Dating apps are totally out of control. And, we only have tech bros to blame. As an online dater, I’ve had enough of the never-ending barrage of new, gimmicky dating apps from the tech world. For the love of all that is swipe-able, please make it stop.
Currently, not a single week goes by without the launch of a supposedly quirky dating app claiming to offer something revolutionary and never-before-achieved by the world of online daters.
In the past few months alone, we’ve seen the release of a “slow” dating app which makes you seduce matches through the art of conversation before you get to see their profile pic.
There’s an app that makes you talk on the phone; an app that lets you play matchmaker for your friends; and an app that conducts background checks on everyone who signs up.
The list doesn’t end there, though. There’s an app for no-strings-attached casual sex, which claims to be “Tinder Minus Marriage-Minded Daters.” There are sites dedicated to Disney-loving daters, sites for people who love hot sauce, and there’s even been an app for bacon lovers. We’re reaching a point where literally every type of interest or hobby will have its own dating app. Often I wonder if these app launches are apps, or just publicity stunts for developers hungry for fame.
Well, I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I did not ask for any of these apps, and nor did any of the other myriad online daters I know. But, with the dating app industry generating approximately $2 billion in revenue each year in the U.S. alone, is it any wonder tech bros are keen to muscle in on the very lucrative matchmaking market?
As a single woman with a desire to someday find a match, I’ve been identified as a consumer who is clearly desperately in need of an endless array of bizarrely niche apps to help me find someone who shares my love of Cholula. But, as the consumer, I can say that these apps are genuinely the last thing I need.
It’s a numbers game
Like many people, the two dating apps I use Tinder and Bumble take up way too much of my time. With, Tinder’s 50 million+ users and Bumble’s 11.5 million users, there’s no shortage of people to swipe right or left on.
Every time a new app is released, I usually download these new apps to see what they’re all about. But, more often than not, they tell me that “no one is nearby”.
If I’m in the centre of London, one of the largest cities in the world, how can there be no users in my area?
Frankly, I just don’t have the time to spare for apps with considerably smaller user bases.
PR professional Kris Ruby has tried some of the more niche dating apps as well as the mainstream ones. “I tried some of the niche vegetarian dating apps but found the user base wasn’t as high on them as some of the other more mainstream apps,” says Ruby.
She says she likes the idea of matching with a user who has a core interest in common with her, but ultimately it comes down to numbers. “In order for many of these niche apps to truly match you with someone, they need to increase their community size so you are connecting with more users.”
Is going granular pointless?
Jack Knowles, founder of Temptr dating app, says most daters would rather have a selection of millions of potential matches rather than a few hundred.
“There are probably too many dating apps and the leaders will always remain the go-to apps for single people,” says Knowles. He says niche apps are great, and he wishes the “guys launching them” all the best.
Enough with the gimmicks, tech bros. We just don’t have the time or the energy to waste on these bizarrely specific apps with no users.