In September 2021, it was announced that online dating platform Bumble is entering a partnership with TikTok in Europe. In particular, in the UK, France and Germany. The main reason announced by the developers for the partnership is to help users demonstrate their real personalities and find friends or potential partners.
At first glance, this step looks designed to help ordinary users find new friends or the perfect match during these difficult quarantine times. But we all understand that behind such a partnership there must be benefits for the services themselves. We decided to investigate what the partnership between the two giants really means, why it is important, what other interesting innovations there have been recently, and how the internet dating industry is changing in general right now. It’ll be an interesting ride.
Bumble and TikTok partnership: what’s important to know
In the fall of 2021, TikTok surpassed YouTube in average viewing time in the US and UK. In the summer, it overtook Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and other popular apps for iOS and Android in terms of the number of installs. It is not surprising that now (especially against the backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic) interest in the platform has increased substantially.
Bumble is one of the top dating apps in Europe and the US. On the one hand, there’s little in common between Bumble and TikTok. But on the other hand, the combined work of these services can significantly expand the possibilities for successful dating on the Web.
The problem is that the results of a partnership can be viewed from two completely different angles.
- The result for the user. TikTok’s interest-based content selection algorithms are nearly perfect. And the fact that they can now be used to find suitable partners in the dating service is a big plus. Imagine a perfect version of Bumble where you only meet people with the same interests. Bumble and TikTok take on the lion’s share of the work, bringing you all the perfect matches. Sounds good, but in reality everything is not so simple.
- The result for Bumble and TikTok themselves. The developers of popular apps are not as altruistic as they might seem. This collaboration hides the rather banal desire to create more effective advertising based on the interests of users. The best analogy is Instagram and Facebook, where ad recommendations are intertwined with the service. Same here.
Overall, if we close our eyes to the obvious benefits for Bumble and TikTok themselves, the partnership is a positive one. Bumble users will indeed be able to find more suitable people due to their interests, so the chances of meeting the perfect match are increased.
Innovations you may have missed on other dating services
For more than 18 months now, we’ve witnessed how dating is rapidly flowing online. And that’s not just due to the coronavirus and quarantine restrictions. It’s simply more convenient to get acquainted on the Web. Especially when the dating platforms themselves do not stand still, but are actively implementing new features to make life easier for users.
Let’s take a look at some of the innovations in recent months and years that have shaped the dating industry itself.
1. Implementation of video communication
Before the pandemic, only 6% of users showed interest in the video chat function on dating apps, according to the Fast Company portal. But during a pandemic, it jumped to a record-breaking 69%. Not surprisingly, Tinder and its rivals have rushed to implement video chat functionality within their apps. And the Hinge service even launched a new function — “Date from home”. Basically it is an opportunity to have an online date.
2. Emphasis on location
Fast Company also reports that many more users have begun to provide access to their location on dating applications. People have become more interested in finding interesting chat partners and potential friends or a match nearby. The lockdown and border closures have of course played a role in this.
3. Bonuses for vaccination
Not just government agencies, but also private companies are actively campaigning to get people vaccinated against Covid-19. So, Tinder, Hinge, Bumble and a number of other online dating services motivate their users to get vaccinated and provide additional bonuses to those who provide the appropriate certificate.
4. An even more specialized search by interests
While some dating services rely only on location data and mutual attraction, others go much further and try to pair a match in such a way that the people involved really have a lot in common. In recent years, many highly specialized dating sites and applications have appeared: for vegetarians and vegans, for Christians, for representatives of non-traditional sexual orientations, and so on. Now everyone can find something for themselves and not feel discomfort surrounded by people with whom they have nothing in common.
5. Improved security and confidentiality
The pandemic has become one of the reasons for the increase in the number of fraudsters on the Internet. And many dating sites have become very fertile ground for them. Trustful users often fell for the bait of cybercriminals, disclosed confidential data, transferred money to fraudsters, and were subjected to blackmail. The developers realized the scale of the problem, so in 2020-2021, proactive work to improve the security of services was carried out especially vigorously.
The sudden rise in popularity of chat roulettes
It is curious that in the wake of the pandemic, video chat roulettes have received another round of their development — both among the pioneers of the industry, such as Omegle and Chatroulette, and on relatively new platforms, not so well known among Internet users. Also, the audience of the latter has turned out to be much more active.
Among the chat roulettes, there are several good options: Camsurf — simple web chat with a gender and geographic filter; Monkey.cool — chat with the ability to search for an user to chat with together with an invited friend; Chatrandom — chat roulette with themed chat rooms and search by interests; OmeTV — chat roulette with convenient gender and geographic filters; Bazoocam — chat roulette with video streams function. And, of course, VideoChat.chat — chat roulette with the most sophisticated gender filter and verified female accounts, offering the perfect choice for a male audience.
Why are video chat roulette sites so popular again along with apps and dating sites? There are several reasons:
- Registration is not required, or it takes much less time than on dating sites. Many people want to start communicating as soon as possible without unnecessary actions. And chat roulettes give such an opportunity.
- Communicating in video chat roulettes is generally safer. These sites do not collect unnecessary data about you and certainly don’t transfer it to third parties. They are still ahead of dating sites in terms of security and privacy.
- You immediately see the other user. No hours of correspondence first. One click, and here’s a new person with whom you can chat via video communication on any topic.
Chat roulettes are convenient, simple and affordable. And for those who have not had enough live communication during the pandemic, this is the best alternative. Because no amount of text messaging can replace one-on-one conversations.
The race between dating sites benefits us all
The internet dating industry is booming, not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively. It’s great that the industry is being driven forward not just by new players, but also by the “old-timers” of the dating sphere, as they did in their earliest years.
Many of you will remember that quite recently, Tinder, Badoo, Bumble and other popular dating apps froze in time and practically did not develop in any way. Now a race has begun, a war for the attention of users. And every day this confrontation is only gaining momentum.
For us as users, this is a positive development. First, we’re already seeing many interesting technical and conceptual solutions. Secondly, intense competition often forces dating sites to lower prices for subscriptions and premium features in order to attract more customers. And thirdly, the security of dating services has improved noticeably over the past year. It was precisely those security “holes” and the reluctance to disclose their personal data that used to stop thousands of people from using dating sites and applications. That situation has improved greatly in recent years.