How the pandemic has transformed online dating

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Let’s be honest: spheres of life that the pandemic has positively affected can be counted on one hand. But online dating is one of the exceptions to the rule. It’s to be expected that having lost the opportunity to get acquainted offline, people moved to the Internet. But let’s try to look at this trend more closely and break down the details.

For clarity, let’s look at the numbers. In 2020, global dating app revenue increased by 22% compared to 2019, to a record $3.08 billion. This was not the case in previous years. Not surprisingly, it was 2020 that became a powerful springboard for the online dating industry.

The pandemic was in full swing, an effective vaccine had not yet been developed, and the fear of getting infected overpowered everything else. Since then the growth rate of dating platforms has decreased slightly, but still remains at a high level.

The most obvious metamorphoses in the field of online dating

The reason for the change in the world of online dating was not only the coronavirus pandemic, but also the rapid growth in the number of network users in general. Let’s look at the statistics for the last five years:

  • 2018 — 3.9 billion users
  • 2019 — 4.2 billion users
  • 2020 — 4.5 billion users
  • 2021 — 4.7 billion users
  • 2022* — about 5 billion users

*We take our statistics from the beginning of 2022. Until the end of the year, the number will still grow. Many experts believe that in 2023 more than 5.3 billion people around the world will use the Internet.

How do all these changes affect the dating industry? We will talk about this next.

People have learned to set clear goals

Millions of people around the world use dating sites and apps solely out of curiosity. Others do not fully understand what exactly they are looking for here — just communication, new friends or a soulmate.

During the pandemic, users of dating sites have learned to set clearer goals for themselves. And many openly write about it in their profiles: “Looking for new friends”, “Looking for love” and so on. This is a very positive tendency that makes online dating more efficient and more promising.

The search for a potential partner has become more targeted

This isn’t to say that people used to look for a mate on the Internet blindly. But many really did not have clear selection criteria. People simply hoped that sooner or later they would meet “the one”. What this person should be, they themselves did not fully understand.

Now the situation has changed for the better. Users increasingly look for partners by interest, make up a list of criteria by which they evaluate potential partners, and if necessary eliminate those who definitely do not suit them. This is also a very useful trend, from which another transformation in online dating follows.

New niche sites and applications have appeared

Large dating sites like Tinder, Badoo or Match have one huge plus — a large audience. There are millions of users from all over the world. But this advantage is also a disadvantage — it can be very difficult to find a soulmate here, as the audience is too diverse.

Niche themed sites and dating apps have become a balance to popular dating sites with mainstream appeal. They have a much smaller audience, but it is very clearly tailored by interest. For example, there are dating services for vegetarians and vegans, for religious Christians, for lovers of hiking, and so on.

Think about what’s better for you — to use an application with a multi-million audience, where you have to search hard for interesting people, or a small niche platform where almost every user is interested in the same things as you? In our opinion, the choice is obvious. But, of course, it’s up to you to decide.

Internet users began to value their own time more

A paradox: the free time that appeared helped many people understand that before they burned their lives with 8-10-hour working days, hours on the road, household chores that take a lot of time.

We really spend our lives on something that isn’t right. The pandemic and self-isolation became an occasion for self-reflection and awareness that something needed to be changed.

It’s no wonder that millions of people no longer see the point in endless swipes on dating apps and empty texts about nothing. If you use dating platforms, you need to focus on the result, and not on the process.

The format of video communication and video dating has reached its peak

There are two key points worth mentioning here:

  • Firstly, classic dating sites and apps have begun to actively implement video calling features, including express video dates. At some sites they existed already, but only recently have they been really in demand.
  • Secondly, the popularity of online video chats such as Omegle, Emeraldchat, Coco, OmeTV, , Chatrandom and others has skyrocketed. Their functionality is different, but the general principle of operation is almost identical — the system simply connects you to a random user via video.

This increase in popularity of the video format was facilitated not only by Covid-19, but also by the active deployment of high-speed 5G networks. Even 3G and 4G speeds were enough for a comfortable video conversation, but with 5G, the possibilities become even more promising.

Users are willing to pay for quality service

This is especially interesting. Five years ago, almost any Internet user would have chosen a free dating site. Why pay when there are many free alternatives? But now the picture has changed a lot. People are willing to pay for convenient functionality, high-quality moderation and an extended list of features.

A similar tendency, by the way, is observed not only in the online dating industry. While years ago Internet piracy flourished in many countries, recently more and more people prefer legal content.

For a relatively small fee, they get comfort, quality service and the confidence that they will not have any problems with the law. The online dating industry has become part of this tendency — the Covid-19 pandemic has only pushed this process forward.

Online dating is still changing for the better

The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the biggest pushes for online dating in the past decade. Websites and applications are becoming more usable, adding new features for their users, striving to outperform competitors and constantly evolving to be on-trend.

For us, these changes are a big plus. After several years of very sluggish development, online dating sites finally woke up and started a new round in their development.

Therefore, if you have not used dating apps and online video chats until now, now is the perfect time to fix that. In current conditions, when offline dating has become a rarity, the ability to maintain social connections on the web is more relevant than ever. Good luck!