Dating or “hooking up” has taken a completely different turn ever since the current physical distancing measures were put into practice. The effect of the lockdown measures is clear. Generally, people are feeling lonelier and more depressed than ever. This caused a significant shift in how people use online dating apps. A major dating app, Tinder, has reported a significant increase in the number of users and the time they spent on the app. This has made 2020 the busiest year for most dating websites and hookup apps.
However, these apps rely entirely on helping people connect with other matches so that they can meet in person. This proposes an important question, how did these apps manage to adjust to the pandemic?
To reach a deeper understanding of dating apps’ transformation due to the COVID-19 crisis, we had to study more than 20 dating apps, their social media presence, as well as their broader media broadcasting. The findings show how these big dating companies have adjusted more than one strategy to adapt to the pandemic including video calling, chatting, and health and wellness campaigns. Let’s go over the changes these dating apps implemented to adapt to COVID-19 in more detail.
The Growth of Dating Apps During the Pandemic
Dating apps have witnessed a huge success during the COVID-19 crisis as per more than 45 dating app brands. One parent company, Match Group, has reported a 15 percent increase in its new subscribers for the second quarter of the first year of the pandemic compared to the pre-COVID-19 period. If you don’t know, Match Group is responsible for some of the biggest dating apps including Hinge, OkCupid, Tinder, and Match. At the same time, freedating UK apps like Feeld have reported a 50 percent increase in their year-over-year registrations and a 120% rise in the number of messages sent during March and April alone. This growth initiates a different and much more successful era for hookup apps thanks to the pandemic situation.
How Video Calls Contribute to the Dating Process
Video chats and calls play a big role in how dating apps are adapting to the pandemic. That being said, many dating companies have launched a video chat feature to help their users communicate in a more performative way. While most people find video calls rather exhausting these days, they’re seen as an escape from the pandemic on the dating side and for people who are active on hookup apps. Although some might find it a big leap considering people only use these apps to get to know each other. Usually, the video chat feature is used with people with who you share a level of intimacy with such as friends and family members. So, it’s understandable for some people to reject the idea of virtually inviting strangers into their homes after only texting them for a few days. However, for the most part, video chats offer a rather unfiltered view of those who use them to connect with their online dates. They allow people to communicate more naturally without the awkwardness of first dates.
Health-Related Communications After the Pandemic
As with many other tech products, both paid dating services, and free hookup apps have developed new methods to announce the latest governmental health and wellness updates. This is seen in the new pop-up messages featured on these apps as a new way of informing users to avoid meeting in person. These messages are also used to guide people to the safest techniques on how they can engage with each other online. Other dating apps like Tinder were creative enough to include public service announcements from the provincial governments in their swipe screens. Online dating UK apps were also able to raise awareness toward the risks of quick hookups recommending users to wait instead of meeting in person right away.
Communicating Feelings of Isolation and Loneliness
Another way these dating apps have adapted to COVID-19 is by addressing feelings of fear and loneliness to promote community-building and motivate their users during these hard times. Hundreds of dating advice sessions, speed dating events, concerts, and other online events were held on grand apps and websites like Coffee Meets Bagel, Lex, Grindr, HER, and Bumble. Meanwhile, dating sites UK companies were able to foster self-care habits and promote a good cooperative spirit among their users on social media. For example, we’ve seen many encouraging posts from major dating apps emphasizing the importance of self-care and healthy isolation as users continue dating during COVID.
Normalizing Virtual Dating
Dating during COVID took a completely new and different form thanks to the great efforts exerted by the most popular dating apps. Starting from free video services to videoconferencing software offered by online dating websites like Match, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, Jack’d, and Bumble. These companies are now encouraging users to engage in all sorts of online exchanges and activities that can be performed while physical distancing. Some online dating UK apps even urged their users to opt for traditional text messaging and old-fashioned telephone calls in order to get the most out of the experience while being socially responsible. While other apps like Tinder allowed their users to use the passport feature for free so that they can find dates on a global level.
The Impact of Market Segmentation
Dating sites UK companies are moving in the direction of creating enriching meeting places where niche audiences can engage with each other. For example, a freedating UK website called Feeld can now recognize more than 20 sexuality options and gender identities, it also allows its people to share intimate experiences through cores created by the app to host community members. Other global dating apps and companies are drawn to the same direction of market segmentation as well with new features that let their users participate in group chats, send expiring pictures, and select their romantic desires.
Dating apps and websites were able to turn the disastrous situation to their favor, as well in the users’ favor. Many of the paid and free hookup apps out there managed to come up with creative communication strategies to allow their users to keep dating during COVID-19. Users can now participate in online dating events and concerts that help bring everyone together as well as simplify the process of finding the perfect match.
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