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Dating Revolution: How Dating Services Are Changing



Tinder was launched 10 years ago, in 2012, and since then, all online dating apps have been pretty much the same. Most mechanics use swipes: you swipe right if you like the person, and swipe left if you don’t. Only the options when filling out profiles differ: in some services, you can select sexual preferences, indicate political views and religion, add tags for interests and hobbies. This makes it easier to find a match.

But the behavior of Russian women for marriage from has changed dramatically over the years:

  • People spend more and more time on social networks, and with the onset of the pandemic, offline dates have completely faded into the background.
  • The younger generation relies on opinion leaders (influencers) and builds relationships based on their example.
  • “Generation Z” is no longer looking for strong relationships, while they are also less interested in sex. They rather need friends than a spouse or sexual partner.
  • Many users worry about their safety when chatting with strangers online.

Here is how services are changed for the audience:

New Formats

Vox is a dating service based on voice messages: here, instead of profiles, they publish short audio business cards and also communicate by voice. For years, the application has grown from a chatbot for Telegram to a service with a monthly active audience of more than 150 thousand people and 1 million installations. It was invested in by a division of VK Group — MY.GAMES Venture Capital.

Snack is a similar video dating app. According to the developers, this dating format encourages more sincere communication. You can sign in to the app with your TikTok account and share your videos from there.

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New Features

The essence of old applications does not change, but developers add new features to them:

  • search for friends,
  • networking,
  • video avatars,
  • online games or quizzes.

For instance, Tinder is launching its own internal currency, which can be used to buy “super likes”: they help to express special sympathy to the user and attract their attention. With the help of innovation, developers want to increase the average use time of the application.

Applications within Applications

Like Vox, many dating services can be developed inside another application. For instance, in the Telegram messenger environment, the Waka application is available with game elements and a bot for push notifications.

“The Waka team makes dating for generation Z,” says Waka CEO. — It’s like Netflix, but instead of the genre of the film, you choose a room according to your interests:

  • memes — selection of friends based on a sense of humor,
  • wazzup — a conversation on a topic that interests you, and so on.

We offer new methods for solving problems with socialization — the market lacks such methods now. Every year, the interests of users are transformed and modified, and our task is to capture them to better connect people.”

But not all integrations are successful. In 2018, Facebook (now Meta) began testing Facebook Dating, positioning it as a competitor to Tinder. The service never became popular due to the complex interface and many bugs that seem to have not yet been fixed. VK followed in the footsteps of Facebook, which in November 2021, launched the VK Dating service, available in the application in the Services tab.

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Security and Anonymity

Users do not consider online dating apps to be a safe environment for communication. Often, there you can see unwanted images and insults of a different nature. Therefore, services are trying to protect their users and introduce new features for comfortable communication.

Tinder began to analyze all messages in chats using AI algorithms. If they detect potentially offensive or inappropriate language, the user will see a pop-up asking “Are you sure?” before submitting them. Testing has shown that this reduces the amount of profanity in messages by 10%.

Tinder is also partnering with Noonlight, an online personal security service. The user can mark who, when, and where he or she meets. If something goes wrong, you can also call the emergency service there. In the US, the service is partnering with Lyft Taxi, where users will be able to call a car for their partner right in the app. At the same time, the one who calls a taxi does not see the address from where the car picks up the passenger.

Bumble has a safety center where you can get support and guidance if the person you are dating has behaved inappropriately or abused you. Bumble also uses artificial intelligence to track rude and offensive language and blur nudity in pictures.

Niches with a Narrow Audience

How else do dating platforms compete with the giants? One of the ways out is to split the audience and create your own narrow niche. So do many applications. Consider the 5 most famous:

  1. Muzmatch is a partner search application for Muslims. The growth of the user base is impressive — in 2017 it had 200,000, now it has 4,000,000 users from 190 countries. In the questionnaire, you need to indicate in how many years you would like to get married, how religious you are, and how often you pray.
  2. Feeld is an app for polyamorous couples. The user can choose from 20+ sexual and gender identities to find suitable people. It is possible to share pictures within the application.
  3. Her is an app for queer women that focuses on creating a safe space. The app even has volunteer moderators to enforce the community rules.
  4. MeetMe is dating for people over 40. This is not part of the positioning, but the data shows that the main audience of the application is users from 46 to 55 years old, and the second largest is from 55 to 65 years old.
  5. Luxy is dating for millionaires, 60% of users have a confirmed annual income of more than 200,000 euros. As the creators of the application write, its goal is not to find matches for “sugar daddies”, but to bring together wealthy like-minded people.
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In dating, the anti-Tinder direction is now gaining momentum — the search for new mechanics and opportunities to build up from the standard “swipes”.


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