A swipe in the right direction. Yes getting a date is as easy as that in the age of smartphones. Smartphone apps have changed the dating landscape and men are relying on their phones to get a perfect match. Long gone are chat rooms or blind dates where your friends would set you up. Today, it’s all about swiping left or right on your smartphone. It’s easier than booking a cab after a lazy evening at the bar.
“People are comfortable in our app even when surrounded by strangers, simply because they trust that there won't be any creeps on the app. This confidence is uniquely empowering and that's what enables high engagement on dating apps these days,” said Sachin Bhatia, CEO and Co-Founder of TrulyMadly, a dating app.
“We aren't like Western dating apps, which are primarily for 'hook-ups'. Nor are we your traditional desi matrimonial sites. We've tried to remove the taboo from the term 'dating' in the Indian world by associating it with safety and compatibility and have seen a great response from users in metros and even small towns,” added Bhatia.
Unlike the West, where one night stands is not seen as a social taboo, in India, people browsing these apps, often look for a long time commitment. “Hook up and casual dating apps are mushrooming but there are millions of singles who crave something more meaningful and long-term. In fact, as we interact with more and more of our users, we realize that men and women equalled crave love and companionship and ‘casual relationships’ don’t fulfill that need. Woo has been conceptualised and created especially for such people,” said Sumesh Menon, CEO and Co-founder, Woo.
Most apps in India keep safety and security as their primary concerns.
“We have a Trust Score for every user, based on the amount of information a user volunteers to share with the app. This impacts the matches she/he receives. In fact, we also have manual verification systems in place to double check profiles. Users can only engage in conversation or even see each other’s names once both of them have expressed an interest/ liked the other. All information about a user is self-updated and the existing user can anytime update or remove any or all information as per their personal preferences. If they deactivate their account, all their information gets wiped off too,” Bhatia added.
Meanwhile, 9 out of 10 women in the age-group between 18 and 25 prefer keeping a dating app on their phone, while 7 out of 10 in the age group between 26 and 35 prefer the same.
“An app brings the multiplier effect and widens the pool, beyond anything that was possible before. Secondly, because it is on a private smartphone device, it gives users the convenience of having uninterrupted, one-on-one conversations and really getting to know one another. And finally, it has given people complete independence over the kind of person they choose to be with. The decision is now taken by the individual, and not by anyone else,” added Menon.
Dating apps are like a free market economy for relationships in general and sex in particular. You might not find your dream girl among your acquaintances, but these apps ensure more exposure. Also, if we have the freedom to choose everything, then why not have the freedom to choose the right partner.