Have You Been on Hinge More Since COVID?

You’re not alone — dating apps have reported an overall surge in user engagement since the start of the pandemic.

Dating is a complicated dance even at the best of times. So it should be no surprise that the pandemic has completely turned the dating landscape on its head. As lockdowns eased over the summer months and singles found themselves with more free time, dating apps have seen a soar in user engagement. With many flocking to these platforms to remedy months of isolation and loneliness, the search for love — despite the rough first half of the year — is resuming with vigor. 

Match Group Inc., the parent company behind Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, wrote in a letter to shareholders that its revenue has increased threefold compared with the same time last year. This reported $84 million sales increase and an additional 1.1 million subscribers, reflect experts’ analysis that there is overwhelming anxiety about the future that is pushing people to fast track new relationships. 

“What we offer our communities, the ability to connect and form meaningful relationships, is indispensable. And while there may be short term volatility that comes with the unpredictability of current events, our mission is a beacon for a more hopeful future,” CEO Shar Dubey along with COO and CFO Gary Swidler said in their statement, signing off by “wishing everyone a safe, extended cuffing season.”

As a second wave of the virus threatens additional shelter-in-place measures, the company anticipates a decrease in usage and profits. While the intensity to which users are swiping and chatting are up across all Match Group dating apps — messages are up 30 to 40 percent compared to the same time last year, according to chief executive Amarnath — Match is getting creative to ensure existing subscribers keep paying for the app’s premiere features. Last week, Tinder rolled out a new video chat service, called Face to Face, which lets would-be paramours have a virtual date.

With dating apps already the most common way that couples meet in the U.S, this increase in virtual dating augurs well for the dating giant’s prospects in the post-Covid-19 era. Until we all meet again, in person, dating apps and virtual hangouts will ensure the search for love continues.

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