We do not live in normal times to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way that we do practically everything that we do. This extends to the way that we date and pair up with one another. Dating apps have capitalized on the fact that most Americans are being asked to stay at home to prevent the further spread of the virus. These apps have had to come up with new ways to incorporate the world that we live in today.
Online Dating Apps Have Spent A Long Time Convincing Us To Use Them
There is zero question that online dating apps have spent a great deal of time trying to convince us that we should use them. They started by breaking down the stigma that sometimes surrounds online dating. Certain groups of people still believe that using a dating app makes someone less of a romantic or that they don’t have what it takes to meet people out in public and be successful at dating. None of those stereotypes are true, but the online dating apps had to fight against those tides of thought in the past.
Just as the world of online dating became more normalized, the worldwide pandemic took hold. Suddenly, all industries big and small had to rethink how they were doing business. It doesn’t seem at this moment that life is going to change much from the situation we are in now. Even as some areas attempt to restart their economies and loosen restrictions, there are plenty of people who are only tepidly stepping back into public. Dating apps will have to continue to work out ways to serve a homebound population.
A Push To Do Virtual Meetings
One might reasonably think that without the ability to meet in public spaces people might not have the incentive to try to date or use a dating app at all. Certainly a portion of the population has had this same inclination, but they are not the majority. Regardless of the fact that there is a pandemic going on, people still want to form romantic attachments with one another.
Dating apps have encouraged users to meet on virtual dates, and plenty of them have put out video-based features to make these types of connections easier than ever. Some of these apps have released toll-free phone numbers to handle the extra call volume generated by people calling to inquire about the new features that the apps have released. A few apps have even gone so far as to offer tips to their users about how to create that romantic spark with someone over the phone.
All of this extra work that the apps have put into keeping and gaining customers has worked out well. On average, dating apps have seen roughly 10-15% more users since the start of the pandemic lock downs compared to the times prior to the lock down. That is not an insignificant amount of growth. It attests to the fact that people are responding happily to what these apps have done.
Spending More Time Getting To Know A Person Before Meeting Them
A lot of online daters will tell you that they have a certain routine that they practice when getting to know a new person that they are considering dating. They like to check out the person’s profile on the dating app, compare it to other things that the person has posted throughout the Internet, and chat with that person over a period of time until they get the opportunity to actually meet in person. Many relationship experts in the past encouraged online daters to not spend too much time chatting with a person before meeting online so as to make some significant progress towards forming a real relationship with that person. That is starting to change a little now.
Circumstances have forced people to speak with each other online far longer than they might have otherwise before meeting in person, but that may not be such a bad thing. With all of the additional features mentioned before such as video-chat capabilities, it is easy to get an intimate view of the life of the other person that they may be interested in. This both helps build the bond between the two people and also better informs each individual about factors that could influence their decision to decide to proceed or not.
Human Beings Require Interaction
Socializing and interacting with one another is a major need for all human beings. There is a lot of concern that all of the time at home may have a negative impact on the mental health of a huge portion of the population. It may be medically necessary, but that doesn’t make it any easier for all who have to go through it. The ultimate concern is that all of the lack of interaction could create permanent impacts on the population. To avoid this scenario, it is essential that we have alternatives to stay in touch with one another.
Dating has flourished for on other platforms that one might not immediately think of. For example, some people have started to meet virtually through gaming. The Nintendo Switch has become wildly popular for this very thing, and there were even supply issues with the Switch during certain parts of the year. It seemed like everyone wanted to connect with each other through games.
Romantic relationships can begin or at least become stronger through gaming platforms. People are sharing an experience with one another, and it is a fun gaming experience that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to find in any other form or fashion. It can range from very serious gaming to ridiculously funny games. Either format can work to build up the relationship between two people.
Apps Are Not Yet Creating New Revenue Streams
There are not yet a lot of known new revenue streams to tap into for the dating apps. They still rely on their basic subscription model, but they are pleased that so many users have decided to take this journey with them. The fact that people are video-chatting more or using other in-app features that they have created specifically because of COVID-19 may or may not pay off in terms of direct revenue, but they are seeing their traditional revenue streams continue to grow.
All of the dating apps may be more into holding on to their current users and hunkering down for the time being, but the strategy appears to be working. In the end, these changes could alter the way that dating happens, and that could be a very interesting change on human society overall. Sociologists and others have tried to study how this might work. They are curious about what people will do when they are matched up in a significant way without having the ability to meet each other for an extended period of time. How will this alter our behavior once the world gets back to business and we finally can meet in-person once again? Those are the interesting questions that have yet to be answered.
Everyone will continue to watch how these dynamics change and how society will adapt to them. Human beings will always adapt as necessary to remain in touch with one another.