COVID-19: Changes in Online Dating Business

The world’s pandemic of COVID-19 has changed a lot in the lives of people in the last half a year. A lot of us have lost jobs, shut down the small businesses, and faced the challenge of working from home with the simultaneous need to teach the kids online. The basic need of humans as species – the communication – was made distant and transferred online. Now, we cannot meet our friends and travel to our relatives as much as we used to before the novel coronavirus. We also cannot date our lovers often if we do not live together and cannot meet new people. Let’s see what changes COVID-19 brought to online dating companies.

Dating became distant

Since the quarantine was imposed throughout the world, young people have faced the challenge of distant communication. From March 2020, we are not allowed to come closer than 1,5 m to one another. We cannot shake hands, we cannot hug each other. Kissing seems to be a way for COVID-19 to spread even faster. Conventional dating in such conditions becomes a truly awkward thing. How are we supposed to understand whether we are compatible if we cannot sit close to new acquaintances and smell them? Still, we need a solution to the issue of distancing, as such kind of restricted communication looks more like suffering than a pleasant time with a potential new lover.

Online communication is a solution

As you might have guessed, all things went online in the dating sphere. Now, even if you are an American looking for an Asian mail order bride in the heart of Korea or Hong Kong, you cannot get out of your hotel to meet them. In fact, limited flight opportunities exist nowadays, so all you can do is just take your phone and continue swiping profiles of Asian brides on your favorite dating app. Suddenly, the Internet has become your only option where you can find a distant partner for communication in 2020.

People started to use dating apps for longer

The results of various surveys and studies in 2020 have shown that people started to make use of dating apps differently. For example, users of Tinder started to communicate more effectively as their conversations became longer by 10-30%. Users of the Bumble platform have been sending 26% more messages than before COVID-19. Those aspiring to find an Asian bride online enter the respective websites a few times more often. Therefore, the increase in sales of dating apps and platforms is obvious.

Dating platforms adapt to the new reality

Luckily, it’s not only people who needed to get accustomed to quarantine life. During Corona time, dating businesses also have to change the way they assist their customers in meeting each other and matching.

For example, new dating startup Quarantine Together was launched to find matches with people who follow the anti-COVID rules. Once you have signed up on the app, you are asked whether you have washed your hands. If your answer is positive, you get matched with the person who answered the same. Now, you can start a text chat with them, and if you like how it goes after the 15 minutes of communication, you can proceed to video chat. We do not assume that such an invention will help you to get to know how to marry an Asian woman, but still, you can chat with someone new to brighten your lonely days.

Other dating apps that understood their importance in such a tough time used it for the good of their users. In the first days of quarantine, Tinder has put a banner on the screens of its customers saying that social distancing does not mean ruining all connections. Moreover, it allowed people to use its special features like choosing the city of matches free of charge for some time. Consequently, there is no surprise that their income has risen after this offer.

However, some people did not like the changes that dating apps imposed during the quarantine. A straight male from San Francisco emphasized that many profiles started to look and act differently after the start of the pandemic. They were asking ‘How are you keeping up now?’ instead of texting just ‘Hi’, and he did not like it. ‘I would prefer to not be reminded all the time about the COVID, self-isolation, and stuff by the messages like that’, he said.

As you can see, the way of dating apps’ work also changed due to the new coronavirus pandemic. The major novelties were created to ease online communication among youth and help them cope with the need to get distant. Although some innovations get more approval from users than others, we have to admit that dating apps are doing a good job in connecting people nowadays.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Political Anthropologist.