Last August Fortnite made a bold decision to remove its app from Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store. They did this to avoid paying 15-30% of revenue generated from users who downloaded the app in either marketplace. By doing this Fortnite forced users to download the app directly from their site, thus bypassing commission payments to Apple and Google. Since then Netflix followed suit by pulling its app from both marketplaces, and Spotify filed a complaint with the EU over the App Store commissions they were forced to pay Apple.
Now Tinder is joining the movement of publishers who are pulling their app from Google’s Play Store. As an alternative the online dating site launched a new default payment process that skips Google Play and forces users to enter their credit card details straight into Tinder’s app. Once a user has entered their payment information, the app not only remembers it, but also removes the choice to swap back to Google Play for future purchases.
Like Fortnite and Netflix before them, Tinder is betting on the popularity of their app and users’ willingness to find them on the web instead of stopping their search in the Play Store. This also sets up a potential domino effect for Apple and Google – because for every publisher who successfully frees themselves from app marketplace dependency, more publishers are sure to follow.