Love in the time of COVID: Dating apps are thriving – Marketplace

Love in the time of COVID: Dating apps are thriving – Marketplace

As the weather gets colder, and COVID-19 infection rates rise, Americans are heading indoors, isolating again and … going online to date.

Some predicted that online dating would take a hit from the pandemic. After all, who wants to risk infection by meeting with strangers?

People like 38-year-old Jen Filz, who started doing the online dating thing for the first time in March, as Milwaukee locked down. “I’m a very social person,” explained Filz. “So it was really hard for me to suddenly go from going out and talking to random people to having absolutely no interaction with anyone.” Filz has joined Hinge, Tinder, Bumble and Facebook Dating.  

She’s part of a trend. Dating app usage is growing during the pandemic. According to data company Apptopia, the top 20 apps have gained 1.5 million daily active users this year.  

Jonathan Kay, the founder of Apptopia, said it’s not just the big brand names in online dating that are growing. “We’re starting to see like a bunch of niche dating apps pop up as well, which I think are actually taking some market share away from larger players,” he said.

Apps like BLK for Black singles and Chispa for Latinx people. 

It is, of course, that time of year known as “cuffing season”: when you wanna be tied to one person, because it’s getting colder, the holidays are approaching, and your nosy aunt is definitely going to ask if you’re dating someone. 

But analyst Ali Mogharabi at Morningstar said it’s not just that. “You’ve got singles sitting
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