India Becomes the New Power of Online Dating Apps

online dating apps

India is a very traditional country, but it's opening up, especially in terms of online dating apps. Nearly half of the Indian internet users are dating online.

"In 2016, more than half of indians used the Internet to find a date.Dating-related web searches increased by 50 percent and mobile dating APP downloads by 53 percent." That's according to Google's "Year in Search 2016" report.

By analyzing the above data, we can see two phenomena. First, the role of the Internet in India's marriage market cannot be ignored.Second, it's time to think of the dating market as one of marriage and love, as the online dating market continues to encroach. Marriage is no longer the primary goal of online dating.

India is a traditional country, just like China in the past, where people go to Egypt through matchmaking. Parents and elders dominate Indian marriages. But with the rise of online social networking and the spread of the idea of free love, young indians are struggling to get to know new faces beyond the "circle of friends and family". Online dating may be more about meeting the opposite sex and relaxing together.

Dating sites such as Bharat Matrimony and Shaadi have been in India for nearly two decades before the advent of online dating apps. Even small and medium-sized city residents have embraced the idea of finding a partner on the Internet, except that many of those who visit dating sites are senior people, looking for relationships for their children.

With the advent of the mobile Internet era, young Indian men and women who yearn for free love are more likely to want to be free from their parents' bondage. In this context, dating apps have entered the historical arena. The most popular mobile dating apps in India are TrulyMadly, Woo, Tinder, etc. Their slogan is to serve independent-minded young people and help them take the initiative in love.

The three online dating apps now have more than 1 million monthly lives, according to data revealed by technology media outlet iGadgetsworld. Among them, TrulyMadly has 3 million registered users, 100,000 live daily users, and 45% of its users are from second and third-tier cities. ET reported that Woo has 2 million registered users with an unknown number of active daily users.

According to data disclosed by Tinder in 2014, users on the platform log in 11 times a day on average, while males stay for 7.2 minutes and females stay for 8.5 minutes each time. Each user spends 90 minutes on the platform every day.

Tinder set up its first international office in Delhi, India, in January last year as India has become Tinder's fastest-growing overseas market. Tinder did not disclose specific users of the Indian market, only revealing in April 2016 that the platform logged in 14 million times per day in April 2016, a significant increase from 8.5 million times in September 2015.

While data on dating sites is unclear, some industry analysts estimate that the number of users of online dating apps is catching up. Investors in TrulyMadly have said publicly that between 25 and 35 percent of online dating APP users are engaged in dating for the purpose of marriage, and that the market share of dating sites is being eroded by online dating apps.

Investors agree with dating apps that arranged marriages are in decline in India. There are only two ways for dating sites to survive: innovation and the acquisition of a dating APP. Matchmaking websites disagree. The head of the dating site Bharat Matrimony says India's traditional culture is so powerful that online dating doesn't work.

Shaadi's CEO, Gourav Rakshit, was more rational: "with a net gain of 11,000 registered users a day, the site is still doing well.The survey found that many users use both dating sites and dating apps at the same time. In fact, dating sites and dating apps do differ. The majority of users of dating apps are 18 to 24 years old, while Financial Express users are more than 24 years old.

The monetization of dating apps mainly relies on advertising and the purchase of high-end service functions. The head of TrulyMadly and Woo estimates there are 25 million single men and women in India, and the online dating market could reach $1.5 billion.The heads of both companies are confident in their ability to cash in.

Mr Bhatia, TrulyMadly's CEO, said: "we have been trying to monetise since the beginning of this year and expect to reach rs150m in 2017. We have introduced paid features Sparks (199 rupees) and Select (599 rupees). Users can get more information and send messages to their favorite users as long as they are willing to pay. The company's paid function now generates 2.5 million rupees a month and 1 million rupees for advertising."

Woo users can buy a pay package for between 120 and 800 rupees, and will also block ads and unknown links, in addition to allowing users to send messages to novelty users. Woo is also opening up more personalised services, such as connecting Indian users to overseas dates. In addition, Woo will improve users' access to the most online information in the shortest time possible.