The dating industry doesn't stay still. Every year you can witness new app launches or huge updates from the industry leaders like Tinder or Bumble. These changes are usually dictated by society's needs or technological innovations and make a huge impact not only on the end users but dating entrepreneurs too.
Today let's explore some recent industry trends and updates and have a look at new inspiring app launches.
As Gen Z grows, many new dating startups tailored specifically for the young generation are emerging. One of the startups that target Gen Z is Snack - a dating app that is based on video content and a cheeky slogan: "Not your parents' dating app".
In February 2021, the company secured $3.5 million in seed funding for its TikTok-style dating app. The app encourages users to tell more about their lifestyles, hobbies, and talents by creating videos. The video then goes to the feed, and if someone likes you, you have a possible match. What's more exciting is that users can also reshare their TikTok content to Snack.
Another dating app that was made for the young generation is the French startup Feels. This app also looks more like a TikTok or Instagram Reel with a dating feature.
When you check the profiles in Feels, you see a full-screen video with your potential date doing something or sharing what they like. You can react with emojis and likes or simply start the conversation. If you don't "Feel" like doing anything, you are simply scrolling down the profile to the next person. The app also provides the ice-breakers like "Let's create a viral TikTok dance together," which is heartwarming indeed.
Video Credits: Feels
The main point of the service that makes it stand out from the dating app crowd is the lack of swiping feature. The company emphasizes that swiping is "old af" and "boring".
After all, in Tinder-like dating apps, you always have to make a very straightforward decision about the person you see on the screen. It means that you have to reject a person who you don't even know, and in general, it feels horrible, especially for the Gen Z generation. A 10-year-old "innovative" simplicity is now perceived as something superficial and outdated.
One more Gen Z service for today is Desti. This one is a relatively new one, as it was launched in August 2022. Again, a video-based app with an interesting concept: users can find their perfect match by sharing a desired date destination. The app filters and matches users based on their preferred destination. Austin-based company is pushing people to meet in real life instead of starting endless same-like conversations.
As well as Feels and Snack, Desti promotes itself as nothing like Bumble or Tinder: there are no "sending a like" or "swiping to match" features. You can like a post and send a message that the other person can either accept or ignore.
When creating a profile, each user is requested to select three “destis” from categories such as Breweries, Rooftops, Live Music Venues, Food Trucks, and Dog Dates, among others. Amidst the video options, there are hundreds of prompts users can add, including: “Let’s learn about … ,” “The CDC recommends we do this ...” and even “Tonight let's try something new!” To complete their account, the user must upload four photos and share a brief biography.
Maybe you remember a jaw-dropping story about a Tinder scammer, who faked his real identity and introduced himself as the son of a diamond billionaire to be able to swindle money from women in the app? The story went viral after Netflix released an entertaining documentary featuring his victims sharing their unbelievable experiences of online dating turning from a fairytale into a nightmare.
That infamous story received global publicity and as well as social media attention and raised a lot of questions about online dating security.
In the context of last year's events, Match Group (Tinder, Tinder, Hinge, Match, Plenty of Fish, Meetic, and OurTime) released an awareness campaign that tends to educate users about online dating scamming. Now you can see in-app messages and email notifications with tips and advice on preventing being scammed online.
Previously Tinder launched some other safety features, one of them being a background-checking tool powered by Gabro. This service helps you to check a date's background, such as violent behavior records, by knowing only the name, phone number, or name and birth date.
Another safety feature was released in both Tinder and Bumble, and it suggests reporting abusive users who were unmatched and thus erased the chat history. Right now, if one user unmatches with another, the second one will receive a note that the person on the other side ended the conversation, and he/she/they can either delete the conversation or report it.
Another great service for a background check is Social Catfish - a tool that helps to verify the date by either knowing the name, phone number, location, email, etc., or by the photo. It also shows if your photo is used by some other website or a person so that you can claim a copyright.
Video Credit: Social Catfish
Even if you are not targeting Gen Z in the first place, the trends are dictated by them. So if they say that swiping is "old af" and creating videos for self-introduction is what they want to do - you should take it into account.
Yes, Tinder, Bumble, and other swiping apps are still leading the market. But instead of competing with them, another option for you as a dating entrepreneur is to find new niches, new trends, and features that could be leading in the future. Videos and "scrolling instead of swiping" are one of them.
Security and authenticity are other important aspects that online daters are concerned about. No one wants to be a fool anymore, and it's in your interest to provide a positive experience that people will come to receive again and again.
The growing number of safety features and background-checking services can be a great opportunity for you, too, as it can help to hold the users that you already have. By providing them with the possibility to check their date's identity, you will create an atmosphere of trust and loyalty that is key in the dating industry in 2023.
Alexa is a sure-handed digital marketing person who helps small and middle-size businesses to grow online. She believes that a well-thought SEO strategy, smart targeting, and communication strategy could skyrocket any business.