Looking to meet that someone special this year? You’re certainly not alone – but thanks to the ongoing social distancing measures that have been in place for the past year, in 2021, it can feel more difficult than ever. Gone are the regular social occasions like parties and large dinner parties, with most of us instead meeting only close friends in groups of six – but with dating apps having enjoyed a meteoric rise into the mainstream in recent years, all is not lost. With the likes of Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish now some of the most popular ways for potential new couples to meet, many have continued dating – albeit virtually – right through lockdown, and with half of all partnerships expected to have formed via such apps by 2035, it has quite literally transformed the way we fall in love.
Of course, the concept in itself is nothing new; we have always met and got to know one another through some means of communication. First, there were face-to-face meetings, then there were printed ‘lonely hearts’ ads in the local paper – while fast forward to today, and the entire romantic process is largely managed online. When social media took just about every aspect of our social lives digital in the early 2000s, it paved the way for the new and exciting way to find love as we know it today, with some of the biggest dating apps out there quickly becoming household names and eclipsing more traditional ways to meet someone new.
If you’re eager to find love at first swipe during your jet-setting adventures, then look no further. In fact, within just three years of MySpace’s launch, we saw the likes of PlentyOfFish, OKCupid and Badoo bursting onto the dating scene – and while at the time, many romance-seekers remained reluctant to dip their toe into the water, over the next ten years, things changed dramatically.
Now, it’s rare to meet a singleton of any kind who doesn’t have a Tinder account – at least in the UK. But the online dating craze isn’t limited to British soil alone, because it has taken off around almost the entire world. So, if you have some big travel plans this summer as restrictions finally begin to ease, then you might just be in luck – because from Australia to Asia, a growing number of people are heading online in their search for lasting love. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular dating apps in countries across the globe, so if you’re eager to find love at first swipe during your jet-setting adventures, then look no further.
Woman laughing at her laptop computer in the park
The World’s Most Popular Dating Apps
Thought Tinder could only hook you up with potential dates on UK shores? It turns out that your account could set you up for a memorable meeting in more places than you’d imagined, having been identified as the highest-rated app in the IOS store in 85 out of the 165 nations researched. Launched back in 2012, it has won itself a legion of loyal users since, reaching an estimated 50 million users in its first six years alone, and recording an impressive 26 million matches per day. Available in 190 countries and in over 40 different languages, it’s little wonder that this fast-growing app has gone global – but it’s not the only international app to have come up trumps.
In fact, it’s Badoo that has accrued the most regular users, with numbers currently standing upwards of 500 million. Meanwhile, America-based app Bumble, which has become hugely popular in the UK in recent years, is also doing big business. Nonetheless, it appears it still has some work to do if it wants to compete with the top players, with only two percent of its 42 million users ranking it as the best.
Male and lady having dinner in restaurant tasting red wine, couple on blind date
The Countries Dating Online
So, we know which apps are the most popular – but which countries are actually using them? Plenty, as it happens – and South American nations have seen the highest uptake, with ten out of twelve countries ranking Tinder as their most downloaded dating app and within their top 100 overall. Bolivia was identified as the top nation for utilising data apps, with Argentina and Colombia not far behind. In Asia, however, it seems that online dating is a slower growing trend, with just nine of the 41 countries surveyed ranking any kind of dating apps in the top 100 of their IOS stores. It seems that in this neck of the woods, people like to take a more traditional approach to finding love – so if you’re planning on heading to the content in search of the one, then you might want to leave your mobile phone at home.
Surprisingly, the average dating app was ranked just 88.9 in the iOS App Store in Europe – but cultural differences between the east and west have likely skewed this result somewhat. We know that in western Europe, almost all countries in the region (with the notable exception of Italy) rank a dating app in their top 100 downloads – with Germany being the most prolific daters of the bunch – while in eastern Europe, most do not.
The Bottom Line
While there are millions – if not billions – of people looking for love globally, it seems that not everyone has experienced the joys of online dating just yet, whether due to cultural differences and opposing attitudes, or simply down to a matter of taste. Nonetheless, there is no denying that it is a burgeoning trend on just about every continent – so if you’re heading off on your travels this year then you might just be in luck.