Online dating is and remains a big part of the everyday life of contemporary people. The research points coherently to the fact that popularity seems to be increasing constantly. This increase has been particularly significant during the Corona pandemic. Many people who had not yet embarked on online dating now chose to try new ways to find something or someone.
This text will highlight online dating from different angles and in different corners. At Togetherry, we are passionate about this type of dating, mainly for our own app but also from a larger perspective.
Online dating through history
How far do you really need to back the band to see the beginning of online dating? It depends, of course, on who you ask. We are not scientists in the field, but our passion has led us to read a lot about it. There are probably many who have missed this story and therefore we are happy to retle, as we understand it.
Computers in the service of love
Long before the internet and online dating, there were computers. According to a study we have seen, in the mid-1960s two students in the United States developed what may have been the world's first system for this. Well, I guess it depends on where exactly you draw the line. The two students, using an IBM computer, developed a computer-controlled query system. The system worked to match people (and answers) with each other. For a few dollars, you got matches with people who answered similar questions.
Surely the two students must be seen as pioneers in online dating, right?
The Internet and the world's first official online dating site
Yes, of course, no one is surprised that online dating started skyrocketing as the internet marched into people's homes. Suddenly there was a whole new way for people to meet. Meet in many different forms but not least for dating purposes. It took until 1995 for the world's first official dating site to be launched. Singles who had been in their homes for a long time suddenly got, through their computers, a whole new opportunity – and they took it. Scores of people took to this revolutionary dating site, even though it was uncharted territory.
What don't you do to see someone?
The Social Era
The turn of the millennium came and the IT bubble never burst. People breathed out and life quickly returned to normal even though a new millennium had begun. Already a few years into the 21st century, new platforms began to appear in the online sky. The Internet was no longer in its infancy, but could now, with its nearly 10 years in people's homes, be explored by more and more people. This gave rise to what would come to be called social media. For a few years, starting in 2003, some of the biggest social platforms opened their doors. Not only were there now lots of additional meeting places for people. It became a significant part of people's lives at large.
So what does this have to do with online dating? A lot, it would turn out! In the Western world, where platforms were at their peak, very many people remained single. It is believed that the rise of social media made the step to online dating significantly shorter. The culture that emerged – that it was not wrong to get to know people online – probably contributed to many singles daring to seek the next step. That is, to actually meet someone through online dating. After social media had been used by people for a few years, it was time for some of the biggest dating sites to start. They are still some of the world's largest platforms.
Online dating today
For the vast majority of people today, online dating is not a big deal. It is a natural part of many singles' everyday lives and few raise eyebrows if someone close to them tells them they are doing it. The de-dramatization of online dating is an extremely important advance – both for the meeting of people but also important in the very history of this form of encounters. It wasn't a given just 10 years ago to be honest about doing online dating. Far fewer people used this type of service and it created (in some contexts) a taboo.
Today, there are lots of applications that offer online dating. The big platforms, of course, still dominate, but smaller upstarts are constantly challenging. You come up with new angles on online dating. It offers its users features and methods that have not previously been seen. This is what makes contemporary online dating so incredibly interesting, according to us at Togetherry!
What does the research say about online dating?
The short answer to this open question is: it says a lot. There's an awful lot to learn from research and research on online dating – not only about these kinds of meeting places, but also about people at large. At Togetherry we are nerds in the field, which is why we naturally find this very interesting. Below we share a draft of the most interesting statistics we've come across about online dating.
Men and women, what does the balance really look like?
There has long been a perception that the balance between men and women using online dating is incredibly skewed. What was said was that it was mostly men looking for women who regularly visited dating sites. This was true, or at least more true, for many years. It has been shown that this imbalance has evened out over the last 10-15 years. The latest research we have seen shows that there are approximately 52% men and 48% women involved in online dating, respectively. This is an average of dating applications in general but of course it varies between different platforms.
Who asks for feedback?
As online dating has become commonplace, more people have become open about their use. An interesting fact we read was which ones are most likely to ask for help with their profiles. The survey found that 30% of female users ask friends for advice. For example, it can be about which profile text you have or which photos of yourself you choose. What is striking is that the same survey shows that only 15% of men do the same.
Can this say anything about men's ability (or inability) to ask for help in general? Does that perhaps say anything about the general perception of the use of online dating for different genders? We don't know, but we'd love to learn more!
What words do you choose?
Online dating is a very interesting topic overall. It's interesting on an overall level because it says a lot about people. What's the big crowd looking for? What attributes do you really have that attract people to meet? Online dating is also interesting to watch from a word perspective, it would turn out. Research shows something so exciting that the word "love" can increase the chance of finding just that, love. That is, if the word is used in a user's profile, it can attract others who are after the same thing. The research also showed related words that could produce the same results.
Online dating, men, women and difference in focus
Much of the research available on online dating compares differences between men and women. Therefore, much of the facts we share are also, of course, centered around it. You can think what you want about it looking like this, but it is clearly instructive and sometimes shocking to hear the answer. For example, look at this:
Research shows that men spend significantly less time as women reading through profiles. This has been achieved by analyzing the eye movements of users of online dating apps. So women look more at the text, on average, if you compare it to men. The natural follow-up question, of course, is: Where are the men looking? The answer to the question was in the same research report. Men spend a lot more time looking through pictures of the profile they visit.
Online dating for HBTQ people
Overall, the popularity of online dating has been steadily increasing for many years. More and more people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, use dating apps. More and more people meet their partners at different meeting places online. If you allow yourself to look deeper at what the research on online dating says, you can see more. There is no group that has been as diligent in online dating as LGBT people. It has been shown that as much as 3/4 of LGBT people find their partners online. This is significantly more than for heterosexual couples, for whom the statistics say about 35%.
Why does it look like this?
If one allows one to speculate, the question may have a rather obvious answer. This answer is also highlighted by others, so we should not take credit in any way. So: There are more heterosexual people than LGBT people. This makes it, in the world before online dating, harder to meet someone if you belonged to the latter category. With the help of the new form of dating, it is easier to find those who share one's sexual orientation.
Online Dating Statistics: Often from the US
Much of the research done on structures in online dating comes from the US. This is, of course, important to highlight when, like us, we talk about different statistics and facts. What you might add, however, is that the dating culture tends to look similar in Europe and Sweden. Therefore, statistics about online dating coming from across the Atlantic can say (almost) as much about ourselves.
Online dating under coronapandemin
Sweden's handling of the Corona pandemic has been significantly milder than in many other countries. In fact, we are one of the countries in the world that has had the least restrictions. The vast majority of people know this, but it may still be useful to put on record given this subject.
Research shows in unison that the pandemic (at its peak) led to fewer and fewer people going on physical dates. This of course swung depending on the infection situation but it is a general trend seen. What the research also shows, however, is that new users in online dating have risen sharply throughout the period. On one of the world's largest platforms, there has been an increase in sweeps of as much as 11% during the pandemic. In addition to this, there has also been an incredible increase in matching. They recorded a 42 percent increase (!) in matches during the pandemic year 2020.
New features for online dating
Researchers point to different ways that online dating changed during Corona. In addition, for example, companies themselves have talked about the consequence of isolation and loneliness – and what it can lead to. There has also been talk of the health aspect and why it is important to follow the recommendations of the authorities. In addition, there is a third point, namely the propensity of companies to develop their platforms. If you could not meet physically, then tools for virtual meetings simply had to be developed.
At Togetherry, we have developed several different tools to enable our users to reach each other smoothly. Launch your profile to meet lots of exciting people and to use our various online dating features. All you have to do is start an account, upload one or more photos, and then you're ready!
Online dating in the future
No one has yet figured out a way to look into the future. Since this is unlikely to ever happen, you have to look at trends and make speculation instead. It looks great for online dating. Thus, it looks good for people. We have said it before and it can be repeated many times: we live in a time when more and more meeting places are emerging. More people choose to join different applications where they can meet someone – whether it's love, flirt or friendship. This is an extremely positive development.
At Togetherry, we pride ourselves on being able to give people a platform on which they can meet for various reasons. Now that we've reached the new era in online dating, we're ready to take both ourselves and dating broadly to the next level.
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