Dating apps expect to feel more pandemic love as COVID rises

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the use of dating apps has increased during the pandemic, when many have had to trade the benefits of in-person dating for on-screen hookups. Bumble revenue hit $337.2 million in 2020 from $275.5 million, Hinge revenue tripled in the same period, and Tinder users broke two records from January to March 2021.

What may be more intriguing, however, is that many apps are anticipating greater growth through 2022. Hinge plans to double its revenue by the end of 2021, while Tinder has announced several new features to meet to new demands in time for what some are calling a “third wave” of COVID-19.

Vaccinated Austinites who have been looking forward to “Shot Girl Summer” — a season of in-person dating, hanging out and catching up on lost time — may have to go back to apps, at least partially, as cases rise more than they do. . I’ve had it since February and the mask recommendations are back on the board.

Austin-area resident Chloe Mohr, a 22-year-old college graduate, had occasionally used Tinder before the pandemic. While the app isn’t an additional replacement for deeper connections during stay-at-home orders, it has helped her stay in the dating game and keep meeting new people.

“It was easy to use dating apps during the pandemic when you wanted something casual or fun,” said Mohr, who now works in marketing.

Chloe Mohr has turned to Tinder more during the pandemic to stay in touch with people. (Chloe Mohr)

Sixty percent of members came to Tinder because they felt lonely and wanted to connect with people, a Tinder study found, and chats were 32% longer during the pandemic.

But dating during a pandemic is no picnic when you’re worried about contracting COVID, Mohr said. She had fears at first

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OkCupid have met new dating criteria, adding vaccination badges to profiles in partnership with the US and UK governments.

In order to meet the demand for a stricter filtering process and the superficial nature of swiping, Tinder has also introduced new features that allow users to add videos to their profiles and chat with others even before that they don’t match.

The new add-ons could benefit the app as interest continues to grow — Google searches for “dating” have hit a five-year high, according to NPR.

But the future of dating could look very different — and stay different — even into the next decade.

According to a Ypulse study, 43% of dating app users said apps made them feel less lonely during the pandemic. Even after the pandemic, 40% of Tinder users say they plan to video chat with their partners before they meet, and being honest, genuine and respecting boundaries has become a big topic of conversation on the Internet. application within the last year.

While it’s unclear how the pandemic will shape dating for good, there are signs that Austin residents and those across the country could once again rely on dating apps if social distancing returns to the norm. .

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