Google Faces Play Store Challenge From Tinder – Report

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Dating app is latest to challenge app store fees, with payment system that entirely avoids Google Play store

The established order in the world of apps is facing another revolt, with Google this time being challenged by one of the world’s biggest dating apps, Tinder.

Tinder has launched a default payment process that skips Google Play Store entirely, and forces users to enter their credit card data straight into the Tinder app, Bloomberg has reported.

This is yet another major revolt against the established power of the companies behind the two major app stores.

Tinder challenge

Earlier this year music streaming giant Spotify complained to the European Commission that Apple unfairly limits rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service. A second complaint concerned the ‘large fee’ that Apple charges for all purchases via its app store.

At the moment, both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store take up to 30 percent from in-app purchases and subscriptions (this reduces to 15 percent after the first year).

And app developers it seems are increasingly adopting a hostile attitude to these charges.

Tinder has reportedly become the latest, with its default payment process for its Android app, that makes payments directly to Tinder, avoiding the Google Play Store altogether.

However, once users go down this route, they reportedly lose the option to switch back to Google Play.

The owner of Tinder, Match Group, has reportedly told Bloomberg that this is an experiment as the firm “constantly” tests new features and that payment options which “benefit [the users’] experience” were an example of this.

Store revolt

It remains to be seen what Google’s respond to this ‘experiment’ will be, and whether it will opt to pull such a high profile app from its app store.

Apple for example has previously hit back hard at Spotify’s complaint and fiercely criticised Spotify for the small fees it pays to artists, musicians and songwriters.

But Tinder and Spotify are not alone, as both firms have been joined by another company called Epic Games after it announced in August 2018 that it was distributing the Android version of its hugely popular Fortnite game on its own terms.

Essentially, Epic uses its own website and a Fortnite Installer program to distribute the game on all compatible Android devices. Its CEO has previously admitted that this is basically to avoid paying Google’s 30 percent cut on in-app purchases.

This revolt against app store owners is shaping up to be a battle royale in the forthcoming years, with regulators around the world likely to have their opinions and conclusions on the matter.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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