Dating Apps Spike as Coronavirus SpreadBy Constanza Blanco | Fri, 04/10/2020 - 05:00
Millions of people quarantined around the world due to the COVID-19 outbreak has led to disastrous consequences for restaurants and entertainment businesses. However, as in any crisis, there are always losers and winners. The video game industry, streaming and video call platforms have benefited, as well as other unexpected winners: dating apps.
Although dating apps are nothing new, following Match.com’s appearance in 1995, technological innovations behind modern platforms are. It is no surprise that investors are taking notice of this booming market that, according to Nomura Instinet, could be worth US$12 billion by the end of 2020.
For most millennials and members of the Z generation, dating apps are the new normal. But with COVID-19 disrupting nearly every single aspect of civilization, those trapped and inevitably looking for new ways to entertain themselves, are taking a peep into Tinder or Bumble.
To meet this new demand, Bumble launched an "epidemiological guide" to have dates according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations regarding safe distance and null contact, insisting on preferably canceling face-to-face appointments. Since last summer, the company offers the option of video calls within the application and over the past week it has registered an increase of 21 percent in this function.
Tinder CEO Shar Dubey announced the decision to allow its users to swipe / connect with people from all over the world (a function that was exclusive to Tinder Plus), adding that he was looking for technology to allow people to share, learn and listen to all those who were going through such a peculiar situation around the world.
The events’ industry has also been hit hard by the virus and one of the most famous movements canceled worldwide is ‘Gay Pride’ in which 170,000 people participated in 2019 in Mexico City, according to Mexico City’s Ministry of Security, which pales to the 1.5 million registered in London. For the week of March 16, the Scruff application, focused on the LGBT community, reported a drop in its downloads of 10 percent specifically in Italy and Spain.
In the face of the pandemic, dating apps and health authorities have warned LGBT+ communities about casual sex. The latest dating site figures show that people among this community are sending more messages online to meet new people, flirt and exchange explicit images. The main recommendation that these companies make is to wait for the end of the pandemic and follow the recommendations of the health authorities in each country to have the long-awaited first date. Meanwhile, people should just continue getting to know each other.