A smart phone with the icons for the dating apps from Bumble, Tinder, SKOUT, OkCupid, CMB, … [+]
‘Tis the season to… find love, or at least find someone who might become a love interest. That’s the Christmas wish of the people who make their living in the billion-dollar matchmaking industry. The folks running the leading dating app companies are counting on singles—including LGBTQ people—to look for that special someone using their products, despite this being our second holiday season coping with Covid-19.
“With the vaccines and other changes in the pandemic, people want to get back out there and date,” said Logan Ury, director of relationship science at the popular dating app Hinge, citing her research into 2021 dating trends. “But we also understood that more than half of singles have FODA.”
What is FODA?
“FODA,” Ury explained, “is fear of dating again.”
Even if you’ve never heard of “FODA” or used that acronym, which also means “Fear Of Doing Anything,” that feeling is certainly justified with the Omicron coronavirus variant now present in all 50 U.S. states and all around the world.
Recently, the people at Match Group behind the Plenty of Fish dating app surveyed U.K. singles about their dating habits. As Glamour magazine reported last month, someone creative there coined a new term to describe the indifference many respondents felt about dating during the pandemic. They dubbed it “hesidating.”
Yet one of Match’s major competitors in the dating biz said business has been “largely unaffected” by the pandemic.
“Demand does not change when these variants pop up. Demand does not change with different restrictions,” Bumble’s CEO and cofounder, Whitney Wolfe Herd, told CNBC this week.
Last year at this time, we learned how Match (which owns Hinge, Plenty of Fish as well as Tinder and OK Cupid), Grindr, #open and matchmaker Brandan Rader were meeting their customers’ needs in 2020. This year, executives from Bumble, Hinge and a new app focused on pleasure, Headero, were asked what they’re doing to attract new users during this second pandemic-impacted holiday season.
Bumble app. Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
NurPhoto via Getty Images
“People need love. People need connection,” said Wolfe Herd in her CNBC interview. “That does not go away, irrespective of the changing landscape of this pandemic so our business remains largely unaffected during this new wave.”
What Bumble has done to standout in the dating app world, Clare O’Connor reported in Forbes in 2017, was to carve out a lucrative space by focusing on the needs of one segment: women. Together with the …….