Young people may have better skin, but old people seemingly have better lawyers.
(And by old, we mean people over 30. Which is a good number of us vultures, admittedly. Truth hurts.)
Anyone using the Tinder dating app for the next few months may find that there is a disproportionate number of more mature lonely-hearts appearing in their screens.
That's because the app maker has agreed to dish out 50 free "super likes" to its estimated 230,000 users aged 30 and over, plus cut a $25 check and offer another 25 super-likes to any old folk that apply.
Super-likes are used by shag-seekers to woo particularly attractive netizens in this crazy 21st century cyber-courting. If you super-like someone, when they see your profile, it is highlighted in blue to let them know you're trying to get their attention. Free accounts can give one a day, paid subscribers can dish out five, and additional ones can cost 99 cents a piece.
But thanks to Tinder trying to apply the modern equivalent of Ladies Night online, the California-based biz has been forced to hand them out like dating candy to settle a lawsuit.
In its unending quest to make money from desperate and/or horny smartphone users, in 2017, Tinder added two "premium" services: Plus and Gold. If you were under 30, the Plus service costs $9.99 a month; if over 30, $10 more: $19.99. The Gold service costs another $4.99 on top of that.
Like paying Facebook for Facebook likes, the service is entirely self-referential: coughing up cash gives you expanded features within the app itself, the ability to use it across the world (the Tinder traveler) and, yes, five "super likes" a day. It turns out you can put a price on loneliness.
But this special old-person pricing did not please one Lisa Kim, who sued the app developer for age discrimination in US federal district court. And while the company's settlement [PDF] sees it admit no wrong, it's not hard to see how literally charging people of a certain age more for the same service falls foul of America's age discrimination laws.
She sued in April last year which led to an all-day arbitration session between Kim's class-action lawyers and the Match Group's legal beagles in November where they thrashed out an agreement.
The actual cost to Tinder-owner Match is only going to be $25 multiplied by the number of old folk who bother to apply for it. It could reach $5.75m if all estimated 230,000 users that are entitled to the payment apply, but on average only five per cent of class action users actually hear about or bother, so it will likely cost the biz less than $300,000.
The rest of the "$23 million" settlement comprises the assumed value of super-likes and one free month of the Plus/Gold service. Plus, of course, Tinder has agreed not to charge older folks more in future.
Which is good news if you're on the lookout and over 30: $25 plus one free month of the premium service, plus a year's worth of super-likes. It won't make any subsequent dates any less uncomfortable but, hey, you take what you can get, right?
There is one group who has scored though: Kim's lawyers will walk away with $1.2m in fees. ®