CHENNAI: Jemima Vaz, a communications professional who ended a long-term relationship recently, signed up on a dating app last month as the pandemic made her realise the importance of finding and connecting with someone on an emotional level.
The second Covid wave has led to a 20-25% surge in new users signing up on such platforms. Dating apps too are now positioning themselves as a way to find potential partners and not just casual chats. Besides audio and video chat features for dating to go virtual, the Covid vaccination status of a match has also emerged as an ‘X factor’.
Dating app firms TOI spoke to said that those vaccinated are now flaunting the milestone on their profiles. For others, just expressing the intent to get a vaccine, or support for it, helps too.
“In the last one month we’ve seen around 28% user growth and 25% increase in daily active users,” dating app Aisle’s founder and CEO Able Joseph said. “When the lockdown hit last year, we saw a surge in the number of installs due to boredom. But as time passed, we noticed users are looking for potential longterm partners.”
Dating app Bumble’s communications director Samarpita Samaddar said, “Since India went into lockdown in March 2020, more than one in two chats turned into something more meaningful with a large number of messages being exchanged.”
“People are matching more frequently, sending more messages and engaging in longer conversations,” Tinder GM (India) Taru Kapoor said.
On the dating app OkCupid, those who said they will take the Covid vaccine received 25% more likes than those who answered no. “There were higher engagements with a potential partner where the intentions are clear of wanting love by expressing exactly what they want in a relationship,” OkCupid marketing director Anukool Kumar said.
The pandemic has also taken online dating beyond urban areas and normalised it in tier-2 and -3 towns. “In the last one year, we have observed a 10X growth from tier-2 and -3 cities, even in terms of revenues,” TrulyMadly co-founder and CEO Snehil Khanor said.