With the global transformation of lifestyle from manual to digital, every system has turned tables these days. The youth population in India is expected to comprise of 1/5th of the total by 2020. These people are the major triggers for the industry of Dating. They say love is in the air. But today, you might witness it on a 6-inch smartphone screen. Yes, we are talking about online dating and matrimonial apps. So what does that suggest? Love for tech or tech for love- I say both!
A study shows that the online dating app market will be valued at more than $2 billion industry in the next 5 coming years. The first dating app was ‘Match’ which was launched in 1995, way before the launch of networking apps like Facebook. Soon in 2004 ‘Match’ was recorded in the Guinness Book as the largest dating site in the world with more than 29.6 million unique visitors at a time. The site also claimed to facilitate the world’s most first dates. Today in the Indian population; dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, Bumble, Aisle, Happn are highly active. These apps are positioned in the market through different strategies. Apps like ‘Tinder’ and ‘Plenty of Fish’ are marketed for non-serious relationships whereas other apps like ‘Bumble’ have put women at the center to remove the misconception of women on dating apps. ‘Blued India’ focuses specifically on gay dating. Others like ‘Happn’ app is targeted towards the location-based matching and ‘OK Cupid’ partner like-minded people through QnA filtration asked at the signup to the profile.
Online dating caters to millions of users in India, but later; the acceptability of the same in the society seems to be assuaged. This is due to the past trend of validation of only long relationships by Indian society and culture. Gradually its acceptability in the millennial has risen. It has given youth a safe and like environment to interact with people to nurture their ideologies. It has given people an option to meet and greet diverse individuals to experiment and date for short term relationships. Inadvertently, it has resulted in the push of the marriage age in India.
After the dating, the surreal relation of marriages is to be talked about. The first matrimonial site was launched in the year 1997. It was the BharatMatrimony website. Having a 60% market share, it is now a listed company and recorded revenue of Rs. 350 crore in 2018. It has expanded to Nepal, Sri-Lanka, and Bangladesh. Another website concentric to India includes Shaadi.com, JeevanSaathi.com, etc. Online relation management websites have seen a bigger base spread over males that accounts for 60% of the profiles.
The total market is still dominated by matrimonial websites. Surprisingly, the matrimonial website’s profit grew at the rate of 60% in the last fiscal year which was at a time when e-commerce giants like Flipkart and Ola had losses of Rs. 24,000 and Rs. 2,300 core respectively. Dating sites are getting popular without the loss of interests of users in matrimonial. However, many have a negative response to these due to the disclosure of personal information and related security issues. But these sites have no limit and users can connect worldwide. Dating does complement marriage connections but the online virtual space has a lot of others to offer now and today so will it be a swipe right to the matrimony?