Post-pandemic, dating apps see surge in small-town users

The rise in usage is particularly strong outside of metropolitan cities, which now account for 70% of users of dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and TrulyMadly, company executives said.

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Dating in numbers

Cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Patna are witnessing a significant increase in usage, catching up with major cities in the country.

With virtual dating becoming the norm, a significant number of women are increasingly vocal on dating platforms.

Nearly 72% of users think it’s possible to find love online without meeting them in person, dating app executives said.

“The distinction between our online and offline world is blurring. As a result, time spent online is increasing,” said Shalini Singh, founder of Andwemet, a dating service for over 25 single Indians that has seen its user base triple every year for the past two years. .

Singh said there is more trust in online platforms in the post-pandemic era, and people are willing to pay for the convenience of online dating.

Usage in those cities has also been boosted by the relocation of many metros to their hometowns after the pandemic, she said, adding that dating apps are attracting affluent users even in smaller cities across the country. India.

According to Tinder’s Year in Swipe 2021, video dating has become a first-date staple for singles, with “video call” mentions in Tinder bios increasing 52% globally.

Many Indians opted for video dating on Tinder, where Hyderabad reigned supreme as the most chatty city, followed closely by Chennai and Bengaluru. Yet young adults were also looking to connect with new people close to them for real-life hangouts with “nearby” and “nearby,” both rising 20% ​​in Tinder bios globally. , showing that real-world dating is not. t go out of fashion anytime soon.

“As we return to IRL (in real life) dating in 2022, trends from the past year are guiding how young Indian adults navigate the world of dating, friends, relationships and relationships,” said said Papri Dev, Senior Communications Manager APAC. leader, Tinder Inc.

Snehil Khanor, co-founder and CEO of TrulyMadly, said most first dates are still on video, and if things work out, users schedule an offline date.

Sybil Shiddel, country manager of Gleeden, a platform designed for extramarital affairs, said that during the pandemic much of its user base has found virtual exchanges satisfying.

“They were happy to have found company and that their online interactions allowed them to relax, laugh, flirt and sext without putting them in danger. Time spent on the app has tripled,” Shiddel said.

“In 2022, while the ghost of the pandemic no longer lingers over our heads with the same force as in previous years, Indian users are still spending an average of 3.5 hours chatting,” Shiddel said. Prior to March 2020, most Gleeden users were from Delhi. , Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai.In 2020, 2021 and the first part of 2022, the maximum pull was observed from Gurugram (currently the hub city No.5), Chandigarh, Kochi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Noida, Nagpur, Indore, Navi Mumbai, Burdwan, Howrah and Thane.

Agreeing that video calls are now part of the screening process before an in-person date, Able Joseph, founder and CEO of dating app Aisle, said causal connections could slowly decline. “The loneliness, coupled with a few years of uncertainty, has led to a certain sense of collective fatigue that has developed in the Indian dating landscape. Singles are moving away from the endless loop of scavenging on dating platforms and are now looking for more substance in a relationship,” Joseph added.

Since the majority of new users register in small towns and cities, with limited matches in their location, they search online for suitable partners across the country, said Ravi Mittal, founder and CEO of the dating service. QuackQuack, which saw an 11% increase in female users.

Samarpita Samaddar, communications director for India at Bumble, said the pandemic has made “more than half of us (62%)” realize that it’s okay to be alone for a while. time.

“People consciously decide to be single, with the majority of singles (54%) being more mindful and intentional about how and when to date,” she said.

A national survey conducted in 2021 showed that after the second wave of covid in India, emotional connection (60%) and kindness (55%) topped the charts as being most important for single Indians in dating , said Samaddar.

“Social good in terms of volunteering, donating to social causes (48%) ranks particularly high in the preferences of millennials in India,” she added.

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