LOVE in the time of coronavirus would seem to pose challenges galore, and yet, analysis shows dating apps are booming in lockdown.
Amidst global lockdowns and quarantine orders from Covid-19, figures show consumers are turning to dating apps as never before.
Looking at US market giant Tinder alone – where you swipe left on a profile if you dislike, and swipe right to like – it has just revealed its busiest day since it launched in 2012 was March 29, with more than than 3 billion swipes globally.
It tweaked its service for lockdown?
Tinder made its ‘passport’ feature free for all users around the world on March 26. This feature allows users to hop on to different countries virtually and chat with other people on Tinder, rather than those in their own country alone.
At peak times in March and April, dating app Bumble experienced strong growth in data used per session on Android phones by as much as 40%, compared to the weekly average during Jan 2020, as users send more messages and conversations go on much longer in lockdown.
Hinge also saw 20% growth in weekly active users, while speed-dating app, Filter Off, reports a 7,000% increase in user traffic in less than a month.
Dating apps were already big business?
According to mobile data and analytics platform App Annie, dating apps raked in $2.2 billion in consumer spend in 2019.
They are now pivoting to offer new virtual dating opportunities. As well as Tinder’s passport expansion Facebook has incorporated a new video-messaging option for users of their Facebook Dating feature, while Hinge has introduced a new button that lets users indicate they’re ready for a video date.
So in a world that has likely seen the end of even the simple handshake…
…virtual dating is thriving.
Candlelit dinners on laptops?
Are among the options, but virtual dating is being expanded by some of the apps to offer a variety of ‘dating’ experiences.
The online marketplace which usually lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests is diversifying amid the pandemic, teaming up with dating app Bumble to trial virtual first date experiences. These include attending virtual jazz clubs, tarot card readings and wine classes.
One date set a record?
Swiss dating app, Once, which has introduced virtual date tools for its 9 million users, says most dates last an average of 12 minutes, but one – between two Parisians – lasted 11 hours and four minutes.
Once chief executive, Clémentine Lalande, said: “All dating codes are being reinvented right now. A third of singles are convinced that the social distancing experienced today will radically change the way they meet in the future.”
And if you don’t personally want to online date?
You could always tune into Netflix’s ‘Love Is Blind’, where pairs of Americans fall in love inside self-isolating pods before they have met each other in person. It has also spawned an internet follow-up, Love Is Quarantine, on Instagram, where singles are matched up in virtual ‘pods’ and connected to have phone dates.