By Jonathan Davies

The popular dating app Tinder has announced plans to charge older people more to use the service.

Tinder's move to introduce premium features was widely expected, but it also announced that people over the age of 28 in the UK will pay four times as much as people under the age.

In the US, over 30s will pay twice as much as their younger counterparts.

The move faced huge criticism on social media but Tinder defended its plans.

"We've priced Tinder Plus based on a combination of factors, including what we've learned through our testing, and we've found that these price points were adopted very well by certain age demographics," said a spokesperson.

"Lots of products offer differentiated price tiers by age, like Spotify does for students, for example.

"Tinder is no different; during our testing we've learned, not surprisingly, that younger users are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained and need a lower price to pull the trigger."

Users aged between 18 and 27 will be charged £3.99 a month for 'Tinder Plus', but those 28 and over face paying £14.99 to fulfill their swiping needs.

In the US, the basic rate is $9.99 (£6.50) with over 28s paying $19.99 (£13).

Tinder has become one of the most popular dating apps since it launched in 2012. It uses Facebook profiles to present photos and key information about its members. Users then swipe left or right depending on whether or not they like someone. Two members can only message each other if they both choose to 'like' the other.

Entrepreneur Paul Kedrosky, writer of the Infectious Greed blog, said: "It's true that Microsoft, for example, sells its Office software to university students for considerably less than it sells it to corporations - and it justifies that on an ability to pay.

"But that seems highly unlikely to be the same case here.

"It seems more likely it's a way to get the [younger] demographic that Tinder wants on the service, and using price as a way to create a barrier to others.

"I just think it's - for want of a better word - sleazy."