Every year more and more activities are being transferred to the Internet. On the web we communicate, shop, order food, work, do our banking, buy movie tickets and, of course, meet new people.
Internet dating has attracted users right from the very beginning. And with the development of technology, this tendency is becoming more global every year. But something happened that has become a real booster for the online dating industry. And this was the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in 2019, when no one knew or even guessed about Covid-19, experts predicted that by 2024 there would be about 280 million users on online dating. But already we can see that this figure will end up much higher. It’s enough to look at the current statistics to be convinced of this.
Statistics for online dating
In 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic was at its peak in many countries and quarantine restrictions remained very tight, the number of visits to dating sites reached unimaginable heights.
Take a look at the number of visits to popular dating sites in March 2020:
- Badoo — 185.5 million
- POF — 103.8 million
- Tinder — 59.1 million
- Match — 53.8 million
- OkCupid — 34.9 million
Note that this is a list of website visits only. Visits to applications are not counted. This means that for many popular services, these numbers can be at least doubled.
Speaking of applications, the number of installations also started to grow rapidly. Here’s some new data for May 2021:
- Tinder — over 6.5 million installs
- Badoo — almost 4 million installs
- Bumble — about 1.7 million installs
- Lamour — almost 1.6 million installs
- Tantan — 1.5 million installs
Even applications that were not previously very popular among single users suddenly became highly demanded.
It is logical that the increase in demand was the impetus for the growth of competition between online dating services. Even the giants of the market felt that the competition was growing and something had to be done to stay on top. And new or little-known players in the dating industry often decided to experiment and offered their clients completely new tools for communication and to find a mate.
Innovations and updates that dating services have delighted their audience with
The recent years of dating sites and applications can be easily summed up in one word — “stagnation”. Until 2020, innovations were so rare and insignificant that they were often completely ignored by users. But the pandemic and quarantine changed everything. Here are just some of the most significant changes and innovations that have made us happy and surprised when using dating platforms over the last couple of years.
- Bumble — voice and video chat. Ifregular text messaging is not enough for you, you can chat by voice or video. Of course, you could translate dialogue before, for example, in Skype or Viber. But now it is easy to communicate directly from the application.
- Hinge — Date From Home function. This is a video dating service, but with an interesting feature. In a text chat with another user, you can indicate that you’d like a video call or a voice call. If the other person is also interested, Hinge will notify both of this and it’ll be possible to make that call.
Here it is worth making a small detour and remembering the existence of popular video chat roulette services. These are platforms that connect random users to each other, allowing them to communicate via video or text chat. Among the most popular chat roulettes today, we’d like to highlight:
- Chatrandom — a chat roulette with a search for partners by interests and themed chat rooms.
- OmeTV — a video chat service with gender and geographic filters, as well as auto-translation of messages.
- Omegle — the first video chat roulette in history, which offers search by interests, a language filter and a separate chat for university students.
- CooMeet — a chat roulette with a unique gender filter that always connects men only with girls.
- Camsurf — a simple chat roulette with a gender filter, a safe search function and the ability to hide your location.
- Chathub — a web chat service with language and gender filters, fast connection and good call quality, but no smartphone apps.
- Bazoocam — video chat roulette with online mini-games and video streaming function (mostly 18+ broadcasts).
But let’s go back now to more classic dating sites and apps with some interesting innovations.
- League — a format for quick video dates via League Live. A very unusual dating format. Users can have quick two-minute dates every Wednesday and Sunday. Just three dates in nine minutes with short breaks. During the conversation, you can “Like” your date, and if your attraction is shared, you can keep chatting. If not, League will find you another date.
- Tinder Passport — a feature for communicating with people around the world. Previously, this feature was only available to users with a Gold or Premium subscription, but in the spring of 2020, due to the pandemic, the developers made it available to all users. This opened up much more opportunities for new acquaintances and interesting chat, because now you’re not tied to location.
- Latinx Chispa — an implementation of the popular card game Tragos Party. Latinx Chispa is a new dating app that is rapidly gaining popularity among Latin American users. In the spring of 2021, Latinx Chispa reached four million active users, and around the same time a new feature was launched in partnership with Tragos. Now, without leaving the application, you can play the popular game Tragos Party to vary communication and make it more relaxed.
- OkCupid — the “I’m vaccinated” icon in the profile. In the current reality, it’s very important to take care of your health. OkCupid’s new feature to see at a glance if a person is vaccinated against Covid-19 makes communication much safer. This way you’ll know that when you meet a person in real life, the chances of getting infected from them will be minimal. But it is worth remembering that the OkCupid administration does not check whether users are actually vaccinated, so you can’t trust the information in the profiles 100%.
- Grindr — more freedom to publish content. Grindr is a very popular gay, bisexual and transgender app. Until the fall of 2021, there were quite strict rules for publishing any explicit content. But with the growing popularity of online dating and the many restrictions on offline communication, the developers decided to relax the rules. Now you can post non-pornographic sex positions, photos of lingerie, and even pictures of the buttocks. Only openly pornographic photos are banned.
Other dating services do not stand still either. Online dating is currently going through a period of intense competition, and so in the coming months and years we’ll see a lively race. In it, every dating site, app or video chat will strive to stand out from the competition and prove that it is the best of its kind.
Why all such innovations are a plus for users
Undoubtedly, there will be those who will say that it was better in the past and that all these updates only confuse ordinary people. But most will agree that after a long downtime, such an active growth and expansion of the functionality of dating sites is great.
In any area, competition is good, because it stimulates development and improvement. Who knows, perhaps in a couple of years an unknown service will oust Tinder and Badoo from the first places in all ratings. And some of the new chat roulettes will oust Omegle and Chatroulette from the leading positions they’ve occupied for more than ten years.
We are standing on the cusp of a big change in the field of online dating. And no one can predict which path this industry will take in the near future. So we’ll just continue to follow the updates, look for the most interesting offers and observe how quickly familiar communication formats on the Web are changing. It’ll only get more interesting!