, who paid for Tinder Gold despite never planning to actually meet anyone from the app.“Arguably getting Tinder Gold was basically just a vanity purchase to reassure myself that people would be interested in me if I started using it more seriously,” she says.A week-long trial of Bumble Boost cost her about , which led to a month-long package (about ) and then a three-month package (about ).For Hannah, the biggest benefit was seeing who liked her before making the commitment to like them back.

“Lots of guys that I would not think were into kink were on the app,” she adds.The practice has a long history: Ok Cupid rolled out its A-List feature as early as 2009, before Tinder and Bumble even existed.And what the freemium pricing model did for online games is becoming the strategy used by dating apps today.“[It’s] been helpful in seeing who’s left in the dating pool, adjusting my expectations, and deciding what ‘trade-offs’ I’m willing to make,” she explains. “I definitely decided to match or message with some men I would’ve left-swiped on if I hadn’t known they were interested in me.I think it’s such a fine line — being open to different types of men and giving ‘pink flags’ in profiles the benefit of the doubt, while still listening to your gut and not wasting your time going out with men you’ll never be interested in or are straight-up jerks.” That curiosity is the same reason Wynter, a 33-year-old engineer in Brooklyn, made the leap to Boost.

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