Dating apps are adapting to life in — and after — the pandemic Part 2

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Continued from Part 1… In response to changing demands, Tinder announced new tools last month that will allow users to get to know people better online. People will now be able to add videos to their profile and chat with others even before matching with them. “Historically, consumers were reluctant to connect via video because they didn’t see the need for it,” said Jess Carbino, an online dating expert and sociologist who has worked for Tinder and Bumble. Post-pandemic, however, many people expect a higher degree of screening, she said. “Online dating apps like Tinder are leaning into that.” The dating apps say their research shows video chats are here to stay, even as life starts to return to normal in some parts of the world. Almost half of Tinder users had a video chat with a match during the pandemic, with 40% of them intending to continue them postpandemic. Tinder says this is largely driven by Generation Z users in their late teens and early 20s, who now make up more than half of the app’s users. And 69% of Hinge’s U.K. users also say they’ll continue with virtual dates after the pandemic. Tinder, alongside other popular apps including Hinge, OkCupid and Bumble, has in Britain and the U.S. partnered with the government to add a badge to profiles indicating that users have been vaccinated. There’s no verification process, though, so matches could be lying. Dating app users are also increasingly looking for deeper connections rather than casual encounters, Carbino said. That’s what happened to Maria del Mar, 29, an aerospace engineer, who didn’t expect to end up in a relationship after she matched with someone on Tinder. Now they’re living together. (AP) This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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