Decoding the Click-a-Button Generation's Way of Finding Love: Dating Apps
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Click a button or swipe right and you will find a date! As strange as this idea may sound, it is true. More than 50 per cent of the Indian population fall in the category of singles in India. This number has only risen over the years. What’s surprising is that the country is facing the highest ever single women population including an array of individuals who have never married, are divorced, separated, consciously single etc.
To add to this crisis is the demanding lifestyle that accompanies everyone nowadays. Growing career-oriented lifestyle has made being busy the norm and millennials are not able to enjoy the genuine human bonds that are needed to sustain and survive in life.
A solution to such a scenario gave birth to dating apps, moreover, they became an instant hit! The click-a-button generation that needs everything instantly from noodles to humans embraced the online dating apps industry for whatever they had to offer.
Entrepreneur India interacts with Delta, TrulyMadly and OkCupid to list out the trends of dating online among millennials:
Busy-A Favourite Word Among Millennials
Ishaan Sethi, Co-founder & CEO of Delta App, has caught the nerve of the millennials correctly, “Talk to a millennial and you’ll probably realize their favourite word is “busy” and unsurprisingly so - at a time when attention spans a few seconds and one is constantly running between work and home whilst juggling multiple responsibilities; it can often be difficult to make time to meet new people.”
Today, Sethi believes, that dating apps are no longer focused on just matrimonial aspects like they were at one time – there are apps based on one’s intent. “You have apps that match people based on things they collectively hate, or even apps like Delta that are the few inclusive LGBTQ apps, globally.,” he adds
Coping with Horrific Scenarios
While talking about privacy, Sethi, agrees that stories of extortion, underage users, prostitution, blackmail etc are horrific if one looks at prominent “hook up” oriented apps that are popular with the gay community, specifically.
“Privacy & security are paramount concerns on dating apps, unfortunately, very few apps give it the level of importance one would expect.” At Delta, we’re all about helping people make meaningful connections in a secure platform.
He also adds that every profile comes with trust scores, and users are encouraged to create more trustworthy profiles to get more in-app perks, be introduced to more people and so on. “For security, we're using HTTPS, OTP based authentication, Data is secured on the Amazon server.”
Let’s Talk Business?
Sethi agrees that the dating app industry provides lucrative business opportunities, “Dating apps, especially those service niches, provide efficient and low-cost access to brands interested in relevant communities. Conventional targeting fails in such cases because there’s an error percentage one must account for when trying to reach say a gay audience on social media.”
According to Sethi, the LGBTQ community is the highest spending minority globally and expected to hit a trillion dollar mark soon. “Dating apps focused on this segment are a great avenue for brands and advertisers that would like to reach these users.”
Exiting from the Taboo
Snehil Khanor, Co-founder and COO of TrulyMadly feels that millennials are generally more progressive versus GenX because they have grown up with a lot of global exposure. “So taboo which was associated with dating and dating apps for the previous generations is not that prevalent among millennials.” Moreover, he adds that these millennials neither relate much with arranged marriage setups nor with matrimonial websites which largely still operate on caste, religion, salary and family, so dating apps are the most preferred avenue for them to find potential matches.
Pillars for Privacy
Khanor says that their key differentiation is around 4 pillars-verification, women first, compatibility and moderation. “Additionally, we can proudly say it’s a 100% humane platform with ZERO Bots.”
While dating apps are a new addition to the dictionary of millennials, the security of females, especially is something to be taken care of by these dating apps.
TrulyMadly aims to provide a safe space to its users, especially females. To ensure that females on the platform feel safe and secure, the platform provides them with some additional features/powers including private profiles, no screenshots and reporting and taking action against any sort of abuse.
Some Very High Financial Numbers
Are dating apps providing lucrative business opportunities? Khanor responds in the affirmative, “Definitely! Our subscription revenue has almost doubled from last FY and this year we expect it to close at even better numbers.”
How much millennials are able to encash from the dating sites is a big question! But businesses are surely encashing a lot of business!
Making Your Own Choices and Connections
Melissa Hobley, CMO, OkCupid says dating apps provide an avenue for people to meet and connect with others outside their immediate circle, in addition to being a safe space to express themselves and their desires. “Instead of being told what to do, or having other people choose on their behalf, today’s youth - particularly women - want to make their own choices based on the connection they share with a person.” She also feels that Indian millennials expect more than any previous generation, both from the world and themselves, especially in the context of relationships and dating.
Robust Technology to the Rescue
One of the biggest concerns that crop up while one talks about dating apps are the issue of privacy. According to Hobley, robust technology, support team, and complying with all relevant data privacy rules and regulations helps OkCupid keep the privacy concerns at bay.
She says, “For example, people on the app can hide their profile from someone they had messaged or liked by clicking ‘hide’ on their profile or ‘block’ on their message. Moreover, if you like someone on the app, you can send one message which they will be able to see only when they check your profile. This gives the user a chance to express themselves without spamming anyone’s profile.”
According to Statistica, Indian online dating companies were expected to earn around $13 million in 2018 owing to 85 million single-population in India. It is imperative that the online dating industry is ripe for business. Hobley neither accepts nor denies, “Being a public company, we will not be able to speak about the business opportunities. We definitely see potential in the Indian market due to the sheer size and the rapidly changing socio-cultural landscape.”