It’s A Match!

 

Digital business and smartphones have revolutionized the way individuals form relationships with new people, especially when it comes to the world of dating. Because of this, the classic romantic encounter consumers see in the movies is becoming a thing from the past, mainly due to the variety of dating apps and platforms created in the past decade. When thinking back to my favorite movies and stories of how romances begin, I think of this classic scene:

A women walks into a restaurant with her friends, while a man stands with a group of people at the bar. Each orders a drink. As they look down the bar, the man to his right and the women to her left, their eyes meet. They look away, but continue to flirt with small glances throughout the night. Finally, he gets the courage to walk over and introduce himself. The two talk for hours about anything and everything. Finally, as the night is about to end, they exchange numbers. The rest is history.

 

 

Growing up, parents tell the romantic story of how they met to their children. However, due to the rise in dating app usage, these stories may become a tale of the past sooner than we expected. Studies show that in today’s society, about 90% of single U.S. adults have used some type of online dating site or mobile app. In the last year, 20% of adults met their significant others using an online platform. Similarly, 17% of couples who were married in the last year met on a dating site. As these numbers begin to rise, especially as more platforms come out, romantic stories will become a thing of the past.

 

All dating apps.png

 

As the trend of online dating continues, brands must be sure to promote themselves to their specific target audience. There are three main categories in the dating app world that brands fall under. The first type of site is geared towards older, more mature, serious relationship seekers. For example, OkCupid, Match.com, and EHarmony fall into this group. These platforms focus on consumers who are searching for a partner in life. They concentrate on an older demographic because they assume these individuals are looking for a serious relationship. In commercials, they usually use success stories of older couples who are now happily married. Overall, these platforms were some of the first in existence and most successful to date.

 

okcupid

 

 

match-com

 

The second category platforms fall under is focused on hookup culture, especially among the younger generations. Apps such as Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel are all platforms that target millennials. Specifically, they target consumers who are more focused on having a good time and less on finding their soulmate. To go along with this specific demographic, the platforms are all about saving time. Consumers are given small bits of information to decide if they connect with others on the site. Finally, these platforms do not allow an interaction between two customers unless they both indicate they wish to be connected. Again, these apps are focused on providing individuals the opportunity to see numerous people in seconds.

 

bumble

 

 

tinder

 

The final category of dating sites is Niche apps. These focus on hyper-specific markets that consumers wish to explore. Platforms like JDate, Christian Mingle, Trek Passions and Veggiemate are all part of this category. Each site has its own specific target audience based on one or more shared interests. Studies showed that 64% of single U.S. adults said that common interests are the most important factor when finding a partner. Niche platforms help consumer find others with the same specific interests as them. For example, if a consumer loved Star Trek and wanted to find a significant other who also shares this love, they could sign up on Trek Passion and meet thousands of others who also love this franchise. Veggiemate, on the other hand, helps consumers meet individuals who share similar eating habits. The list of Niche platforms is by far the largest of the three categories and helps consumers find exactly what they’re looking for.

 

 

Overall, each of these different categories helps target a sub segment of the total online dating market. Before dating apps, consumers spent days, or even weeks, getting to know a potential partner, only to find out that they don’t have much in common. Apps, like the ones mentioned above, help these individuals save time, get to know numerous people in a fraction of the time, and hopefully, find what they’ve been searching for. It will be interesting to observe how hyper-selective dating apps will affect marital success, given the decline in long-lasting relationships.

 

Sources:

Online Dating Statistics

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. Austin Ellis · ·

    Great post, an interesting read! Having never used any of these besides Tinder, it was very educational to hear about the wide variety of sites and apps. They really seem to have the market covered, from the general population, down the the ultra-specific. Despite the insight you have provided, I do not see myself joining any of these in the future.

  2. katieInc_ · ·

    Great topic! I personally love hearing stories of how couples met and am slightly disheartened by the rise of online dating platforms and the impact this could have on these stories in the future. I really like how you broke out the broad category of dating apps into three applicable categories.

    I am interested to see how online dating platforms can drive digital business and activity in the future. Are businesses interested in or already advertising to platform users? Is there data that can be collected on online screening and dating patterns? It’s a little awkward and weird to think about, but definitely a possibility moving forward.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post- the topic was very engaging. I think its really true how many people meet now through dating apps rather than the classic stories that people used to have only a few decades ago. This post actually reminded me of @emilypetroni14‘s post and her take on dating apps. While sites like Tinder may have changed the reputation of dating apps, I believe that these are becoming more common, and may be less likely to be judged, etc. In fact- I have many friends who have met their fiances’ and/or serious boyfriend/girlfriend through these sites. While the traditional story of how couples meet may have changed in a traditional sense, I believe these open up to a world of equally interesting stories for couples to share. The notion of advertisments on sites- it is definitely a fine line to walk on to have brand information on dating apps. However, these sites give a lot of information into the users themselves as often times you have to enter your location, school, etc- much of which can give the marketing team good insight into the brands that you may find interesting as a user. I do think that it will make these sites lose their authenticity though. Overall- great post!!!

  4. jagpalsingh03 · ·

    Great post! I would have never guessed that 90% of single US adults had used a dating app! It’s also interesting to see how many niche dating websites have popped up, you can filter so many things. I like how you broke down the various types of applications into different categories but I definitely feel that there is overlap. For example, “The League” is an “exclusive” dating app where access is best off your resume (niche) and people can be looking for serious or casual relationships. Regardless, I wonder if cultural attitudes towards online dating will be more amiable in the next coming years. Even though 90% of single Americans might be online dating, I know that among my friends, apps like Tinder are used more to pass the time swiping on the bus rather than to actually meet people.

  5. vicmoriartybc · ·

    Great post! While I do feel that the rise of dating apps and sites can be a good thing, since so many couples report meeting through them, I wonder if they will lead to the diminishing of actual emotional connection. When people see each other as simply a potential Tinder swipe, will there ever be a desire to connect beyond the superficial level?

  6. Aditya Murali · ·

    Awesome post! I truly believe that these dating apps geared towards millennials, and the concept of online dating in general, are going to have a negative affect on marital success. Back then, I feel like unique encounters with people were more rare, so when you did have one, you were more likely to think to yourself, “he/she’s the one!”. Now, you literally have hundreds of people in the palm of your hand, and this mentality that there are so many others out there and that you have so many options will be too enticing for people to want to stay in a relationship or work on a marriage. I know I sound cynical, but I just think that’s where the trend is headed.

  7. I thought this was a super interesting post- nice! I think your analysis of niche dating sites and platforms is especially interesting. I am from Minnesota, and it is always funny to go home and turn on the TV to see a commercial for FarmersOnly.com which is a niche dating site for midwestern farmers. The tagline for the platform is “City folk just don’t get it” so I can definitely see where your analysis of this platform asserts the hyper-focus to a specific cohort. Like others have mentioned, I wonder if access to these platforms will significantly threaten the lifespan of traditional relationships.

  8. Nice post. These sites come up from time to time. I have actually ventured on from time to time (with the clear message that I’m happily married and a college prof teaching SM). I do find them fascinating sociologically, particularly since there’s not much to many of them technologically.

  9. It makes sense for millennials to want to find a more efficient way of meeting possible significant others so I don’t think dating apps are as bad as some people may view them compared to traditional romance. I did write a blog earlier in the semester about niche dating apps targeting minorities; I’ve come to realize that you really can’t help liking people similar to you and these apps basically just take whatever analytics they gather about these kind of dating trends to bring those kinds of similar matches to you.

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