• Tinder-owner Match Group said it's taking a step back from its investment in the metaverse.
  • The change comes less than one year after Match Group detailed plans for new metaverse ventures, including "Single Town." 
  • Match Group is pulling back at a time when enthusiasm for the metaverse appears to be cooling. 

Tinder-owner Match Group said Tuesday it's taking a step back from its investment in the metaverse, citing economic uncertainty and questions about "what will or won't work" in the metaverse. 

In a letter to shareholders, Match Group CEO Bernard Kim said he instructed the employees not to "invest heavily in the metaverse at this time." 

Less than one year ago, Match Group, which owns several online dating platforms, including Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid, had discussed plans for "Single Town," a live virtual world in the metaverse in which single people could interact via their avatars. Match's CEO at the time, Shar Dubey, had said that though the experience was still in its early stages, it could eventually be its own standalone app. TechCrunch had previously reported on Match Group's metaverse ambitions. 

But the current macroeconomic picture and slower growth have caused Match to hold off on plans to further expand "Single Town" and other metaverse ventures, according to the company. 

Match Group declined to provide a comment for this story. 

Match Group's step back from the metaverse comes when enthusiasm for web3 and the metaverse show some signs of cooling. Bloomberg reports that job postings with "metaverse" in the title declined 81% between April and June. Additionally, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has warned that the company's metaverse venture will lose "significant" sums of money for the next several years, and some products won't be ready for 15 years. 

Match Group is one of a growing list of companies trying to balance the realities of today, including inflation and a possible recession, with the promise of the metaverse's future. 

"We will consider moving forward at the appropriate time when we have more clarity on the overall opportunity and feel we have a service that is well-positioned to succeed," Match's CEO said of the company's metaverse ventures in his shareholder letter. 

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