I just got out of the long-term block. Can we be friends?
The love affair is not the highest in the minds of many people due to the long periods of epidemic isolation. Instead, they yearn for the friendships and social groups that have plagued them for the past year.
This is the verdict of dating programs like Tinder և Bumble, which launch or acquire new services that are entirely aimed at making and maintaining friends.
“There’s a really interesting trend going on in the communications space, and that is the desire to have a platonic relationship,” said Whitney Wolf Heard, CEO and CEO of Bumblebee.
“People seek friendships in ways that would only be offline before the Internet.”
His company is investing in its Bumble BFF (Forever Best Friends) feature, which he said accounted for about 9 percent of Bumble’s total monthly active users in September 2020 և “there is room for growth as we increase our focus on this area on “
At the same time, its archival Match Group, which owns a number of apps, including Tinder և Hinge, also pushes the boundaries of love և. This year, it paid $ 1.7 billion for South Korea’s Hyperconnect, a social media company whose apps allow people to chat in real-time from around the world.
Hyperconnect revenue jumped 50 percent last year, while Meetup, which helps you meet people with similar interests at local or online events, has seen a 22% increase in new members since January.
The most searched word on Meetup this year was “friends”.
“Find a company և connection”
The company’s services have seen user engagement as COVID-19 restrictions have been phased out around the world, allowing people to meet in person, says Evercore analyst Shveta Kharjuria, who says it is a trial for larger clients. considers it a case.
“This opens up an accessible market in general, single to single married people,” he said.
Amos, a 22-year-old French couple who used Bumble BFF in London, responded to the physical contact.
“It’s hard to respond online և if everything is closed (IRL in real life),” he said. “You never really connect until you meet in person.”
Rosie, a 24-year-old dentist in Bristol in the south of England, struggled to connect with her senior colleagues during the blockade and started using Bumble BFF three weeks ago to meet new people.
“I am a very sociable person, I like to meet new people, but I have never found opportunities. “I just sent Vodafone a message to this app, which was quite a buzz, which is nice, as if a lot of girls are in my position,” she said.
Nupur, a 25-year-old teacher from the western Indian city of Pune who uses Tinder and Bumble, said the app’s efforts to promote themselves as a way to find friends rather than just “love” can work very well. good. “
“I have met several people online, we have been meeting for more than a year, we are friends.”
Indeed, dating networks such as MeetMe and Yubo have even surpassed popular dating programs in terms of engagement over the past few months, according to market research firm Apptopia.
Dating I Carbino, a former online dating expert և Tinder and Bumble sociologist, told Reuters that social isolation was “shocking” because of the epidemic, especially for single people living alone.
“(It) has inspired people to use the tools available to them, particularly technology, to find a company.”
“Trends are here to stay”
LGBTQ + dating programs have done a lot to promote the social aspect of dating, according to broker Canaccord Genuity, China Blued offers surrogacy services, for example, and Taimi live streaming.
At the same time, the Hornet app for homosexuals aims to be more of a social network focused on the personal interests of users, rather than a mere attachment service centered on physical appearance and intimacy.
Hornet co-founder and CEO Christoph Wittig said it was unlikely that people would return to the “old ways” of connecting with their community exclusively offline, such as nightlife, activity or LGBTQ sporting events.
Whiting noted that the number of users using news, comments and videos increased by 37% in May.
He said the number of people looking for an online company և community had increased during the blockade, when people turned to digital platforms for a sense of belonging, when bars, gyms և pride events closed.
“These trends are here to stay,” he added. “Like everything like videoconferencing և telecommunications.”