Dating App Users Triple in India in 2018

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India Online Dating is on the Rise

A new study found that dating app users tripled in India over the course of 2018, thanks mainly to women.

Dating app usage in the Indian market has huge potential, and not just because of the impressive growth over the last year. Overall user penetration still rather low at 2.7 percent as of 2018, but it’s expected to hit 3.2 percent by 2023 according to online market researcher Statista. Analysts also expect the market to be valued at $100 million in the next five to eight years, according to a report in LiveMint.

A slew of U.S.-based apps are rushing to cash in on the fast-growing market, including Tinder, OkCupid and female-friendly app Bumble. Match Group saw such huge growth potential this year that they added a new key executive to oversee the region and have invested more resources in marketing.

Bumble made a big splash by partnering with Indian superstar Priyanka Chopra to launch its app in the country. CEO Whitney Wolf Herd noted that its female-forward platform, along with its sister apps Bumble Bizz for career networking and Bumble BFF for forging friendships would allow women to feel more comfortable signing up for the service.

Other apps like the popular Chinese-based Tantan have also done well in India. The majority of its users are aged twenty-four and under, which is the age of over half of the Indian population. Competition might be a problem for the app however, as male users outweigh female users seven to three.

OkCupid has customized its app for the Indian market, specifically appealing to women by asking questions in the sign-up process that are most relevant. For example, one of the app’s questions is how they view the #MeToo movement, and whether or not they want to continue working after getting married (and how they’d want their partners to respond).

“One of the reasons driving this (change) is women in India,” OkCupid’s Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Hobley told LiveMint. “They want their relationship to be their choice, not their parents’ or family’s. Dating apps allow for that kind of a safe environment where you can experience these ideas and thoughts.”

Interestingly, the apps are reaching people in small towns as well as the large metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Tantan has seen a lot of growth in towns thanks to its marketing efforts. Blued India, an Indian-based gay dating app, says 20-30 percent of its user base comes from small towns, since it offers customization in a range of languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi and Punjabi.

Many users in India sign up for dating apps for networking as well as dating, Livemint points out. As young peoples’ lives get busier with work and school, and as mobile technology becomes a primary way to communicate, it’s natural that networks like dating apps will follow.