Online Dating Trends 2020: 4 predictions by industry experts

Ready to find out the online dating trends for 2020? Here’s what industry experts are predicting for the coming year.

2019 is drawing to an end and with that starts a new decade.

It’s hard to remember that in 2010, Tinder didn’t even exist. Ten years later, dating apps have never been so popular, and meeting romantic connections has never been easier thanks to the developments in technology and the maturity of the industry.

Dating trends are popping up all the time, and online dating is getting rid of its taboo and is now universally accepted as a way of meeting new people. With many current and upcoming changes from hyper-niche platforms, video or new legislations, the dating industry is in full swing.

We have turned to experts in the online dating field to figure out what we should be looking out for in the coming year. Here are their expert predictions for the online dating industry in 2020.

The online dating industry is a field that has been growing and expanding at a rapid rate for the last few years now. The stigma around meeting your significant other online has all but disappeared and we fully expect apps to become the most popular meeting method in the next year or so.

This surge in popularity has led to bigger players, most notably Facebook, dipping their toes into the online dating pool. Facebook Dating was billed to be the most disruptive industry development in recent times, but so far the rollout has been slow and uptake is fairly minimal. Facebook’s new service will likely enter Europe for the first time in 2020, but Match Group and the other leading companies shouldn’t be too worried.

Most of the leading brands are trying to find a unique way to implement some form of video into their product, but no-one is yet to fully crack it. The Meet Group is leading the way to try and find the right balance between dating and one-to-many live streaming, while Bumble has introduced one-to-one video chats and several exciting startups are working with video-only profiles. Expect to see several new video features during the next 12 months, but we still can’t say for certain what the best formula will be.

Finally, AI is another hot topic that is continuously being worked on. Every company is trying to utilise the latest technology to improve their matching algorithms and also protect their users from bad actors. Whenever a new piece of technology gets introduced to the world you can be sure it will find its way into the online dating industry sooner rather than later.

Simon Corbett, CEO, Global Dating Insights

We now find ourselves living in a personalisation economy. Whether it is ordering takeaway, listening to playlists, shopping or finding love online, people now expect personalised recommendations to satisfy their conscious and subconscious needs and desires. This is especially true for the dating world.

I expect the industry will continue to become more saturated and ever more competitive, user loyalty will continue to reduce as customers jump from site to site, and we will continue to see a number of niche sites entering the marketplace. The need to successfully generate matches within their user group that suit their taste, visually and even personality, has therefore never been more crucial to sustain brand loyalty and attract new customers.

Dating sites are now searching for non-traditional means of understanding what it is that attracts users to a specific ‘look’ or ‘personality’, often so hard to describe or even recognise oneself. Dating apps are turning to sophisticated AI solutions to improve the quality of matches at scale and at speed. The battleground is thus moving towards who will have the ability to offer accurate, fast, personalised, visual and personality-type recommendations.

Ben Grandy, Commercial Director, Visii

In 2020, a robust chat option will become even more integral to dating apps, as people increase their use. And, they will demand a wide range of functionality: apps that want to retain their clients (at least until they drop off because they found their “perfect match”) need to make sure that their chat channel provides the experience that consumers expect today.

That includes rich media for better sharing; 1-on-1 messaging and group channels; push notifications, typing indicators and read receipts; and of course, user-to-user blocking, when it’s needed.

With previous clunky interfaces, it was all too easy for users to be “left on read”, when in reality they never received the message they were supposed to. While some anticipation is exciting when you’re chatting with a match, a message that’s delayed or undelivered because of a glitch in the system promotes a bad experience and user turnover.

Clients also want a reliable chat history so they can revisit that smooth response (or, yes, agonize over that accidental unfortunate autocorrect).

After all, messaging is today’s playground for flirtation so you don’t want to kill the mood with an unstable chat platform. An engaging and reliable messaging experience is the foundation of retention on a successful dating app. Consumers will ghost the dating apps that don’t provide this premium chat capability.

Leigh Cohen, Head of Sales – EMEA, SendBird

Despite its exponential growth in the past decade, the dating industry has been plagued by retention and engagement issues. Setting your brand apart in the crowded dating industry is becoming more complicated by the day.

This coming year, I expect to see dating sites and apps to keep on bringing online and offline experiences together by creating real-life experiences and give their platform a community-feel.

I also believe personalization and user experience will be critical in 2020. The industry has already seen a rise in niche online dating apps, which will continue to expand and grow as users are more and more seeking quality over quantity.

Finally, I expect online dating safety to be a focus in the coming months. Protecting your users is increasingly more important to keep a spotless brand as the need for content moderation increases. Governments and authorities are likely to demand more control over the industry, so businesses will need to set frameworks and standards according to those upcoming rules and regulations.

Patrik Frisk, CEO Besedo

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