If you’ve been using dating sites and applications for a long time, you’ll have noticed that until recently these platforms have developed rather slowly. They had a standard set of functions and rarely implemented any innovations or new features. Who would have thought that the coronavirus would be a key impetus for refreshing many dating platforms?
But this fact remains — the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the online dating industry. And for the most part, this influence has turned out to be positive. Why did these platforms begin to change so actively?
Rethinking social connections — the key development engine of dating services
Covid-19 has forced humanity to completely rethink socialization. Having lost the opportunity to meet and communicate offline as before, people migrated to the Internet. The scale of this phenomenon is much greater than it seems to many. According to the Internet portal The Drum, since 2020 more than 82% of single people in developed countries have turned to online dating services. This involvement is still very high, despite the fact that quarantine in many countries is now far from strict.
Tinder reports an 11% increase in swipes and a 42% increase in matches. And the Hinge app was downloaded 62% more in 2020 than in 2019. Yes, there was a slight decline in 2021, but the figures are still very high. A similar picture can be seen with other popular dating services.
How are online dating services changing now, and what can we expect in the future?
Let’s say right away that the trends below may change very quickly because we live in an era of global changes. Nevertheless, some predictions can still be made.
Popularization of chat roulettes and video dates
2020-2021 has been a time of change for most dating platforms. A striking example of this is the entire Match group, which includes Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid, and other platforms. One of the main innovations of recent times on these platforms has been the introduction and popularization of roulette video chats. They existed on many sites before but were not very popular. It was during the quarantine period that this function became especially in demand and services improved the video format, making it more convenient and accessible to everyone. There’s no doubt that in the future these platforms will continue to develop in this direction. It’s even possible that some of them may reformat themselves into platforms for dates via video links. Why not?
Adding the functionality of social networks and messengers to dating platforms
Modern dating sites and apps are increasingly reminiscent of social networks. User profiles are becoming more exhaustive, chat features more functional, designs more modern and varied. In many applications, you can exchange not only messages, but also send media files, use emoticons, stickers, and more. Almost everything is the same as on popular social networks or instant messengers. We’re confident that this trend will continue in the future.
The functionality of built-in video chat features is also expanding. Search filters are emerging, AR technologies such as masks, video filters and the like are being implemented. These innovations help make video communication more varied, fun and emotional. But built-in video chat still cannot replace classic chat roulettes. Speaking of which…
Chat roulettes are back in fashion
When the first chat roulette, Omegle, appeared in 2009, followed by Chatroulette, it was a real breakthrough. In just a few months, the sites gathered a multimillion audience. But then alternatives began to appear, and Omegle and Chatroulette began to gradually lose their audience. In general, after 2010-2011, interest in random chat gradually declined. And then the pandemic came and the situation changed radically.
Now chat roulettes are experiencing a real renaissance. Hundreds of thousands of users around the world are returning to this format again, and public interest is only fueled by bloggers and TikTokers who record viral videos in chat roulettes and thereby give them free promotion.
Today there are dozens of popular chat roulettes and hundreds of lesser-known ones. We’ll list some of the most popular ones. First of all is Omegle, the pioneer in the chat roulette industry. But in comparison with many sites, it lacks functionality, and the moderation here is not the best. Other video chat roulettes outperform Omegle in many ways. For example, Chatrandom offers themed chat rooms and various filters for finding people, the video chat roulette Videochat.chat has a unique gender filter that connects men only with girls and never makes mistakes, while Chathub, for all its simplicity, can also please with gender and language filters. Other chat roulettes include Camsurf, OmeTV, and Chatspin. They attract attention primarily with convenient settings for searching for chat partners, fast connections, and excellent video and sound quality even with a rather slow Internet connection.
What awaits chat roulettes in the near future? We believe they will continue to actively gain an audience for at least a few more years. Interest around them is very high today, and until the pandemic recedes, it’s unlikely to decrease. Besides, new chat roulettes are emerging, and everything new always arouses increased interest.
Privileges for the vaccinated against Covid-19 — a new global trend
Vaccination of the population is still one of the priority tasks of government during a pandemic. Many people are not very willing to take this step, so they need to be stimulated in one way or another. Dating services did not stand aside — some platforms, such as Tinder and OkCupid, are already offering vaccinated users access to premium features, as well as increasing the number of matches for them. In addition, these platforms offer a badge for your profile saying — “Vaccinated”. Thus, these services help conscientious people who care about their health and the health of those around them to find each other.
Most likely this will continue for at least another 1-2 years, or even longer. So far, there are no optimistic forecasts about the end of the pandemic. This means that people will be motivated to vaccinate in a variety of ways. We’re very confident that more dating sites and apps will follow the lead of Tinder and OkCupid in the near future.
It is difficult to say now whether social networks, instant messengers, and random chats will take such a step. But it is definitely not worth counting out its appearance in the coming months or years.
Of course, when the pandemic really subsides, all these privileges are likely to disappear. So now is the perfect time to take advantage of these premium features for free. Use them!
The future will hold even more changes
Perhaps the online dating industry is one of the few that has benefited from the coronavirus pandemic. In a very short time, the audience of many popular dating apps and random video chats has doubled or tripled. This gives us the opportunity to make some more predictions:
- The number of online dating sites will increase. This is a very good source of income for developers, especially now that offline dating has become a rarity.
- The functionality of such services will continue to expand. Most likely, classic dating sites and applications will become more and more like social networks.
- In the near future, we will surely see new features related to virtual and augmented reality. Plus, many sites are already working on creating their own metaverses. For example, Tinder representatives said they are already actively working in this area.
Among all of this, there’s a possibility that the cost of premium features on many dating platforms will decrease due to constantly growing competition. In order to retain the audience and attract new users, they will have to reduce prices, benefiting us all.
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