Love in the time of coronavirus: dating app activity spikes as people look for connection during the pandemic
50% increase in singles suggesting online dates
Mentions of ‘toilet roll’ at 400 a week
You may think coronavirus would put a stop to dating, but quite the opposite is happening. As people start to self-isolate and lockdown, dating app activity is through the roof.
David Vermeulen, CEO and founder of The Inner Circle, said: “We’re seeing a huge surge in activity. Matches are up by 99% and, proving people are more up for talking, the number of messages being sent is up by 116%.
“We know app usage spikes during periods when people stay at home – winter is busier than summer and there’s a spike in early January – but we’re seeing our highest numbers yet. Overall, activity is up by 25% compared to Dating Sunday – usually the busiest day for dating apps.”
And ‘social distancing’ is not stopping people from dating either. Instead, The Inner Circle is seeing a trend in members organising online dates with their matches. Since the beginning of March, the app has seen a 50% increase in people suggesting to call, Skype and Zoom their matches.
As messages and conversations spike, coronavirus is a big topic. ‘Toilet roll’ was a mute topic on The Inner Circle at the start of March, but has now been mentioned more than 400 times in the last week. There has also been a 800% increase in members talking about ‘quarantine’ since the start of March. Mentions of Netflix have also increased by 70% as people discuss how they are keeping entertained.
David continues: “We’re expecting the upward trend of people organising calls and Skype dates to continue while people hold off setting up real life dates until it is safe. It’s a challenging time, but people are looking to dating apps to build connections. We’re very lucky to be living in an age where platforms that allow people to get together in times of isolation exist.”
Dating expert, Charly Lester, gives her top tips for keeping dating exciting while social distancing:
- Play virtual games: There are lots of apps that you can download to play with your matches; Scrabble, Pictionary or Connect 4, to name just a few. It’s a great way to get to know each other as your personalities come out when you start to get competitive. And it’s a great excuse to get a little flirty.
- Coronavirus and Chill: Pick a TV show or movie to watch together and show your sense of humour by commenting on scenes and opinions on shows – it could start a debate, a connection, a relationship.
- Have a phone date: Grab a glass of wine or a cup of tea and set up a phone call or Skype date to get to know your match a little more. If you want to move it to a second date, you could even cook dinner and imagine you’re at a restaurant.
- Play 21 truths, instead of dares: Why not add some suspense while you dive deeper into each other’s lives? Make each question count!
- Create a playlist: Put some of your favourite jams together and swap with your match. From rap music to classical, or even Disney soundtracks, they say you can tell a lot about a person by their music taste and it could spark a great conversation.
- Sketch your match: You could make it humorous or actually make an effort to try. Who knows, you might have hidden talent that you didn’t know about.