Author: Kate Clark

Tinder now has 4.1M paying users, expects $800M in revenue this year

Facebook Dating is no challenger to Tinder-owner Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), which posted third-quarter earnings per share of 44 cents on Tuesday.

The company, which owns several brands of internet dating services, including Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid and PlentyOfFish, surpassed analyst’s forecasted revenue of $437 million, reporting Q3 revenue of $444 million, a 29 percent increase year-over-year.

Match says it expects to bring in a total of $1.72 billion in annual revenue.

Despite positive earnings, the company’s 4Q outlook failed to satisfy Wall Street. Match said it expects between $440 and $450 million in revenue in Q4, falling short of the $454.5 million analysts’ estimate. Shares of Match sank 10 percent in after-hours trading as a result.

Year-to-date, Match’s stock is up roughly 60 percent.

Tinder, the location-based mobile dating application, continues to be Match’s growth engine, responsible for roughly half its paid users and half its projected annual revenue. Match’s total number of paid subscribers came in at 8.1 million, up from 7.7 million in Q2 and a 23 percent increase YoY. Much of that growth comes from Tinder Gold, Tinder’s premium subscription tier that lets users see who’s already liked them without doing any swiping. Overall, Tinder’s paying user base is up to 4.1 million from 3.8 million the previous quarter.

Tinder is expected to bring in $800 million in revenue in 2018.

Hinge, another app-based dating service acquired by Match in June, is on its way up. Match says it’s seen a 5x increase in downloads since it first invested.

Match also announced that it would, for the first time, issue a special cash dividend of $2.00 per share on Match Group common stock and Class B common stock, to be paid out on December 19.

Match continues to be on the prowl for strategic M&A opportunities, said its chief executive officer Mandy Ginsberg in a statement.

“[We] have the financial flexibility to acquire companies when we find innovative products with long-term potential,” she said.

The company has reportedly attempted to acquire Tinder-competitor Bumble on more than one occasion, though the nasty legal battle playing out between the dating powerhouses makes that combination unlikely. Most recently, Bumble said it was dropping its $400 million lawsuit against Match, which had claimed Match fraudulently obtained trade secrets during acquisition talks. Bumble may refile that suit at the state level.

Dallas-based Match is owned by IAC, which will itself report earnings tomorrow after the closing bell.

Joe Biden is headed to IGTV

What better way to reach millennial voters ahead of a 2020 presidential run than through Instagram?

Joe Biden, in partnership with ATTN:, will host a 10-episode series streaming on IGTV beginning September 12. In reality, he has yet to confirm a presidential run; the partnership, rather, is meant to help combat digital misinformation in an era of “fake news.” 

The show, called “Here’s the Deal,” will air weekly until the midterm elections on November 6. Each episode will hit on big issues, including gun safety, education, infrastructure and healthcare.

“Folks, with less than 100 days until the most consequential election of our lifetimes, we’ve got to keep our eye on the ball,” Biden says in the announcement, adding that the show will not have “complicated, policy-wonk language or acronyms. Just facts — at least as I see them.”

Biden had just come off of an Instagram hiatus when digital media startup ATTN: announced the news. On Saturday, former President Barack Obama posted this nice tribute, welcoming Biden back to Instagram. 

In a bid to compete with YouTube, Instagram launched IGTV at the end of June. The new feature lets users upload vertical videos of up to one hour in length.

Pinterest reports 25% increase in monthly active users

Two hundred and fifty million people are using Pinterest every month, up from 200 million last September, according to new numbers the company shared this morning. The visual search giant is also reporting that more than half of its users and 80 percent of new sign-ups come from outside the U.S.

Pins,” or items saved to the site, are growing, too. There are now 175 billion of them, a 75 percent increase YoY.

To facilitate that growth, Pinterest has been on a hiring spree. It now has more than 1,500 employees, a 32 percent increase from last year.

The company has secured more than $1 billion in venture capital funding, most recently raising $150 million at a $12.3 billion valuation. Many expected it would make its highly anticipated public debut in early 2018, but that ship has sailed at this point. Now, reports indicate Pinterest is looking at a mid-2019 IPO and expects to reach $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time.

Those numbers should help it garner support on Wall Street, as will this nugget: The part of Pinterest that includes items for purchase on retailer sites is the fastest growing part of the platform, up 115 percent in the last year. The company’s key sell to VCs has been that its visual search tool converts users to buyers, but with Instagram going full speed ahead as an e-commerce platform, it will take data points like that one to convince investors it’s worthy of that $12.3 billion valuation.

Pinterest has been busy expanding as it presumably gears up for an IPO. In March, it introduced the following tab, where users could view only the content from brands and people they follow. It also added the Pinterest Propel program as part of an effort to create more local content for its users. And it implemented full-screen video ads to beef up its advertising options — an area where it competes directly with Facebook and Google.