(Image: Unsplash/Alexander Sinn)

Are dating apps more popular in Australia due to coronavirus? The short answer is yes. 

In the absence of being able to physically meet up with potential partners, it is unsurprising to hear Australians are paying more attention than usual to dating apps .

In the last five years, online dating has become much more mainstream. A 2010 Australia Talks survey of 54,000 Australians found a third of people (35%) meet their partners online, and more people met their partner online than through any other method.

Over the years, there has also been a societal shift from pretending to meet people at farmer’s markets to proudly announcing to your friends that you have a Tinder date.

Online dating is one of the few industries that is benefiting from the pandemic due to the fact that dating platforms can momentarily quell people’s desire to date with a virtual option.

Some of the household names, such as Bumble, have had an option to video chat since pre-pandemic. Others are in the process of pivoting to create more human experiences. For example, Hinge is now providing an option where you can indicate to someone you are ready to move the conversation “off-app” without even needing to type it out.

According to Hinge, 70% of its users would be interested in going on a virtual date outside of the app based on a recent poll. Hinge is also reporting a 30% increases in the number of messages being exchanged between users.

Tinder announced on May 6 that it is testing a video dating functionality to be ready by the end of this year, to prevent a slowdown in user growth. (Tinder pulled in US$1.2 billion in revenue in 2019 — a 43% increase from 2018.)

According to Statista, there are 1.7 million Australians using online dating apps at present, and revenue in this sector is expected to grow from $35 million in 2020, to $51 million by 2024.

Here’s what we know about who’s using dating apps:

The majority of users are aged between 25 and 34 years of age.

The majority of users are men.

The majority of users are described as having medium to high income.

How is online dating expected to change in the future?

The numbers of both paying and non-paying online dating users are expected to increase between 2020 and 2024.

The dating scene may not truly return to normal anytime soon, but getting to know one another virtually has become an accepted alternative among those who are looking for love now, and into the future.

Read: Coronavirus travel ban | When will international flights reopen in Australia?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey