It’s a Match! Should Dating Apps Swipe Right for Carrier Billing?

8 February 2022
Carrier Billing

Online Dating Market Overview

Online dating looks like a great match for carrier billing. It’s easier than ever to connect with like-minded singles all over the world, via mobile dating apps.

Pre-pandemic, studies in 2019 show that online dating was the number one way people met their partner. Fast-forward to 2021, 44 million people dated online and the USA dating market alone generated around $5.3 billion.

In 2022, global revenue in the sector is set to reach US$3,677m, growing to US$4,686m in 2026. In the UK, the market size for dating services sits at £273 million, expected to reach £6.7 billion by 2025. USA is set to generate the most revenue in online dating this year, while Belgium has the highest user penetration rate of 16.6%. ARPU is expected to be US$8.91.

Even with new competition from Bumble in the USA and Badoo in Europe, Tinder “remains the most popular dating app, with 75 million monthly active users and 6.2 million monthly subscribers”.

Factors Driving Dating App Growth

  • Perceptions have shifted. Dating apps are much more socially acceptable than they once were, and not just a ‘last attempt’ for those who were considered unlucky in love.
  • During the pandemic, activity on dating apps has surged. Loneliness & companionship have been a major factor driving growth. A poll of 5,000 Tinder users revealed that 60% turned to the online dating platform because they felt lonely, while Bumble Inc.’s chief executive noted more users looking for friendships.
  • Apps adapted to the pandemic, with several creating or unlocking new features to facilitate virtual dates. Match, Bumble, Hinge and Plenty of Fish offered free video services
  • Tinder made its passport ‘feature free’, which allowed users to connect globally with other users, geolocating themselves anywhere in the world
  • Explori-dating – 48% of Bumble users in 2022 said the pandemic has made them question their “type”, showing a shift towards more open-minded dating. 54% intended being “more mindful and intentional in how and when they date” – a trend for app developers to keep in mind

Tinder’s Dating Sunday

According to Tinder, almost 10% of all swipes in January happen on the first Sunday of the month – aka ‘Dating Sunday’ – with a whopping 44 million matches made back in 2019. A pattern that is shared by other popular dating apps like Bumble and Hinge.

Relationship Status: Valentine’s Day

While this year’s dating Sunday has passed, all is not lost with Valentine’s Day around the corner.

  • Hinge found that 35% more dates on Valentine’s night than comparable days
  • JigTalk revealed a 122% increase in singles singing up in the week before Valentine’s Day
  • Tinder records all-time high levels of activity between 1st Jan an 13th Feb, with global matches increasing by 40 million last year
  • Dating.com’s activity also increased between 1st Feb & 14th Feb, by 18%

Putting a Price on Love

Women’s health suggests that “dating has become as competitive as the job market.” Sometimes a premium app-upgrade is a step that users are willing to take to find love.

While many dating apps offer a free service to users, often upgraded features can be unlocked with a monthly subscription fee or one-off payment. Premium features include a variation of benefits such as unlimited swipes, rematching with expired users, ‘travel mode’, ‘super-likes’, the ability to see who has liked you, additional filters, profile views etc. A great way for app developers to grow revenue streams from existing users.

Carrier Billing and Dating Apps – Love at First Swipe?

Carrier billing is a great match for dating app payments, whether that’s a one-off payment for upgraded features, or monthly subscriptions, charged conveniently and securely to users phone bills. There’s no complicated relationship status that comes with carrier billing. Users know exactly where they stand, while opening up another method of payments is a great way to keep users content.

New customers and revenue await. Get ahead of the trends and contact SLA Digital today to find out how we can help you explore carrier billing.


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