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❤️ Dating apps are getting funky

The Hustle

Online dating. Love it or hate it, a lot of us do it. We wanna hear your thoughts on the matter. Let us know in this 19-second survey.

In today’s email:

  • Dating apps: Moving beyond the swipe.
  • BMW: $18/mo. for heated seats?
  • Morgan Housel shares three things pessimists ignore.
  • Around the Web: Models of Mars, the man who discovered the T. rex, and more interesting internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s quick podcast to hear Jacob and Juliet discuss the future of ads on Netflix and the failures of online dating, plus how all kinds of companies are getting creative with digital love.

The big idea
holding a heart on a string

The unbundling of online dating

As it turns out, helping people find their soulmate while taking a sh*t was truly innovative.

Today, a third of new marriages start on an app. Match Group says 16.3m people pay for its premium services.

Monetizing the potential for love has proven lucrative, but many people struggle with the now-classic online formats.

Dating apps…

… tout high user and match counts, but the chances of AI successfully finding you lasting love are slim.

  • Prior to covid, 30% of US adults tried their hand at online dating. Yet, 28% of US households are now single-person, up from 13% in 1960.

What about the promise of “swiping right” for love? No wonder dating apps have worse customer satisfaction than airlines and cable providers.

But all this scale…

… has presented an opportunity for new, niche offerings.

Take Lox Club, a private dating app “for Jews with ridiculously high standards… designed to feel like a speakeasy hidden within an old school deli.” Thousands use it for $96 a year.

  • Lox Club offers human matchmaking services, a feature of increasing focus in the space at large.

Match started offering human matchmaking in November for $4.99 a week, and Ambyr Club, which launched last year, organizes in-person events for small matchmaker-chosen groups.

Countless other apps…

… are being built around unique takes on the classic feed.

The blessing and curse for these apps will be their networks. Too big? Cliche. Too small? Not enough options.

The other challenge with dating apps, as has been the case for a decade, will be getting people to actually go on dates.

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Fully inflated: US consumer inflation rose to 9.1% in June, the highest rate in 40 years. Core prices, not including food and energy, jumped 5.9% YoY. Analysts believe the Federal Reserve may raise the benchmark interest rate by more than 0.75 percentage points later this month.

BFFs: Netflix named Microsoft as its partner for its upcoming ad-supported service. After forecasting a loss of 2m subscribers in Q2, the company has finally embraced the low-cost, ad-based model.

TikTok introduced a new content rating system called “Content Levels” in an effort to make the app safer for younger users. The system will classify content on the app in a similar way to the age rating system used for movies.

Onward: Ev Williams stepped down as CEO of Medium, and will be replaced by Tony Stubblebine, CEO of Williams previously co-founded Blogger and Twitter, and will remain chairman of the board while pursuing other projects.

App time: Linktree, a leading link-in-bio service, announced a new mobile app that will let users manage their profiles without having to log in to a browser.

We’re offering $75 off Trends, plus entry into an entrepreneurial giveaway. We’re doing it big for the next 100 members with prizes like a one-hour call with The Hustle founder Sam Parr, a HubSpot CRM bundle, and a MacBook Pro.

BMW subscription model

Automakers are falling in love with subscriptions

Sometimes what seems like a genius pricing strategy can be a royal pain in the a** for customers.

“Feature gating” has been a staple of B2B software pricing strategy for years.

On the consumer side, video games like “World of Warcraft” and “Fortnite” monetize through microtransactions of digital goods or for access to new features in games that you already own.

Now the auto world wants in

Automakers are increasingly gating features, too, requiring car owners to pay subscription fees to access certain functions.

BMW recently made waves for offering access to several features, like heated seats, through paid monthly subscriptions.

Tesla did this, too, when it launched a monthly subscription for full self-driving functionality last year.

Automakers are also offering other kinds of subscription packages:

  • In 2017, Porsche launched a subscription service giving drivers access to a range of vehicles for $2k+ per month.
  • In 2020, Volvo launched an all-in-one subscription service that included rental fees, service, maintenance, and in-car wifi.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone is happy about this.

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Free Resource

The 2022 inbound marketing trends report

Inbound marketing = creating valuable content to attract your audience.

As we speak, you suffer through our inbound marketing schemes. Sorry. We try to share marketing-related resources that make a difference — and this one right here is the chief. Commander in chieftain. Big cheese.

This year, HubSpot teamed up with Litmus, Rock Content, and Wistia to keep the world up to date on everything inbound marketing. Together, they corralled the highlights from 1.6k+ professionals worldwide.

Topics in the 2022 State of Marketing report:

  • Emerging and future trends
  • B2B and B2C trends
  • Social media marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Digital advertising

Skimming is encouraged. As is sharing it with your people.

Inbound marketing master insights →
Morgan's Musings

Three big things pessimists tend to ignore

Despite the record of things getting better for most people most of the time, pessimism isn’t just more common than optimism — it also sounds smarter.

It’s intellectually captivating, and draws more attention than the optimist who often looks oblivious.

Optimism sounds like a sales pitch, while pessimism sounds like someone trying to help you.

Especially nowadays…

… when bad news is so rampant. But there are three big things the seduction of pessimism tends to ignore:

  1. Being an optimist doesn’t mean you think everything will be great. It means you think things will work out in the long-run, even if the short-run is a constant chain of setbacks, surprises, hassles, and challenges.
  2. People adapt. If you extend every negative trend indefinitely into the future, things look terrible. If instead you assume that every negative trend sparks a new innovation, an incentive to do things differently, and a signal that a problem needs more attention, it’s less daunting — even exciting. Every good thing you now enjoy came from a bad thing that someone wanted to fix.
  3. Bad news tends to happen fast, while good news moves slowly. There are no overnight miracles, but lots of overnight tragedies. Over time, the good news tends to be more powerful than the bad, but the speed at which they occur assures that bad news gets more attention than it deserves.
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🇫🇷 On this day: In 1789, the French Revolution kicked off with the storming of the Bastille prison. Bastille Day is now celebrated annually in France.

🔴 That’s cool: AreoBrowser lets you view 3D models of Mars in your browser.

🔧 Useful: When your favorite website, service, or app is down, check out Downdetector to see its estimated fix time.

🦖 That’s interesting: The sad story of Barnum Brown, the man who discovered the T. rex.

🐻 Aww: And now, bears at the pool.

dating app meme

Iykyk. (Source:

How did you like today’s email?
Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “I swiped right” Dent.

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