Tinder CEO Renate Nyborg is on a mission to make the dating app more welcoming for women
Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Google figures out how to bring its workforce back to the office, Jill Biden will embark on her second solo trip, and CEO Renate Nyborg is trying to make Tinder a more welcoming place for women. Have a great Wednesday.
– The right swipe. The business of online dating has been headed by prominent women, from Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd to Match Group CEOs Mandy Ginsberg and Shar Dubey. But it wasn’t until recently that the biggest dating app, Tinder, could add its own executive to that list.
In late 2021, the company promoted Renate Nyborg, who previously ran its European, Middle East, and Africa business, to the CEO job, making her the first woman to hold the role in Tinder’s 10-year history. I spent the past several months getting to know Nyborg and learning about her vision for the dating app. Hours of conversation culminated in the first profile of Nyborg since she took the top job.
As I write in the story, Nyborg seems to have sprung fully formed from the brain of the company’s brand marketing team. Not only does her resume include stints as both a startup founder and executive at major corporations, including Apple, but she even met her husband on Tinder six years ago. With a global perspective, she can see past Tinder’s reputation in the U.S. as a sometimes hostile place for women users and, at one point, employees (see: Wolfe Herd’s lawsuit). Though the app was originally buoyed by millennials, Nyborg is now rebuilding primarily for Gen Z, its rising share of LGBTQ+ users, and a more global audience.
Improving the user experience for women on the app has been a key focus for the CEO who set out to understand what women disliked about the platform. Her team found that as much as women had concerns about in-real-life safety, they also wanted Tinder to simply feel fun. In response, Tinder is rolling out new features like “swipe party,” which allows users who don’t have Tinder accounts to swipe with their friends who do.
Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, is similarly in a transitory period. CEO Shar Dubey will step down at the end of the month; her successor is Bernard Kim, an outside hire from the gaming company Zynga. His appointment reflects where the company sees its future growth stemming from: gaming, Web3, and other emerging technologies. After first fixing the app’s fundamental issues—women’s experiences on the platform—these strategic pivots may be on the horizon for Tinder as well.
Read my full profile, here, for more on Nyborg’s personal story—from the family tragedy that shaped her outlook on life to meeting her future husband on her first day on the app. As Nyborg says of Tinder: “People are just looking for a sense of connection.”
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ON MY RADAR
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What will it take for momfluencers to speak up about abortion rights? The Cut
Jemima Kirke is finished playing herself Harper’s Bazaar
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