Dating isn’t an easy pursuit. These days, when there is an app for everything, it’s not surprising that dating app usage is on the rise as single people make searching for ‘the one’ more convenient. So convenient they can even do it from their desks at work.
You no longer have to wait until you’re in a bar to try out your best pick up lines on potential suitors. You can fire them out, anywhere, anytime and to multiple people at once. This means dating app usage can sometimes be a productivity black hole since users can keep swiping for lengthy sessions with the apps continuously throwing up new faces.
Our global enterprise customers rely on us to identify trends in mobile data usage so that they can implement the appropriate policies and data caps to maximize their investment in mobile.
So we turned our attention to the fast-growing dating app market. We analyzed a selection of the most popular dating apps and their respective mobile websites in the UK and US to find out how the employees in our network of corporate mobile devices are using them.
The explosion of mobile dating
It’s no secret that people are using dating apps more than they were five years ago. Many of the services in this report didn’t exist before 2012. A recent surge might prove that mobile dating is just starting to gain real momentum. The total number of daily users for the services in the report has grown by 69% in the past 12 months, normalized to compensate for our own growth.
Looking at the growth in daily logins of each app across both regions shows that Zoosk is experiencing the most rapid growth, followed by Match.com and then Bumble.
Bumble three times as data-hungry as Tinder
The buzz around Bumble is that it challenges the ladies to talk first. What we discovered is that the app uses almost three times the amount of data that Tinder – or any other app in the report – uses. Understanding the nuances of what activity uses what amount of data is complex, but we can say that generally, the data consumption for this app is much higher than others despite having no real difference in user experience.
What can single guys learn from this? Letting her make the first move might not be worth running over your data cap. What can businesses learn from this? You may be paying huge mobile bills to fund your employees’ dating pursuits.
The US has Match.com Madness while the UK is into Tinder
We compared each app’s user base in the UK and US to discover whether a particular app is dominating either region. We discovered Match.com is winning the hearts of US users while Tinder is the clear favourite in the UK.
Looking at the full leaderboard, it appears Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish have a strong appeal to daters in both regions.
The calendar year of dating decorum
As technology continues to influence the dating scene, what effect is it having on people’s attitude to the “day for lovers” – Valentine’s Day? We’ve uncovered the most popular day of the year to be on dating apps among employees is right before Valentine’s Day. There’s a huge surge in mid February with usage peaking on the 9th (five days before the big day).
In fact, 26% more people used dating apps in the three weeks before Valentine’s day than during the previous period. What does this mean? Time-poor, single employees might actually be logging on to apps to secure themselves a date in an effort to make that day for lovers a little less lonely.
After discovering Valentine’s Day is sending single staff on a swipe frenzy, our minds turned to the least popular day of the year. And the data suggests it’s Christmas Eve. Perhaps because the unattached are busy with family, travelling, out on the town meeting people or perhaps they have just put their corporate devices to rest for the holidays.
Looking at the usage patterns across the past 12 months shows more interesting insights. Match.com enjoyed more activity on New Year’s Eve. There is also a peak in June for Tinder. We can only speculate that this may have been caused by Tinder’s Brexit feature ‘Swipe the Vote’, encouraging people to test their knowledge and register to vote via the app.
Which day and what time?
It’s important to keep in mind that the data we have analyzed for this report is that of corporate mobile devices, so you wouldn’t expect the overall peaks in usage to be during the working day, and they weren’t.
In the US, as the day wears on, employees turn to dating apps more, with usage peaking just after traditional working hours. UK employees instead wait until the middle of the night to check out their dating apps, with the 11pm-1am slot by far the most active – accounting for more than 15% of total daily activity.
When you look at the most popular time during the typical business hours (9am-5pm) the hottest hour is just before lunchtime, 11am – 12pm. If you want to nail it down to the minute, it’s 11:23am … maybe due to staff beginning to lose focus at the tail end of a long morning.
Separating each app to find the discrepancies in user behavior, Grindr tends to attract night owls with a quick check at lunchtime too, whereas Match users like to use the service at the end of the working day.
Regardless of whether the usage is happening during the working day or not, it’s still sucking up huge amounts of data and costing businesses money. The problem is only made worse when single employees are swiping on a 4G or roaming connection where the data consumption and related cost can quickly spiral out of control.
When we looked at days of the week, it was concerning to find that the most popular days of the week for employees to swipe were in fact during the working week. Our research suggests dating app usage is the highest on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a noticeable peak on Thursday.
Understanding employee needs and mobile behaviour is key
Mobility teams who understand the usage trends of their mobile workforce are able to make more informed decisions as to what type of policies to enforce, helping them to navigate trends like the growth in dating app usage.
Like any effective strategy, mobile policies need to be tailored to the specific needs of the enterprise and informed by real-time analysis of mobile behavior.
Clearly defined acceptable use guidelines will help organizations embrace the benefits of mobility without restricting convenience or costing them a fortune in mobile data overages and bill shock.