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Tinder CEO Faye Iosotaluno on dating app culture

Feb 12, 2024
Photo illustration of Faye Iosotaluno on a picnic table patterned background.

Faye Iosotaluno. Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Courtesy of Match Group

The recently appointed CEO of Tinder says she wants the dating app to appeal to everyone, including her Gen Alpha children when they're of age. She dined with Kerry last week for our "1 big meal" interview series.

Why it matters: Faye Iosotaluno was promoted to CEO last month. She joined Match Group in 2017, previously serving as CSO. She was named COO of Tinder in 2022. Prior, she worked at SoundCloud, Viacom, Warner Bros. and Time Warner. She started her career at Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch.

🕑 Why we chose the restaurant: Corner Bistro in the West Village. Iosotaluno says that during her 20s she and her husband "spent many 2am nights here ... [with] burgers and beers and a total New York vibe."

🍔 What we ate: She ate a Bistro Mini (quarter-pound bacon cheeseburger), medium rare and drank iced coffee. I ate grilled cheese with bacon and a side of tots and drank hot coffee.

This interview was edited for clarity, style and length.

What's been your career highlight at Match Group?

  • "Mandy Ginsberg was the first female CEO that I'd ever had in my career. ... It's made me feel very honored and privileged ... to be that example for how a woman can rise up in consumer tech. ... The Tinder leadership team is now more than 70% female, which I think is incredibly important [when] building a product that has to appeal to everybody, in particular women."

Tinder is for everyone?

  • "We really do believe Tinder is for everyone who is looking for a real connection. ... Whether you're straight, gay, bisexual, transgender, Tinder should be a place for you. That means recognizing the experience has to be dynamic."

What role does AI play?

  • "AI is not new to Tinder. We've been using AI and machine learning for years on the trust and safety side. ... You can imagine that in the recommendation perspective, as well."
  • "Making profiles is hard. In [beta] right now, we have photo selector. ... It's using what we know about photos that perform well on Tinder to help recommend photos that I should consider."

What's your biggest challenge as CEO?

  • "The challenge and a huge opportunity is the continued focus on Gen Z and with Gen Alpha. ... [My 8- and 10-year-old daughters] are growing up in a completely different environment than when Tinder first [started]."
  • "[Gen Z is] much more into lower-pressure ways of forming relationships, getting to know somebody. Online dating is still very linear. ... Maybe they want to connect on an interest first and foremost."

Tinder makes most of its money from users. Do you see other opportunities?

  • "I think [subscriptions] will continue to be the bread and butter of the business."

Are dating apps good for society? I've heard despair from some Gen Zers.

  • "I think the world is better off with Tinder than without. I think you're raising a broader point about Gen Z and technology. ... Part of what I'm trying to do is make sure that when my kids are on Tinder it's the kind of experience that they're proud to be on."

🇳🇿 1 fun fact: Iosotaluno went bungee jumping, for the first time, in New Zealand two weeks before she was publicly named Tinder CEO.

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