According to several reports, the online dating industry blossomed during the pandemic, albeit with certain changes. However, as the lockdowns are lifted, and things start going back to normal, what will happen to online dating? The world’s most popular dating apps will lead the way in reinventing themselves for the post-COVID-19 online dating space.
It is apparent that Covid-19 recreated socialization completely. The online dating industry felt this re-imagination very acutely. Luckily it was well-prepared to deal with the emerging trends. Studies reveal that 82% of singles took to online dating platforms during the pandemic. In addition, the numbers from countries doing the most online dating show that engagement on online dating platforms have remained high.
Most people were stuck in their homes because of restricted in-real-life (IRL) socialization. Socialization became digital, with people grappling through screen fatigue and isolation. During the same period, online dating operators were forced to strengthen their services.
The evolution gave birth to new digital spaces and offerings to keep users engaged. These innovations were fruitful because the globally renowned dating apps registered more activity. Some of the apps saw a rise in downloads by up to 60%.
As the whole world emerges from the lockdown and more in-person socialization returns to normal, singles are showing more eagerness to date. So what are the major trends shaping the industry’s direction today?
Virtual Dates And Video Chats Ain’t Going Nowhere!
During the pandemic, necessity forced the growth of video chatting, audio memos, and voice calls. There is also lots of evidence pointing to the fact that these trends will shape the future of contemporary dating culture.
Studies by some top dating apps revealed that up to 65% of their users claimed that they would continue using video chats in their dating process even after the pandemic. The users love the convenience of video chats and the safety it provides. You can connect with someone through the apps without having to reveal your personal contact details.
Based on these claims, most of the top dating sites have revamped their video chatting and virtual dating features in the past 18 months. The operators have also been forced to introduce more features to make the dating experience more immersive.
For instance, one top dating app introduced virtual backgrounds, which enable users to set an imagined date setting. Other innovative features include video prompts as icebreakers, and audio messaging capabilities.
The operators also believe that users will not drop the new behaviors developed during the pandemic overnight. They also believe many people will want to continue enjoying the benefits of the new features developed.
Changing Dating Objectives
Studies on which countries are doing the most online dating have revealed that more singles are looking for more serious relationships. Some top dating platforms have stated that most of their users are looking for more serious partners post the pandemic. Moreover, many users claimed they had changed their relationship objectives after the past year’s experience.
This trend is similar on all top dating apps with a global reach. Many people might be expecting a summer full of activities after the pandemic. But nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the singles on the dating apps revealed that they had spent the previous year reflecting on what are the essential things in their lives. They stated that they had become more honest with themselves.
As a result, people no longer swipe right on a profile simply because the user is attractive. Instead, there is a more cautious approach as singles slowly search for a dating partner guided by their core values. The users are also more straightforward about what they want.
These new dating objectives will guide online dating operators on the changes they need to make on their platforms.
Health Transparency Is another New Normal
The social trends of dating during the pandemic were a tricky affair. Singles found themselves in a situation where they needed to navigate several obstacles in search of love. For instance, there were the complexities of dealing with the Covid-19 statuses, social distancing, and mask-wearing.
Many dating sites had to come up with innovative ways of helping users deal with the complexities before them. In this regard, some dating apps introduced vaccination badges that users pin on their profiles. Other operators introduced an entire section called “Covid Preferences Center,” where users make known their preferences.
More Community-Focused Solutions
The online dating sector has experienced an increase in community-focused solutions. Some dating operators have taken on the challenge and are offering environments that create a sense of community for the users.
The dating apps are shifting from just being dating platforms to more social platforms where friendships can also thrive. The apps also use some users as brand ambassadors while others host reality shows that show inspired sessions of successful dates.
It is evident that after the pandemic dust has settled, the dating scene will have changed forever. Luckily, it is changing into a better industry. The singles’ dating needs have changed, and the online dating operators will have to adapt their systems to capture the emerging trends.