In 2013, Tinder revolutionised the online dating industry with a simple system, swipe right if interested, left if not. Instead of having a matchmaker rifle through thousands of profiles to find someone unique, users are allowed to decide whether they like someone based off a few photos.
In comparison to the services which had come before, Tinder made dating simple, but it also, as studies have found, made it less about lasting connections and relationships and more about casual hook-ups and cheesy openers.
Tinder was built by Hatch Labs, a startup incubator funded by IAC. At the time, IAC also owned Match.com, Plenty of Fish, and OK Cupid, so by building Tinder, it made its own cannibal, which has eaten away at the market share of others.
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In the United States, Tinder has ruled the roost since its inception, but in Europe and South America, Badoo has been the frontrunner. Created by Russian entrepreneur Andrey Andreev, Badoo has had many lives, including as a social games and quiz app in Facebook Games heyday in the early 2010s.
Badoo is the most downloaded dating app in the world, with over 400 million registered users, but it has not been able to make a mark in the US. In 2014, Andreev partnered with Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, who left the company after tensions with executives, to found Bumble.
Where Badoo failed, Bumble succeeded in drawing North American users away from Tinder. Marketed as the feminist dating app, Bumble allows women to make the first move, giving them full control of the experience.
Bumble’s growth in the past few years has also marked a change in attitudes towards dating, as people have started to turn away from the casual hook-up culture of Tinder. Hinge, another IAC-owned app, switched its entire platform in 2017 to focus on long term relationships.
That said, the culture is not devolving back to the Match.com era. Tinder and Badoo are still the leaders in monthly active users, and in emerging markets like China and South-east Asia, casual dating apps are far exceeding long-term services in popularity.
We have collected data and statistics on the dating app market. Read on below to find out more.
Dating app key statistics
- The dating app market made $4.94 billion revenue in 2022, $3.1 billion came from Match Group
- Over 300 million people use dating apps worldwide, with about 20 million paying for premium features
- Tinder was the most downloaded app in 2022, followed by Bumble
- Tinder is the most popular dating app in the United States and Europe
Top dating apps
|The crown jewel of Match Group, Tinder fundamentally changed online dating by removing the seriousness and giving users more control
|Tinder's main rival in North America, designed to give women control of the experience. Bumble was started by Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe Herd
|Hinge is a key rival to Tinder and Bumble, aimed at building long-term relationships instead of quick hookups
|Badoo started far before Tinder and Bumble as a social search, games and quiz app. It transitioned in 2013 to focus on dating
|Unlike others apps which use location in a general sense to find matches, Happn matches users with people they may have seen recently
|Grindr was the first app to be specifically for LGBTQ people and remains the most popular app for gay people
|Casual dating is not as popular in China as it is in the West, however, Tantan is the first to break through to general audiences
|Plenty of Fish
|One of the old guard, Plenty of Fish has been around since 2003 and is one of the few to successfully transition to mobile
Global Dating App Revenue
After a slump in the early 2010s, dating app revenues have increased every year since 2015, reaching $4.94 billion in 2022.
Global dating app revenue 2015 to 2022 ($bn)
Global Dating App Users
Usage has also increased, with over 337 million people worldwide using dating apps. The vast majority of matchmaking is done on mobile devices.
Global dating app users 2015 to 2022 (mm)
Global Dating App Downloads
Downloads have actually decreased in the past three years, from a peak of 287.4 million downloads in 2019.
Global dating app downloads 2015 to 2022 (mm)
Global Dating Users by App
Tinder and Badoo have been in a two horse race for total users since 2015, although Tinder has continued to grow in the past few years while Badoo has slowed. Bumble looks to be the next potential competitor.
Global dating users by app 2015 to 2022 (mm)
US Dating App Market Share
Tinder is the leader in the US dating app market, but Bumble has increased its market share every year since 2017. Hinge is also positioning itself as a potential leader in the near future.