It's now a given fact that the pandemic has changed the rules of love. More and more people have turned to online dating in the past one-and-a-half years. The apps have not just observed the trend but also caught on to it. According to an Associated Press report, Tinder reported that 2020 was its busiest year yet; this year, its users have already set two records for usage between January and March. Hinge tripled its revenue from 2019 to 2020, and the company expects it to double from that this year. "In response to changing demands, Tinder announced new tools last month that will allow users to get to know people better online. People will now be able to add videos to their profile and can chat with others even before matching with them," stated the report.
Some of the apps, such as OkCupid, went ahead and redefined the idea of love—one that is sans judgement. So, to provide an inclusive experience to the members, the app released over 60 identities for users to choose from. This was in addition to over 20 sexual orientations and 22 gender options that the users to could choose from. It also used AI to help millennials form meaningful connections on the basis of shared interests, likes, beliefs and opinions on issues ranging from climate change, gender rights to the simplest of quirks such as choice of coffee and whether they like pineapple on pizza or not.
Also read: The pandemic changed dating norms. Are apps taking note?
As a result some heartfelt love stories emerge during the pandemic. Take, for instance, Kiran Kandade, who had been married for 22 years. And when she separated from her husband, her daughter encouraged her to give dating apps a try. At 50, she found love again with Tom. Today, the couple doesn't feel the need to "label" their relationship.
According to a new nationwide survey by Bumble, the women-first dating app, 50 per cent Indians are no longer ashamed to admit that they met their partners on dating apps. The app's research reveals how the pandemic has changed the way single Indians are dating, especially after the second wave of covid-19 in India.
Also read: Millennials in pursuit of happiness during the pandemic
Nearly 44 per cent of the people surveyed, who were earlier against online dating, veered towards it after the second wave this year, and it became the only way to meet someone likeminded. 72 per cent of the single Indians surveyed felt that it was possible to fall in love with someone online, whom they had never met in person. 38 per cent would not go on a date or have sex with someone who hadn't received the covid-19 vaccine.
To capitalise on their trend, in the past year, Bumble has made several updates to its platform, including introducing 150 new interest badges in dating profiles and launching its “Night In” feature, wherein two people can participate in an interactive game during a video chat. It has been found that people are now dating more intentionally than before the pandemic. And they’re being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship, whether it’s something casual or serious.