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Is the Honeymoon Over for Dating Apps?

Growth slows to single digits

June 19, 2019 (New York, NY) –  Are Americans falling out of love with dating apps? Usage is still going up, but dating app audiences have been growing slower than expected in recent years, leading to downward revisions to eMarketer’s user estimates.

This year, 25.1 million adults in the US will use a dating app on their smartphones at least monthly. Our Q3 2018 forecast for the dating app audience last year was 25.4 million. Due to lower-than-expected usage last year, we now estimate just 23.8 million adults used dating apps in 2018, representing 6.5% growth over 2017. That slow growth continues, with usage expected to tick up 5.3% this year.

“At this point, we see existing users switching between apps rather than new users trying dating apps for the first time,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Nazmul Islam.

This year, 21.0% of single adults in the US will use a dating app, with that figure barely reaching 23% by 2023.

What are the most popular dating apps?  Among millennials, Tinder takes the top spot, followed by Bumble and PlentyofFish, according to a Google study.

Despite slowing user growth, revenues for most of the dating apps is still growing at a healthy rate.  Tinder’s revenues grew 62% between February 2018 and February 2019, while Bumble’s grew 135% during the same period, according to a Sensor Tower study.

“Initiatives like app optimization focused on messaging, better matching and localization are increasingly convincing free users to switch to premium subscriptions, which is helping drive revenue growth despite slowing user growth,” Islam said.


eMarketer’s forecasts and estimates are based on an analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from research firms, government agencies, media firms and public companies, plus interviews with top executives at publishers, ad buyers and agencies. Data is weighted based on methodology and soundness. Each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all its forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of available data means the forecasts reflect the latest business developments, technology trends and economic changes.


About eMarketer
Founded in 1996, eMarketer is the first place to look for research about marketing in a digital world. eMarketer enables thousands of companies worldwide to understand marketing trends, consumer behavior and get the data needed to succeed in the competitive and fast-changing digital economy. eMarketer’s flagship product, eMarketer PRO, is home to all of eMarketer’s research, including forecasts, analyst reports, aggregated data from 3,000+ sources, interviews with industry leaders, articles, charts and comparative market data. eMarketer’s free daily newsletters span the US, EMEA and APAC and are read by more than 200,000 readers globally. In 2016 eMarketer, Inc. was acquired by European media giant Axel Springer S.E.


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Posted on June 19, 2019.