Contemporary dating in India is increasingly being pushed into the digital space, so much so, that it might even put some job-hunting portals to shame. Often these days one finds a match sooner than one might find a job to his profile online. In a fast-paced world of 30-minute deliveries, much faster cab services and instant payments, "with no time to stand and stare", why should love take a miss?
“How I met your mother? Well, on a dating app.”
My friends often tell me, “It’s a digital world, why not seek love the digital way.” But these dating apps are not just limited to finding the “perfect mate”. They are also often used by those looking for a friend or a long-term relationship.
In our so-called connected times, most social groups are still limited to 5-6 close friends. Continuous engagement through likes, shares, and tagging on social media, whilst does create the illusion of a wide circle - the dynamics of real and meaningful relationships haven't changed much. Busy schedules, traffic problems, and changing priorities ensure the avenues to meet new prospects driving your love life are still limited. Courtesy online dating apps, one can now connect to a greater number of people pre-selected as per your preferences. Apps like Tinder, Happn, TrulyMadly, Go Gaga use geotagging, algorithms and complex calculations to determine the “suitable” match for you.
These platforms differentiate themselves from social networking sites like Facebook in the fact that they are customized according to your preferences. One can mention their inclinations, choices, interests and even sexuality upfront, without fear of being judged or ridiculed. Online dating apps help people come out of their shell, virtually mingle with people of similar interests, establish trust and then finally spend some time in real life.
The dating market in India has seen some unique propositions in the last couple of years. While some apps like Tinder and Happn find matches based on location-proximity, some others like GoGaga promise to find trustworthy relationships using a unique “wing-man” concept, where your match is generated through mutual friends.
There are around 100 million people in India between the age group of 18-35 who are unmarried and actively looking for a relationship. The online dating market is expected to grow to c. $250m over the next 3 years growing at CAGR of c.10%. However, app-based dating is still to go full-throttle in the user mindset as there are often apprehensions about finding love online, mostly concerns around privacy and credibility. But then aren’t we ordering our groceries, electronics, and most of the essential utilities online? The new Digital India has truly enabled finding love the digital way.
We for one believe that for people to find love online, as a society we need to move away from the taboo of online dating. It’s no different from talking to your friend or crush on messages. Let’s not be ashamed of finding love online, for the “winged cupid [was] painted blind.”
The prime responsibility of online dating apps is building a genuine and credible community. Once concerns about privacy and authenticity are adequately addressed, the online dating industry in India is set to swipe right.
Written by Medha Mehta from Go Gaga