Listen to this article now

Ah, dating apps – the modern way to find love (or at least a decent hookup). But have you ever stopped to wonder where they came from? Who had the idea to swipe right or left in order to find a mate? Well, fear not my friend, for I am here to give you a brief history of dating apps in the United States.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The first dating app (if you can even call it that) was created in 1965 by Harvard students Jeff Tarr and Vaughan Morrill. It was called “Operation Match” and used a questionnaire to match users based on their interests. The questionnaire was then fed into a computer and voila! Your perfect match was revealed. It was a hit on college campuses, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that online dating really took off.

In 1995, was born. It was one of the first dating websites and it allowed users to create a profile and browse other users’ profiles. It was a game-changer for the online dating world and paved the way for future dating apps. But it wasn’t until the advent of smartphones that dating apps really took off.

In 2012, Tinder was launched and it revolutionized the dating app game. It allowed users to swipe left or right on potential matches based solely on their profile pictures. It was easy, it was fun, and it quickly became the go-to app for young people looking for love (or lust). Other apps quickly followed suit, including Bumble, Hinge, and OkCupid.

So who are the major players in the United States dating app scene? Well, let’s take a look.

Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps in the United States. It’s known for its simple interface and its “swipe right” feature. It’s a great app for hookups and casual dating, but it’s not necessarily the best app for finding a long-term relationship.


Bumble is a little different from Tinder. It still allows users to swipe left or right, but it’s up to the woman to make the first move. It’s a great app for women who are tired of being bombarded with creepy messages from men. It’s also a great app for finding meaningful relationships, as it encourages users to build more than just a physical connection.


Hinge is a newer dating app, but it’s quickly gaining popularity. It’s designed to be more “relationship-focused” than other apps, and it requires users to fill out a detailed profile. It also encourages users to connect with each other through shared interests and experiences.


OkCupid is one of the oldest dating websites, but it’s still going strong. It uses a complex algorithm to match users based on their answers to a long list of questions. It’s a great app for people who are looking for more than just a physical connection, as it allows users to get to know each other on a deeper level.

Of course, there are many other dating apps out there, each with its own unique features and user base. But these four apps are some of the most popular and widely used in the United States.

But the dating app world isn’t just about finding love. It’s also a business, and that means there’s been plenty of mergers and acquisitions over the years. Here’s a look at who owns whom in the dating app world:

Match Group is the biggest player in the dating app world. It’s a publicly traded company that owns a number of dating apps, including Tinder,, OkCupid, and Hinge. Match Group has made a number of acquisitions over the years, including PlentyOfFish in 2015 for $575 million, and a majority stake in Hinge in 2018. Match Group even tried to acquire Bumble in 2017 for $450 million, but Bumble rejected the offer and Match Group filed a lawsuit against the company alleging patent infringement. The lawsuit was eventually settled out of court.

Other dating app companies have also been involved in mergers and acquisitions. For example, in 2017, The Meet Group (which owns a number of dating apps, including MeetMe and Skout) acquired if(we), the parent company of dating app brands like Tagged and Hi5.

In 2020, Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, acquired a majority stake in MagicLab, the parent company of Badoo and Bumble. The deal valued MagicLab at $3 billion.

In 2021, Bumble went public in an initial public offering (IPO) and was valued at $13 billion, making it one of the largest tech IPOs in recent years.

So there you have it – a brief overview of the ownership relations in the dating app world. It’s a constantly evolving landscape, with companies buying and selling each other all the time. But one thing is for sure – dating apps are here to stay, and they will continue to shape the way we find love and connections in the digital age.