Boomers Are Gravitating to Dating Apps Catering to Older Daters

Seniors
  • Wednesday, February 19 2020 @ 12:17 pm
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Boomers are looking for love and increasingly turning to dating apps to do it. But Tinder isn’t necessarily what they are looking for.

BBC reported that the demographics with the biggest growth for dating app usage are 18-24-year-olds and those over 50. Between 2013 and 2015 when Tinder began to take off, online dating tripled for the younger demographic and doubled for those aged 55-64, according to Pew Research Center.

However, older daters were finding obstacles in using popular apps like Tinder that continue to cater to young users. For example, when Tinder launched its premium paid service, the company charged significantly more for older users, which caused an outcry. Some dating apps don’t let people over 50 sign up at all, so boomers were either having to lie about their ages or look for another platform. 

Apps like Lumen, a UK-based app for older singles, entered the picture to compete with dating apps overlooking and even ignoring this demographic. As boomers were also becoming more attached to their smartphones, Lumen saw an opportunity to appeal to these tech-savvy daters looking for love.

In the first year, Lumen gained 1.5 million members. 

Now other online dating platforms are following Lumen’s lead. Services like OurTime and Silver Singles began as niche online dating websites, but have now developed their own apps to capture this growing market. OurTime has seen a 146% increase in active users in the past two years, and 63% of its members have registered over their phones, according to BBC.

Many women daters have also complained that men their age use dating apps to find women twenty and even thirty years younger, so they wanted a dedicated service where they had more opportunity to meet people their age who were looking for someone more age-appropriate. 

Charly Lester, founder of Lumen, told BBC: "Another reason we started the app is that a lot of women were complaining that men their own age didn't want to date them any more, they wanted to date significantly younger."

However she noted that older men are more interested in finding a committed relationship than older women, who are looking for companionship and freedom.

Another obstacle the older generation of daters is dealing with is the prevalence of scammers on dating apps. Many daters have lost money, some even their life savings, over an online romance that was with a fake account. Many don’t realize they are being swindled until it’s too late, and then are embarrassed to report it.

Over-50 daters are a major part of the dating app market, which means there could be more competition for these consumers as it continues to grow.