It would be easy to assume that the current pandemic would lead to a decline in online dating activity. After all, many government orders have made restaurants, movie theaters, and other popular date locations improbable, if not impossible, to visit.
However, according to Match Group CEO Sharmistha Dubey, the effects have been quite the opposite. According to Dubey, Match Group’s services such as Tinder, Match.com, and OkCupid have seen a recent surge in popularity.
Explaining the Increase in Online Dating
While initial data indicated an initial decline in online dating activity, a recent report shows that online dating has been on the rise since April. According to Dubey, this spike is because “many people are feeling lonely during this lockdown and are welcoming the chance to speak to potential dates online.”
A problem all dating applications and sites have is gender disparity. The biggest challenge for these companies is getting women to join. Some sites even offer free membership to women as an attempt to even out the numbers. This can prove successful as, according to Dubey, Match Group’s dating sites have seen a huge increase in women’s participation.
Dating Sites Adapt to the Pandemic
Since people are unable to meet with their dates in recent months, dating sites have had to adapt. In particular, users are taking advantage of new video chat features in many of Match Group’s flagship apps that allow them to go on virtual dates without leaving their houses.
Here is a list of the five most popular dating sites in the US, according to Statistica.
The most popular dating platform worldwide, Tinder allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other profiles based on their photos, a small bio, and common interests. Once two users have “matched,” they can exchange messages. An advantage of this app is its casual nature — users don't have to spend much time or effort on their profiles. Tinder is often associated with more casual dating. However, the app’s high user count means there will be people looking for a range of different things.
Bumble has been described as Tinder for women. In heterosexual matches, only female users can make the first contact with matched male users. This app is popular among women as it gives them the power to decide which men they want to interact with rather than face an onslaught of unwanted messages.
Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish is a very popular dating site that is older than the previous two and, therefore, a little more traditional. Critics of Tinder and Bumble’s “casual dating” atmosphere may like Plenty of Fish for its focus on personality rather than appearance. Consumers looking for a more in-depth experience may find luck with Plenty of Fish.
OkCupid, like Tinder, is a Match Group company. In recent years the two sites have become a little more alike. However, unlike Tinder, you can take detailed personality tests on OkCupid that can help you find your ideal match. Users that want to put their faith into dating “science” may find OkCupid to be a suitable fit for them.
Match.com is probably one of the most serious online dating sites out there, meaning that people interested in finding a significant other might have the best chance here. To use the necessary features on this website, you will have to pay a monthly subscription. While this feature may seem negative, this means that the site is more likely to attract people seeking a serious relationship.