Dating apps see matches flourish in India

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Aditi Suman hadn’t felt as liberated in her eight-year love life as in August, locked in her home in Patna. The Bangalore-based data scientist had gone back a few months during the pandemic and was looking for connections between several dating apps.

She’s been talking to a man for the past few days and loves the fact that they won’t be meeting anytime soon. “It’s a lot of pressure on my chest … Since there’s no stress on going for that first in person date anytime soon, we’re just talking and getting to know each other well.”

Dating apps such as tinder, buzz and Really mad are seeing an increase in activity in India, with some seeing as much as 140% increase in subscribers as singles like Suman search for companionship online, even as the pandemic has reduced opportunities offline to meet other singles.

Dating apps reach 2.2% of India’s total population and are on track to reach 3.6% by 2024, the Statista market research estimated.

While the apps declined to share the absolute number of users on their platforms, American-born Bumble, where actor Priyanka Chopra is an investor, said it exceeded four million in July.

Not only are women and small town singles a more active part of the user base, the platforms also say the pandemic has opened doors for millennials to rediscover the joy of slow dating – taking your time to learn. to know each other. other, using empty social calendars.

Chats and video calls have increased by around 40%, and the time spent reading profiles has also increased.

“The combination of being stuck at home and all of us going through the same thing at the same time has made people in the department become more talkative than ever,” a Tinder spokesperson said. In India, conversations increased by an average of 39% and the average length of conversations jumped by 28%. The person added that India is one of the company’s fastest growing markets and the growth rate in small towns is double that of large cities.

Places such as Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Pune, Indore and Surat actively use the Tinder Passport feature which allows members to search and chat with people in any destination of their choice, instead of being limited to their location. geography.

Amit Gupta, co-founder and CTO of TrulyMadly, said level two and level three cities’ engagement and revenues have tripled in the past 10 months, possibly due to reverse migration . Overall, the peak hours of using the app were also extended by an hour late at night. Ravi Mittal, founder of Quack quack, a local dating app, said that 70% of its user base is now from level two cities compared to 60% previously, with topics like ‘lockdown’, ‘coronavirus’ or’ How are you dealing with this situation ”becoming the new icebreakers.

“There is a big and important cultural shift – a shift that we have seen for a while in Gen Z, but which is accelerating and spreading now because of Covid-19: our digital social lives and our lives social networks are deeply interconnected and become inseparable. Gen Z, which makes up half of our members, grew up connecting with new people across the world, they don’t separate an IRL social experience (in real life) from a digital experience, and they still have traveled the world, virtually, ”said the Tinder spokesperson.

Priti Joshi, vice president of strategy at Bumble, said the pandemic has changed perceptions of online dating. Indians now go on ‘pre-dates’ where they first explore virtual dating and use video dating to get to know each other before meeting in real life.

“When the physical connection is limited, we look for other ways to interact and engage with each other. We saw a 38% increase in video calls from March to May 2020. People want to feel more secure with each other, but also want to have meaningful conversations, and video calling is proving to be a great way. to make those connections, ”says Joshi.

People take longer to get to know each other personally before they meet in real life. This type of ‘slow dating’ advances conversations that may have taken place over two or three dates, as people struggle to determine what they are comfortable with, in real life and virtually. Joshi added.

Additionally, women in India have taken the first step on Bumble over 15 million times and are posting twice as many messages on the service as women in the rest of the world.

Of course, the platforms have done their part to foster connections. While Tinder rolled out in-app face-to-face video calling in India in November, Bumble launched dating badges where people can identify the type of dates they’d like to attend – virtual, socially distant, or socially distant with masks.

“By shifting the pace and rekindling the appeal of slow dating, Millennials discover love through long, deep conversations and digitally shared experiences,” said Melissa Hobley, Director of Marketing, OkCupid. This platform saw matches in India increase by 12%. – La Monnaie, New Delhi

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