It’s a Match! A Global View on the Positioning and Use of Online Dating Applications

Ross Barker, Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital
Allison Geerts , Swedish Institute of Social Research/Stockholm University
Ryohei Mogi, University of Oxford
Pietro Rampazzo, Technical University of Denmark
Francesco Rampazzo , Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

More and more people, particularly of younger generations, turn to online dating and dating apps to find a partner. While online dating and dating applications are a global phenomenon, a global view on the use and experience of dating apps is lacking.This research aims to provide the first analysis of multiple online dating apps by analysing data from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. This paper aims to provide insights on the global distribution of dating applications, how different applications define their purpose and target, as well as analyze how users experience them. We consider also possible differences between dating apps, such as dating apps that specifically target Gender and Sexual Minorities (GSM). Using the Apple App Store data, we analyse the geographic distribution of the users of 18 selected apps. Countries in North America, Western Europe, and Latin America are in the top quartile. Many countries in the African continent and Middle East have no significant sign of usage of online dating apps. To understand positioning and use of online dating apps, we perform structural topic modelling on the description and reviews of each app. For this preliminary analysis, we only focus on the English language. Our analysis shows that the prevalence of topics of the reviews relating to finding love, making friends, and being able to live chat with others. The breadth of descriptions also play into unique features of apps, such as sober dating, extra features, and app design such as swiping left or right.

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 Presented in Session 35. Modelling Migration, Mobility and Positioning