Author: Lexie, head – Source: “Modern Love”

The epidemic that has lasted for more than half a year has affected all aspects of people’s lives. Global online dating increased by 182% in early March. Singles with social constraints are turning to online dating in a record number.

The advent of social software for dating and strangers has changed our way of finding people, and people are increasingly accepting online dating apps to find partners.

According to the Pew Research Center report, 30% of Americans have used online dating apps, and 12% of users said they found stable relationships through online dating.

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Online dating: there is always one for you

Tinder: Swipe left and right to open the originator of the mountain

When it comes to online dating software in Europe and America, Tinder is probably the most familiar one. Tinder was launched as early as 2012, the originator of the left-slide right-slide mode.

The emergence of Tinder is revolutionary, allowing people to choose a matching partner into an experience like “cloud shopping”.

It also justifies and speeds up the experience of seeking to meet physiological needs. In the age of on-demand economy, Tinder is the same as “Didi Dating”.

From the perspective of market share, Tinder is currently the leader and the number one in downloads.

However, compared with the eternal C position in previous years, Tinder sits less firmly.

Although Tinder has no flaws in the user experience, due to the uneven quality of Tinder users, many people are gradually avoiding it. On the contrary, many latecomers are grabbing the hearts of users like a bamboo.

Hinge: If you fall in love, please get rid of me

If you ask most single young people in the United States, which one can only have one dating app on their mobile phones? Most people’s answer is Hinge.

The reason is actually very simple. The app itself has a clean and simple design, and there are few fake accounts and hungry users with impure purposes. Most of them are single men and women of the right age and good quality who are willing to “get to know each other, get acquainted with each other, and fall in love” seriously.

Hinge’s initial model was to connect you with your friends through mutual friends, but it quickly transformed into what it is today.

Users need to fill in very comprehensive basic information, such as height and age, education occupation, religious beliefs, smoking and drinking, whether you want children, etc. This slightly cumbersome process actually screens out users who are “insincere” .

The most exciting thing is that there are many interesting questions such as:

“What is the most risky thing you have ever done?”

“What are you usually doing on Sunday morning?”

“How can I win my heart?”

Not only has the matter of making friends with strangers become a content-related game, so that users can take the lead in understanding the personality of potential objects, but also can cleverly break the ice and make people think about how to say hello without trying hard.

Hinge’s positioning is also very interesting. Contrary to Tinder, Hinge hopes that users can find true love on this app, and it doesn’t matter if you uninstall it.

Hinge is also the first software that wants to get dating feedback, just like your best friend and buddy will ask you about your date, Hinge’s “We Met” function.

After you meet someone, will you also ask if you met? Is TA your favorite?

Use this to refine the algorithm to better match the future objects for you, and at the same time, if you are in love, don’t bother.

Bumble: Girls masterMobility

If the girls are fed up with boys’ clichéd opening remarks, or don’t want to wait for a long time for the match to be said hi, Bumble is a good choice, and also adopt the mode of sliding left and right.

Bumble’s self-introduction model is similar to Hinge. It has bio but also prompts for users to chat.

The biggest feature of Bumble is that when two people have a match, the girl has to speak actively, otherwise the pairing will fail after 24 hours, and the boy should reply within 24 hours after receiving the message.

This model has changed two characteristics of most dating apps.

First, the active and passive mode of boys and girls has been broken. This protects girls and reduces the chance of being harassed. It is also a good news for boys. Although girls have control, many boys actually enjoy the feeling of being chased.

On the other hand, cracking the dating software is very frustrating: chatting and chatting the other party disappears.

Bumble will “shoot” you from time to time, making people have to actively participate in the conversation and speed up the chat progress. It also makes being ghosting(the other party suddenly evaporates) this matter is not so disturbing, because once it expires, it will be invisible and innocent.

Grindr: Same-sex dating is a gold mine

Just in early July, Blued(Blue City Brothers), China’s largest same-sex dating platform, landed on Nass at an issue price of $16 per share. Dark, valued at US$1 billion, has become the first share of same-sex dating.

Blued is going to face Grindr, the number one gay dating company in the United States. It is located in Los Angeles and was founded in 2009.

Because the software that focuses on same-sex dating can filter out the filtering of “straight men and straight women”, users are highly sticky.

Data from Grindr and Blued both show that users of both apps play for about 60 minutes a day.

Grindr has established a relatively stable business model early on. The founder once revealed that 75% of its revenue comes from membership fees and 25% comes from advertising.

The paid version provides privileges including no ads, access to over 600 accounts at a time, unlimited likes and blocking.

According to the financial report, Grindr’s annual revenue in 2019 reached 763 million yuan, an increase of 33% year-on-year in 2018, and it turned losses into profits in Q3.

Match Group: Compatible and include multiple acquisitions

What you don’t know may be that most popular dating apps have a Patriarch Match Group, which owns more than 20 dating services and has made many acquisitions in recent years.

The Tinder and Hinge mentioned above are the property of Match Group, including the old dating software, as well as Plenty Of Fish, Ship, OkCupid, etc. that are not bad at present.

Although for users, knowing that all your dating software is behind a large-scale commercial layout does not seem romantic.

However, for investors, Match’s inclusive method of capturing single young people of all ages and fields is very attractive.

Match Group went public in 2015, and Match’s stock price has risen 12% during the epidemic this year.

In the modern age, how to fall in love in a modern way

Right to the right or like-minded?

In “Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating” by the American writer Moira Weigel, she wrote that in our parents’ generation, love is very important when dealing with each other.

Now when we use dating software, we are more looking for like-minded people.

So when presenting self-selected objects, the question of “what do we like” exceeds the definition of “what are we”.

However, hobbies are actually the ingenious incarnation of social background. For example, if a person says he likes to watch opera, the translation is “I can afford opera tickets”.

The fitness photos, surf photos, and party photos we put on the software, and the recent books we are reading in bio, speak a few languages. While showing ourselves, we are also screening potential objects.

The nightclub cafe may want the same nocturnal creatures as him, and the outdoor madman may not want his significant other to be an otaku, and the same smell is the right one in the 21st century.

Looking at your face may allow you to slide right to a person, but if your bio has a “sunny and white snow”, he is a “liba person”, will you still pick him?

For example, Hinge does a better job in this regard. It is different from Tinder’s simple and rude face-watching + bio mode, but instead uses questions to let users understand each other and screen them with interest.

The combination of content and social networking is the focus of this like-minded one, by allowing users to introduce themselves more and even link to their own Instagram, such as a software called Glimpse.

This feature provides a scene that strangers do not have on the Internet and popular social networking, and it also allows users to quickly include strangersEnter a more private social network.

In China, social software for strangers is also emerging one after another. Behind many tricks are the basic concepts of main interests and display content. For example, NetEase’s Xinyu app, Ali’s picture social pushpin, Tencent’s voice social echo, etc.

I used to be slow or nearby people?

In the past, carts and horses were very slow, letters were far away, and only one person could be loved in a lifetime.

Today’s single young people are very anxious and want to meet after a few words.

At the turn of the century, social products with positioning as the core began to appear one after another, and brand new user experiences brought new opportunities for strangers to socialize.

Nowadays, dating apps of all sizes want to know where you are and show you the distance between you and potential matches.

Shared positioning itself has a social meaning. Facebook acquired Glancee, an LBS discovery product in 2012, and added the “Friends Nearby” function.

Let users quickly know where their friends are, and it is not convenient for them to play together, so they will move online to offline to speed up social progress.

Up to now, the role played in interpersonal relationships is not only to speed up the face-to-face foundation, but to link your heart to mine with position, and to close the distance to break the barrier.

It’s hard to say that location-based social interaction will be as important in the future, but the fact that people need a meaningful place carrier for social interaction is eternal.

The American drama “Upload” even broke the boundaries of life and death, allowing people’s consciousness to use virtual avatars to “return” to the world, kissing loved ones, and the cloud has become a base for the future.

Offline dating or passionate chat?

The epidemic has changed the pattern of people’s social life. The weekly Happy Hour has become Zoom plus homemade cocktails, medical consultations have been moved online, and dating has also been the same. Video chat has replaced the first meeting in bars and cafes.

Because they can’t socialize with their friends normally, lonely urban men and women choose to use dating software to fill their inner emptiness.

Fast Company data shows that since the beginning of the epidemic, the number of messages on Tinder has increased by 20%, and OkCupid has increased by 30%. Many dating software quickly introduced video chat functions.

Video is the future of content, and this postponement during the epidemic also represents the future of online dating.

For users, both modern men and women understand that going out to date is actually a time-consuming and laborious thing, and video dating saves the trouble of actual dating.

For apps, it is also a good way to increase user stickiness, usually because of the poor chat experience of dating software, many people also prefer to meet quickly without wasting time, and the time for users to chat on the app is very short.

The actual chat scenes mostly occur in chat software like WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Instagram, and the novelty and convenience of video functions cleverly keep users in the app.

Although it’s hard to feel the passion and embarrassment across the screen, the dating software is also helping you find ways to brainstorm some interesting remote dating ideas.

For example, painting portraits of each other, watching a movie together, and even filing taxes together. These activities that sounded like the exclusive activities of long-distance couples in the pre-epidemic era have become the norm today.

Let many experts who study dating software say that this also means that there will be less dating, more romance and more in-depth communication in the future.

Small financing: Is capital not promising?

Unlike users who want to find their real names on the app, venture capitalists are not very romantic when they look at these companies.

According to TechCrunch data, in 2018, only 27 dating companies around the world received US$127 million in financing.

Compared with the US$300 billion that all industries received that year, it is a drop in the ocean. Why are they not fragrant?

The better you do, the harder it is to grow?

For most software, the better you do, the more users will be more viscous, but for dating software, this is a paradox.

Because if a software is really successful, then users should quickly find the person they like and uninstall it quickly, which may not be what these companies want to see.

The well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist Andrew Chen made a calculation. The monthly turnover rate of products such as Netflix is ​​about 2%, and it is about 21% a year.

Current Year Turnover RateWhen it reaches 70%, it means that users have to undergo a “big swap” every year. For dating software, this number has reached 90%.

You can imagine how difficult it is to retain users, let alone growth. In the eyes of venture capitalists whose growth is the primary productivity, such a business model is not pleasing.

One of the tricks for the rapid growth of science and technology companies in recent years is word of mouth. For example, let your relatives and friends use your invitation code, and you can also earn points to grow by this, which is more difficult to implement in dating software.

Many apps have developed the function of “see nice beauties/handsome guys to share with friends” for this, hoping to gain viral growth.

But the truth is that many people don’t want to share this part of their lives with friends, and this strategy has become a tasteless one.

What is the answer to this difficult question? Many apps don’t want you to settle down, so they set their position as stranger social, mainly for young people in their early 20s, and the strategy of focusing on socialism and neglecting love and marriage can be regarded as a slower way to slow down the loss of users.

It is difficult for users to pay, and the profit and loss are not balanced?

The attribute of sliding left and right gives dating software the fun of a game, but unlike games, few people are willing to spend money on social networking.

Most users’ behaviors only focus on the “white prostitution” behavior of matching chat. From the psychological point of view of users, most people do not regard finding a date as an investment worth spending money. “It’s too shameful to look for money” attitude.

For example, Tinder’s Gold mode allows you to “super like” a person and increase the exposure of your account. Turning on this mode requires a subscription fee of about $30 per month.

The total number of Q4Tinder global users in 2019 is about 50 million, while paying users only accounted for about 5.9 million. Although this number has shown a 36% increase over the same year, it does not represent a surprise income.

Most of the revenue of dating software relies on subscription models and advertisements, but they like to use the money-burning model of buying advertisements when acquiring users, and they cannot sustain themselves nor balance the huge investment in user costs.

The overwhelming outdoor advertisements like Hinge are not cheap, but the theme of the advertisement is “use us to find the object, and then uninstall it when you find it”, although you can get a lotThe user downloaded it out of curiosity, but a bit of self-sacrifice.

Is it short to keep fresh?

If you are single, you will understand the proportion of social or dating in your life needs.

Many people can’t even use one software to meet their needs, so there are often 3 or 4 different softwares in their phones.

Although user demand is huge, it is different from services that are needed regardless of age, such as eating, seeing a doctor, watching TV, and listening to music. Dating has a real shelf life, and this period is for most people. It is also very short.

In terms of obtaining investment, generous investors are often older and cannot “get” the meaning of dating software for social in the new era. They can only see the reality of too narrow market positioning and difficult profitability. Fewer people will buy it.

For modern men and women in 2020, marriage is not the ultimate goal, but making friends and dating is a basic survival requirement.

Capital’s “left-slip” on these companies is not the ultimate denial, but it just means that when these companies are thinking about acquiring users to make the software fun, they also need to consider how to grow, so that users are willing to pay for making friends.