Dating apps are adapting to life in — and after — the pandemic Part 2

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. get to know (someone) / gɛt tu noʊ / (idiom) – to learn what someone is like, often by spending time with him/her

    Ann isn’t interested in getting to know her neighbors, so she never talks to them.

  2. reluctant / rɪˈlʌk tənt / (adj.) – unwilling or hesitant to do something

    I’m not sure if Greg is really going to move abroad. His wife wants to, but he seems a bit reluctant.

  3. screening / ˈskri nɪŋ / (n.) – the act of examining people or things to check if they’re suitable for something

    I think we need to improve our candidate screening; I haven’t been impressed with our recent interviews.

  4. make up / meɪk ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to combine together to form something larger

    Native French speakers make up almost half of the city’s residents.

  5. end up / ɛnd ʌp / (phrasal v.) – to reach a situation, condition, or place that was not expected

    The couple won the lottery, but they didn’t use their money well and ended up homeless.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

In response to changing demands, Tinder announced new tools last month that will allow users to get to know people better online. People will now be able to add videos to their profile and chat with others even before matching with them.

“Historically, consumers were reluctant to connect via video because they didn’t see the need for it,” said Jess Carbino, an online dating expert and sociologist who has worked for Tinder and Bumble. Post-pandemic, however, many people expect a higher degree of screening, she said. “Online dating apps like Tinder are leaning into that.”

The dating apps say their research shows video chats are here to stay, even as life starts to return to normal in some parts of the world.

Almost half of Tinder users had a video chat with a match during the pandemic, with 40% of them intending to continue them postpandemic. Tinder says this is largely driven by Generation Z users in their late teens and early 20s, who now make up more than half of the app’s users. And 69% of Hinge’s U.K. users also say they’ll continue with virtual dates after the pandemic.

Tinder, alongside other popular apps including Hinge, OkCupid and Bumble, has in Britain and the U.S. partnered with the government to add a badge to profiles indicating that users have been vaccinated. There’s no verification process, though, so matches could be lying.

Dating app users are also increasingly looking for deeper connections rather than casual encounters, Carbino said.

That’s what happened to Maria del Mar, 29, an aerospace engineer, who didn’t expect to end up in a relationship after she matched with someone on Tinder. Now they’re living together. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • According to Carbino, many people now expect a higher degree of screening from dating apps. What do you think is the reason for this? What are good ways to screen potential dates (ex. exchange messages, look them up online)? Why? Discuss.
  • Tinder says that Generation Z users in their late teens and early 20s make up more than half of its users. Do you think that dating apps have become more popular with older people as well? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Several dating apps have partnered with governments to add a badge to profiles indicating that users have been vaccinated, but there’s no verification process. Would you trust this badge? What other kinds of badges should be added to dating app profiles? Why? Discuss.
  • Carbino said that dating app users are increasingly looking for deeper connections rather than casual encounters. What do you think is the reason for this? In your opinion, what kind of info should users looking for a deeper connection put on their profiles (ex. their favorite book, their job)? Why? Discuss.