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    Love in the time of coronavirus: How Tinder has become a refuge for singles under lockdown

    Love in the time of coronavirus: How Tinder has become a refuge for singles under lockdown

    Love in the time of coronavirus: How Tinder has become a refuge for singles under lockdown
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    By Shibani Gharat   IST (Updated)

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    The coronavirus pandemic and the consequent lockdown have been hard on the singles active on the dating scene, with all avenues for public meetings out of bounds. But, much like every other service, their need for connection has found an outlet online.

    The coronavirus pandemic and the consequent lockdown have been hard on the singles active on the dating scene, with all avenues for public meetings out of bounds. But, much like every other service, their need for connection has found an outlet online.
    Tinder has seen conversations and time spent on the platform on the rise during the lockdown, according to the company CEO Elie Seidman.
    So much so that the company set a new record. Tinder users made three billion swipes worldwide on Sunday, March 29, the most the app has recorded in a single day since its launch.
    What is it about the fear of uncertainty that makes humans crave for a connection? “These are scary times, one gets lonely. At a time like this more than ever people need an emotional connect,” reasons Seidman.
    Seidman says that there are lot more conversations happening on Tinder now than they did before COVID-19 engulfed the globe, making meeting people in person a potentially fatal hazard.
    India, one of the early adopters of Tinder outside the United States, constitutes an important market for the dating service, says Seidman. “Indians are technically savvy; it is a young population, very global population. Also, Indian members on Tinder have been the most chatty when it comes to conversation on the platform,” he says, reinforcing a familiar trope.
    Seidman points out three things that stood out for Tinder in during the pandemic. “The difference between dating and online dating is disappearing, you can get emotional connection digitally and third thing is that it is very inspiring creatively for us to see the way in which people around us are hacking these digital experiences. Especially, look at the way in which the show Bachelor was launched on Zoom using real people.”
    Now that app usage has increased, Tinder plans to keep users on its platform by making it more engaging. To that end, the company plans to launch a couple of in-app innovations in the coming days.
    The lockdown has fuelled the use of video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Meet and the same change is reflected in the online dating landscape. Tinder’s competition, including eHarmony, OKCupid and Match, has reported a big rise in video dates.
    Now the app, which gained instant popularity after its launch for its groundbreaking interface that allowed users to reject or accept a match with a simple swipe, is planning to launch video dating functionality on its platform soon.
    And Seidman is confident his product’s video feature will not face the security issues that have plagued Zoom and others.
    “We have advanced our schedule for rolling out test of one-to-one videos; those will be coming out in June to our first team members. And the trust and technical team, which is a very large team, is building one-to-one video for Tinder. They are also the one responsible for all the moderation and other elements of keeping it trustworthy and safe,” he says.
    Seidman contends that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the future of dating in a big way, with some new rules likely at play once the crisis subsides.
    “People are going to be a little bit more reluctant to meet physically and they are going to want that connection to be more assured beforehand.”
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