The online dating industry is one of the few areas that has benefited from the coronavirus pandemic and strict quarantine. For example, according to Tinder, users from countries with particularly severe restrictions have begun to use the app much more actively. And they spend much longer than before communicating.
Here are some interesting statistics:
- In March 2020, the number of messages sent via Tinder increased by 10-15% compared to February of the same year.
- The duration of chat conversations increased by 10-30% over the same period.
In early to mid-2021, there was a slight decline in activity, primarily due to the weakening of quarantine restrictions. Nevertheless, the indicators of audience activity are still higher than in the pre-covid period.
The situation is similar to other popular dating platforms. Bumble and Plenty of Fish owners also reported a surge in user activity in 2020 and the first half of 2021. Especially in those countries where the government has imposed a full or partial lockdown.
According to various sources, today, the volume of the global online dating market has reached 6-10 billion dollars. And market capitalization continues to grow. Users are willing to pay for services if they help them find a soulmate and build a serious relationship.
New functions of dating apps: more user-friendliness
In the wake of the popularity of online dating during the pandemic, the authors of dating apps have actively taken on the modernization of their resources, adding new features and capabilities for users. Here are just a few of these innovations:
- In early 2020 Tinder gave all users its “Location” feature for free for several months. By default, the search for users by location is paid.
- In May 2021, the “Are You Sure?” feature appeared on Tinder. The essence is as follows: if the user tries to send an offensive message to another user, the application will ask them, “Are you sure?”. The innovation is designed to reduce the amount of negativity on the Web. “
- Bumble, Tinder, Hinge, Match, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Badoo, and other dating services provide privileges for vaccinated users. Tinder, for example, opens access to some features, Bumble and Badoo mark vaccinated users with a special badge, and Hinge gives additional bonuses to those who install a vaccination status badge in their profile.
Another interesting piece of news appeared in early August 2021: the Unjected application was removed from the AppStore. Unjected was known to be a dating platform for vaccine deniers. The application lasted only a few months — it launched in May 2021.
Important clarification! So far, dating sites and apps have no way of verifying whether a person has actually been vaccinated. And it is unlikely that any verification algorithm will appear in the near future. Therefore, they have to take our word for it. But if a person puts the status “Vaccinated” in their profile, this at least serves to popularize vaccination.
The video chat feature: a useful innovation of dating sites
Let’s go back to the history of Tinder. In March 2020, Shar Dubey became the CEO of Match Group, which owns Tinder, Match, OkCupid, Meetic, and Hinge. This happened just 11 days before the WHO announced the COVID-19 pandemic. At that moment, the question arose about making money for dating sites and applications in such conditions. After all, people might have simply stopped using them due to not meeting new acquaintances offline.
Shar Dubey said this challenging period was the perfect time to redefine how dating apps work. They must transform from dating sites to communication platforms. After all, it’s live communication that users lack during a pandemic.
So in July 2020, users in some countries could already test the video calling function in Tinder, which was not available before. The results exceeded all expectations — users were interested in the new feature and willing to pay for it.
Interesting fact! In 2020 the online edition of The Conversation published an article with the results of Internet user surveys. Among other statistics, it was said that during a pandemic, 25% of people prefer to video chat rather than meet in person.
Later, other platforms followed Tinder’s example. At the moment, besides Tinder, a video chat function is offered by the following dating applications:
- Clover Dating App
- Plenty of Fish and others
This trend is positive. But there is a nuance: most dating apps provide a video chat function purely for money. Also, to communicate with someone via video link, the function must be paid for by both users. Fortunately, there are quite a few free or low-cost alternatives.
Free video chat sites: a great alternative to dating apps
The video chat format itself is not a new phenomenon. The first random chat was Omegle, and the first full-fledged video chat roulette was Chatroulette. Both services appeared in 2009 with a difference of only a few months. They quickly became super popular and pushed other developers to create similar services.
Subsequently, a huge number of free video chat sites appeared with distinctive designs, unique functions, settings for searching for chat partners, and other advantages. Among the most popular today are https://www.emeraldchat.com, https://www.monkey.cool, https://videochat.chat/free/, and https://tinychat.com.
The principle of live video chat is extremely simple — you go to the site (or the application), give it access to your camera and microphone, click “Start”, and the system immediately starts looking for a chat partner for you. Some video chat services pick chat partners completely randomly, while others allow you to set basic search parameters. Many video chats are completely or partially free. Others provide all their features for the money. The former is excellent for trying out this communication format and understanding all its features. The latter — to get acquainted conveniently and safely, not to encounter Internet trolls, and to be confident in the site’s reliability. The choice is yours.
Be part of the new video chat generation
Users around the world have praised the ability to video chat with other people via dating apps. Some only discovered the video chat format in 2020-2021, although it has existed for more than ten years. Over the past one and a half to two years, the audience for classic video chats has also grown rapidly — by an average of 20-30%.
Even though quarantine restrictions are no longer as strict as, during the pandemic, dating platforms and online video chat sites remain in demand. This trend is likely to continue for at least several more years. So if, for some reason, you still haven’t explored all the advantages of chat roulettes, now is the best time to fix that!