Dating Apps


  • To learn about dating apps.

Early Findings

  • Before online dating apps, people used dating services to help them meet and connect with others.
  • The mid to Late 1990s: The creation and development of online chatrooms hosted by companies like AOL and MSN ushered in the era of online flirting. These chatrooms were the birthplace of online dating. Couples meeting and flirting in online chatrooms often never took their relationships to the level of dating though, thanks largely to the stigma that was associated with dating people met in chatrooms at that time.
  • 1995: Match was the first official dating app. The company was founded in 1993 but the app wasn't launched until 1995. Match used a subscription model from the very beginning. Match is still in operation today. Match created an Andriod version of their app in 2010 and one for iOS soon followed.
  • By 1996, 16 dating Web sites were listed in Yahoo and other dating apps that are still active today, like Friendfinder had launched.
  • 2002 - the launch of Friendster and MySpace in 2002 introduced the concept of social networking and forever changed the face of online dating. Friendster is no longer active. MySpace lost its relevance but is trying to get it back.
  • Since the launch of Match, over 2,000 dating apps have launched. Many are still active today.
  • Dating apps today are available both to anyone in general and to specialized groups, with apps geared for older Americans, for people living in rural areas, for gays and lesbians, for religious groups including Christians and the Jewish community, for people based on their professions or hobbies, and many more.
  • The success of online dating slowly chipped away at the stigma associated with it and today, roughly 40% of American couples meet online.
  • According to Online Dating Magazine, "nearly 20 million people visit at least one online dating site every month and 120,000 marriages every year take place, at least in part, due to online dating." Dating sites use both computer accessed sites and web-based apps for their services.

Proposed next steps:

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As the initial research provided basic information on the history of dating apps/online dating, we recommend finding/creating a list of 10 popular dating apps used today. There are sites with pre-compiled lists and sites that compare dating apps that would guide the creation of our list. The companies will be entered into column a of this google doc spreadsheet:
Additionally, we recommend creating a competitive landscape of the dating apps included in the first PNS. Ten companies would require 4 requests two involving 3 companies each and two involving 2 companies each. We will provide an overview, headquarters location, features, number of active users, and competitive advantage. The information will be entered into this google doc spreadsheet:
Additionally, we recommend looking into 2-3 trends in online dating apps. For each trend we will provide One: what the trend is, Two: why it is a trend (why you chose it), and Three: 1-2 examples of a company leaning into this trend.