All dating sites and apps are businesses, and like any other business, they are in it to make money.
But in the end, garbage cash grab or not, it really comes down to the kind of online dating experience you are looking to have. Many people never pay for premium features on dating sites and apps and meet people regardless.
Others have a harder time meeting the right kind of person and pay for premium features in order to increase the likelihood of meeting the right match for them.
Paying for premium features allows you to get matched with what you are looking for a lot quicker because you can tailor what premium features you pay for to fit the kind of partner you are looking for.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending more time on dating sites and apps just socializing and going on the occasional date without any real urgency to meet a particular type of person, paying for premium features on a dating site or app may not be for you.