The Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives — that’s a fact. And now it’s not just that people have become more serious about their health and do not treat it as lightly as before. There’s something else… It’s not for nothing that this difficult period in every sense has been called the “pandemic of loneliness”. Due to quarantine restrictions and mass self-isolation, millions of people around the world were locked up within four walls. In-person communication was reduced to a minimum, and there was no talk of new offline acquaintances.
Fortunately, there are now effective vaccines, and we are continuing to develop herd immunity. But immunity to Covid-19 does not yet give us immunity to loneliness. And that is sometimes much more dangerous than a virus …
However, today we will not talk so much about loneliness and its consequences, but about how Covid-19 has changed the entire web dating industry. Let’s take a look at the sites and apps that have skyrocketed in popularity over the past two years. And also take a look at some of the interesting functions of dating services, the development of which, to a certain extent, was spurred by Covid-19.
Online dating as the main trend in self-isolation
It’s quite logical that lack of communication in the real world forced people to go online. And it was a massive migration. Even in 2020, many sites for dating and communication showed an increase in audience by 20-30%, and some even more.
Let’s take a look at what these online platforms are and why they attracted the most new users during the pandemic.
- Instagram — one of the most popular social networks, Instagram has found itself in a very ambiguous position. On one hand, users actively used Instagram out of boredom, but on the other, there was quite a bit of new content for publication due to mass self-isolation. Therefore, there was no rapid jump in popularity of this social network.
- Facebook — the largest social network, which nevertheless has been losing its audience in recent years. And existing users are far from being as active as they used to be. By the way, recently on the Joe Rogan podcast, the owner of Meta (ex-Facebook) Mark Zuckerberg admitted that he was already tired of managing Facebook, and wants to pay more attention to his metaverse.
- TikTok — a real phenomenon among modern social networks, which, even before the pandemic, showed a rapid growth in its audience. And in 2019-2020, interest in TikTok grew at lightning speed. Short videos proved to be the perfect format for spending time alone. So much so that video clones of TikTok have appeared on all popular platforms: Instagram (Reels), YouTube (Shorts), etc.
- YouTube — a video hosting service that was also popular before the pandemic, but it was during strict quarantine that the number of views here increased significantly — by 10-25%, which is quite a lot by the standards of such a large platform. True, YouTube has been hit by the pandemic in the same way as Instagram. It has become much more difficult for authors to create new content. Especially for travel bloggers, whose lives have been greatly affected by Covid-19.
Apps for dating and communication
- Tinder — one of the most popular dating services in the world, on which the audience has become 60-70% more active during the pandemic, according to the developers themselves. But at the same time, there were people who, on the contrary, abandoned online dating completely, realizing that during quarantine and self-isolation, the prospects for dating became very vague. Now the situation has more or less returned to normal. By the way, Tinder now even has a special badge indicating whether the user is vaccinated or not.
- Bumble — a dating app in which only girls can initiate communication. This service has also become more popular during the pandemic. Primarily among girls who want to get acquainted in a more comfortable environment and not feel the pressure of overly obsessive men.
- Hinge — another popular online dating service that has seen quite a bit of audience growth. The developers emphasize that Hinge uses a unique pairing algorithm that has received the Nobel Prize in its time. This “scientific” approach proved to be very tempting for the audience. Especially for those users who are aiming for a serious relationship.
- Omegle — a free anonymous video chat service that tripled its audience during the pandemic! Before the coronavirus there were usually up to ten thousand people online at the same time, while at the beginning of 2020 there were about thirty thousand of them. At the same time, the developers did not improve or update their video chat service in any way, which did not suit many. Many alternatives to Omegle also began to grow their audience.
- VideochatOmegle — a great alternative to Omegle, in which the gender filter is never wrong, and every girl passes identity verification. For men, this is perhaps the best video chat Omegle alternative to let them communicate with the opposite gender. VideochatOmegle.Сom also has a built-in message translator, thanks to which you can easily communicate even with foreign speakers.
- OmeTV — a simple Omegle alternative with a basic gender filter. It works more poorly than in VideoChatOmegle, because users do not confirm their personal data and the algorithm is very easy to deceive. But given that there is no gender filter in Omegle at all, OmeTV looks much more interesting and functional in comparison. A built-in message translator is also present.
- Tinychat — a video streaming service that has shown good growth rates during the pandemic. It’s not well suited specifically for dating, but it allows you to watch interesting live broadcasts or launch your own streams.
- Azar — a combination of a dating app, an anonymous video chat and a messenger. A good option for those who need an “all in one”. On the other hand, the abundance of functions and communication formats can only repel someone. During the pandemic, the developers have been actively working (and continue to work) to improve their service, so at least it’s still worth keeping an eye on its development.
What will happen to online dating after the pandemic ends?
Another question is perhaps more important here: will the Covid-19 pandemic ever end completely? Many researchers believe that humanity will no longer be able to entirely eradicate Covid-19. The virus gradually mutates, forming new strains against which vaccines are less effective. The nature of these viruses is such that over time they become more contagious, but less dangerous. Therefore, it is likely that Covid-19 will eventually become as commonplace as seasonal flu. Of course, it will still be hazardous to health, but not like it was in 2019-2020.
When we can finally “get along” with the coronavirus, the demand for online dating may indeed decrease. But over the past two years, everyone has already become so accustomed to the online dating format that it is now with us forever. After all, getting acquainted on the web is easier, more convenient and safer. And it’s often even more effective than trying to start a conversation with a stranger offline.