The Evolution of Dating Apps and Modern Love

By Patrick Banks

Posted 2 weeks agoDATING

Dating in the digital era is a far different scenario than it was a few decades ago. Before dating sites and apps came to be, people had to go out and meet other people in social events and situations.

Today, all you have to do to meet someone is to turn on your smartphone and browse profiles. While it sounds easy, that is never the case. There are certain challenges involved with the use of technology to meet a potential date; this is why dating app developers have tried to adapt to meet the changing needs of the consumers over the years.

The Advent of Online Dating Apps

While apps are pretty common these days, there was a time when it was still a novelty among smartphone users. Apps made various aspects of life more efficient and easy, such as managing finances, keeping track of a diet, or choosing recipes. The world of mobile app development has expanded rapidly into the huge market that is online dating. This has broken down geographic and physical barriers, allowing singles to meet and mingle with a potential with the swipe and click of a button.

Dating websites were the predecessors, they were like the modern version of personal dating ads.These websites work in such a way that individual users would sign up for a membership fee and gain access to profiles of other single users. Upon signing up, users would be asked to fill out a survey questionnaire and a detailed profile. The information provided by every member will be used by the site’s algorithm to determine a potential ‘match’. Once you find a match, it is up to you to communicate with that person and explore ways to further the relationship.

How Did Dating Apps Evolve?

Dating apps evolved from dating websites thanks to the mobile boom, and today an entire generation has grown up with dating apps, swiping and liking as an accepted (and essential) part of day to day life. There is no denying that dating apps are no longer an alternative to finding a potential partner. Many individuals have relied on them solely in order to find a romantic relationship. For this reason, app developers have rushed to cash in on the market and the dating app landscape is littered with options for singles. The problem has now become ‘which app to choose’?

To help understand how the dating apps have evolved throughout the years, it is important to look at some of them available in the market.

OKCupid

The OKCupid app is a familiar name for anyone who’s tried dating apps before. As one of the first dating apps to be developed, there is a massive user base to explore for those who are single. In addition to that, it is straightforward to use. The app has gone through major upgrades and refining throughout the years to adapt to the changing needs of the singles market.

One of the most interesting features of the OKCupid app is the “Flavor” system. This enables users to easily categorize potential dates based on evocative groups that they create for them to view. In addition, it offers a broad array of personality quizzes, integration with Instagram, and a complex messaging tool to make it easier to get matched and connect with potential dates.

Joyride

Joyride is one of the newer dating apps available in the market for singles. This is a great option for those who find these apps a bore. Why not add fun and excitement to meeting other singles by participating in fun dating games? With this app, you can discover singles playfully!

This is a first-ever dating app of its kind; which, again, is a testament to how these apps have evolved. First and foremost, it is a free dating app. It was developed with the intent of making online dating fun again. In fact, it is called a dating playground. There are games such as trivia quizzes, speed dating games, and 21 questions, among others. It is a great way to explore the personality of your potential match in fun and new ways.

Bumble

This dating app is unique in that the female user (also known as the queen bee) must make the first move on individuals within their hive (or those who they have a mutual connection with). They must make that move within 24 hours or else they will lose that connection; hence, there is no time to waste.

What sets Bumble apart from other dating apps are that there is an opportunity to build connections with a potential business contact or to expand your friendship circle, if you are not into dating relationships. In 2019, they added the video feature to the app on top of the voice chat feature.

Match.com

Match.com is one of the pioneers in the online dating industry. In its effort to evolve with the globalization of online dating, they have developed an app for smartphone users. Users can set up an account for free and access premium features such as setting up an online dating profile, seeing who has checked out your profile, or liking each other’s pictures. It has also added voice and video features into the app over the years.

Due to the safety concerns about online dating, Match.com app has also integrated a safety feature for its users. This feature will enable users to alert friends or family if they ever feel in danger while on a date with someone they met through the app. There are a lot of fun features worth checking out and tweaking to match your desired dating profile.

Eharmony

Another long-time player in the world of online dating is eharmony. Like Match.com, it started out as a dating website. It was eventually developed into an app to make it more accessible to singles looking for a potential partner. One of the things that enable the app to provide users with a suitable match is the Relationship Questionnaire. This is a vital step users must fulfill when setting up an account so you can meet someone with similar interests and personalities. You will also be recommended to a few potential partners based on numerous areas of compatibility.

Her

This is one of the most unique dating apps in the market – an example of the niche dating apps of the recent years. According to the app, it is both a dating app and social network. As the name suggests, it is created specifically for lesbians or bisexuals. Once signed up via Facebook or Instagram, Her users can get access to a list of users within their area or globally. It gives you the opportunity to connect with other single females looking for this type of relationship.

Her users also have access to chat and messaging tools to make it easier to connect with potential dates. There is also a section wherein users can stay up-to-date on LGBTQ events and news.

Badoo

You cannot come up with a list of dating apps without the mention of Badoo. This is one of the pioneers in the industry with over 370 million users worldwide. It integrates a variety of features to make finding a match a breeze – from swiping to finding users within the nearby area. One of the things that make it stand out as a dating app is that they have put together a system to verify users to make sure they are actual people. The app is free to use but those with premium accounts have more visibility.

Wingman

The Wingman app is the ideal choice for those who need extra help in matchmaking. This is how it works: you can enlist the help of your friend (or two) to build your profile, rather than doing it on your own. Your designated Wingman will also be the one to screen through potential matches. If your match likes you back, you will get the opportunity to connect with them and exchange messages.

This is a fun take on dating through an app, which helps to ease the pressure and fear of the entire experience.

Coffee Meets Bagel

If you want to find quality matches rather than being presented with more options, then you need to download the Coffee Meets Bagel app. Men will be sent a selection of potential matches based on profile information; on the other hand, women will choose from potential matches who have expressed interest in knowing them. In this app, the women hold the control. There is a 7-day window given to users with mutual attraction to connect with each other. 

Round Up

Based on the list above, it is obvious how online dating has greatly evolved in recent years. From its inception to now, there is a seemingly endless array of possibilities, thanks to the advent of niche dating apps. It is now easier for a wide range of singles to meet other singles who fit into their culture, passion, or preferences, or other factors they consider valuable as part of their quest to find an ideal partner.

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.