Bumble. Tinder. Hinge. MeetMe. Grindr. Plenty of Fish.
Every month, 73 million consumers across the United States log in to dating apps like these to search for dates, hookups and partners, and 25 million of them log in every single day.
Meeting via app is the way of the world — but most users still want to know more about potential dates than what they see on their profiles. In fact, nearly 4 in 5 consumers who use dating apps or sites also say they use social media to run quick checks on their would-be partners.
The “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Love and Social Media Edition” explores how social media is changing online dating. We surveyed a census-balanced panel of 2,753 consumers between March 9 and March 14 about how they used digital tools in their everyday lives to uncover the latest trends on how the continued digitization of the U.S. economy is reshaping consumer behavior.
This is what we learned.
Nearly half of U.S. consumers now use digital channels to engage in at least one of 70 routine activities.
Consumers’ participation in all 70 routine activities that we track increased year over year, and 15 of those activities exhibited growth of more than 20%. On average, 11 million more consumers used digital in some area of their lives in March 2023 than did so one year prior.1
The biggest year-over-year growth in consumers’ use of digital has been in their use of smart home technologies and mobility apps. We find that 18% more consumers — approximately 13 million additional consumers — used smart home technologies such as automated climate controls, Alexa and Ring in March 2023 than in March 2022. Similarly, 18% more consumers — approximately 14 million more individuals — used travel and mobility apps in March 2023 than did so in March 2022.2
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Digital is how nearly two-thirds of consumers now meet new friends and stay in touch with those they already have.
On average, 63% of all consumers now use social media apps, dating apps or personal service apps each month — a year-over-year increase of 11%.
These consumers use an average of three to four different social media, messaging, dating or personal service platforms each month, but the most common way they keep in touch with friends and family online is social media. We find that 71% and 56% of consumers now either scroll or post on social media, respectively.
Fewer consumers use dating apps than use social media platforms, but the number of consumers using dating apps is growing far faster. In total, the share of consumers using dating apps increased by 21% year over year, meaning that 13 million more consumers used them in 2023 than in 2022.
More than one-quarter of consumers and more than half of Gen Z used a dating app in March 2023.
Dating app use has jumped to record highs. Twenty-eight percent of consumers, approximately 73 million people, used these in March 2023 — up 21% from the same month last year. This is more consumers than we’ve seen at any other time in our 17-month series.
Most of these dating app users live in urban areas. Half of all urban consumers use dating apps, compared to just 19% and 16% of suburban and rural consumers, respectively. Moreover, 19% of urbanites use dating apps every single day.
Men are also much more likely than women to log in daily to dating apps or sites. Our data shows that 12% of men use dating apps and sites daily, compared to just 7.5% of women.
Generation Z consumers and millennials also account for a disproportionate number of the consumers who use dating apps and sites. In total, 55% of Gen Z and 50% of millennials use some type of dating app or site — more than observed in any other generation. Nearly 1 in 5 millennial and Gen Z consumers use dating apps or sites every day.
Tinder, Bumble and Hinge are the three most downloaded dating apps in the U.S., but the market has a long tail.
Dating apps were downloaded more than 60 million times last year in the U.S., with Tinder, Bumble and Hinge representing roughly 60% of those downloads in any given month, on average. Plenty of Fish, MeetMe, Tagged, Grindr, Badoo and Wink make up the tail end of the online dating market, together driving 40% of all downloads in any given month, on average. Roughly 15% of consumers who download these apps wind up paying for subscriptions to the service.3
More than three-quarters of online dating users use social media sites to check out the profiles of prospective dates.
Dating apps and social media are a good match. We find that 90% of consumers who use dating apps also use social media in one form or another. Further, 78% of consumers who use dating apps specifically use social media to check potential dates’ social media profiles.
Gen Z consumers are particularly likely to use social media in this way. Fifty-eight percent of Gen Z consumers used other apps to conduct social media profile checks on potential dates, and 10% do so every single day. Millennials and bridge millennials also run profile checks on potential romantic partners in large numbers. Social media has become integral to the online dating scene.
The “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Love and Social Media Edition” is based on a survey of a census-balanced panel of 2,753 U.S. consumers conducted between March 9 and March 14 and is part of an ongoing series of studies examining consumers’ shift to a more digital way of engaging in everyday activities. The sample was balanced to match the U.S. adult population in a set of key variables: Respondents were 48 years old, on average, and 52% were female. Thirty-two percent of respondents held college degrees. We also collected data from consumers in different income brackets: 36% of respondents declared annual incomes of more than $100,000, 31% earned between $50,000 and $100,000 and 33% earned less than $50,000. Additional proprietary data was used for supplementary analysis.
“ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Love and Social Media Edition,” is the most recent installment of PYMNTS’ Connected Economy™ series. For more, read the previous edition, “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: The Evolving Digital Daily Edition.”
1. This study measures the average number of consumers engaging in digital activities across 10 categories. We project the number of consumers in millions by comparing the share of consumers participating in activities and pillars against the U.S. adult population. ↩
2. We project the number of additional participants by comparing the change in the average share of consumers participating across activities in the group against the U.S. adult population. ↩
3. Author unknown. Data for the top 10 most downloaded dating apps in the US. Apptopia. 2023. http://www.apptopia.com/. Accessed April 2023. ↩