Young India’s Need for Love Fuels Rise of Dating Apps
Apps such as Tinder and Woo see higher activity from tier 2, 3 towns
New Delhi: Smartphones, which have brought the social network within palm’s reach, can be handy tools to find love as well. That is the idea fuelling the rise of dating apps like Tinder, Truly Madly and Woo, who are banking on young, mobile Indians in tier 2, 3 towns in search of that significant other.
US-headquartered Tinder told ET that India is the biggest market for the company in Asia and one of its top 5 markets globally. Taru Kapoor, head, India, for Tinder said the app is attracting over 14 million swipes each day in India — an increase from 7.5 million in September 2015.
“We have users across India — in big cities as well as smaller cities and towns. Smartphone penetration is growing rapidly and more than 300 million people are expected to have smartphones in the next 2-3 years. Indian youth are mobilefirst global citizens and are adopting social networks rapidly,” said Kapoor.
Sachin Bhatia, cofounder and CEO of Truly Madly, which was launched two years ago and has 3 million users, said the response from tier 2 and 3 cities has been extraordinary. “45% of our users are from small towns and the engagement is very high in these areas,” said Bhatia, adding that Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Dehradun, Indore, Jaipur and Surat have done well for the app. Truly Madly has launched a new feature called Datelicious, designed to help users who are matched and are chatting on the app plan a great first date. This April, the company will also launch image sharing within the app for people to share pictures over chats.
Woo, with around 2 million users is seeing a lot of active users in Chandigarh, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. “Community based parameters are becoming secondary. Young urban professionals and their decision making process is changing. They can take decisions on their own and are seeking compatibility,” said Sumesh Menon, cofounder and CEO, Woo. Menon says the company continues to invest in the product and has introduced new features.
In the last quarter of 2015, Woo introduced the reconsider feature, which allows users to reconsider the profiles they may have declined. Users can look for specific attributes in their search options and can see more profiles based on their interests.
“We have also allowed people to
update their status and women can ask quirky questions which men can answer to get potentially compatible matches,” said Woo’s Memon. Woo is backed by Matrix Partners, Omidyar Network and mobile technology company U2opia. Tinder’s Kapoor said the app has witnessed a significant involvement from women in India, who have traditionally been known to avoid dating apps in a country that has a rather uneasy relationship with the concept of dating.
“Our focus remains on establishing the Tinder brand in India, steering its explosive user growth and increasing user engagement by focusing on local user needs,” she added.Interestingly, Indians are one of the chattiest audiences on Tinder, Kapoor said, spending the maximum amount of time on the app.