More Indians find solace on online dating apps during self-isolation
COVID-19 pandemic has put India’s 1.3 billion population under home-quarantine in order to curb the spread of the virus. With no outdoor activities and emphasis on social distancing, many Indians, particularly millennials, have started swiping through online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Happn, and OkCupid now more than ever. With a lot of time at their hands, people are indulging in virtual dating to not only kill time but to meet the love of their life as well during the trying time.
People using online dating apps have also revealed getting more matches during lockdown than they did before. A vast number of users have also changed their bios during self-quarantine to fit the situation.
With the surge in virtual dating, mobile apps have also introduced ways to maximise user interface. For instance, Tinder made its paid premium feature ‘Passport’ free for all users across the world that allows the users to locate matches from long distances and different countries. With the introduction of this feature, Tinder witnessed the highest number of swipes at 3 million on March 29, as per reports. Online dating app Hinge has also modified its features by asking matched users if they are ready to take their relationship to the next level: a video chat.
Bumble saw an 11 percent increase in registration by young users during the end week of March 27 than the week ending March 13. As per reports, Bumble also suggested that online dating space in India will witness a gender shift, with more women taking the first step. There will be a surge in need for meaningful, lasting connections during the self-isolation time.
Nine out of 10 Indians agree to continue dating virtually using texting, video-calling or the traditional phone calls over the apps. In India, daily conversations have also risen to an average of 39 percent with an average length of conversation up to 28 percent longer.
According to dating.com, since the beginning of March, India has been the second most active country in online dating after the United States. The dating app also put out recommendations for matched users to make their experience better during isolation.
While it will be difficult for the people who match online until the lockdown ends, users are stepping up their games and altering the rules of dating. On one hand, there are some users who are talking to people on dating apps to pass their lonely days, on the other, there are users to are giving virtual dating a chance to find their significant other in times of social distancing.
It will be interesting to analyse the change in the pattern of online dating post-Coronavirus lockdown. Meanwhile, COVID-19 confirmed cases in India crossed 12,000 on April 16 with over 400 deaths reported.