KCBS - Oct 18 - When you think of dating apps like Tinder, you think they are for the teens or Millenials, but more and more often it's older singles looking to swipe right or left. For a look at the changing demographic for the users of these apps, we are joined by Mark Brooks, principal consultant with Courtland Brooks.
So, how old is older?
Actually the fastest growth groups are the 25-34 and 55-64. Both groups have more than doubled over the last year or so in terms of usage on mobile dating apps.
Are there are enough older folks on there to make it worth their while?
Well, there are a lot more 25-34, but the 55+ range is the fastest growing segment.
Why do you think this is?
People are using their mobile devices more in that age group, so there is a natural progression of people warming up to the idea of meeting more friends and romantic partners.
I can see older folks going online to try and find dates, but isn't Tinder mostly known for being a hookup site?
They will graduate from this eventually, but it's very simplistic. Tinder became very successful, because it is very simple and came at just as the industry was staring to make things more complicated.
The other end of the market is more meaningful oriented dating, with eHarmony and POF positioning themselves as more serious. People will tend to want to have more meaningful relationships. There is a saying that, "men will lie about wanting a long term relationship, while women will lie about wanting a short term one," so it will really be up to the women to decide if they want to continue to use Tinder, or if they will they drive usage to the more sophisticated services.
Is it more men joining Tinder than women in the older category?
The older category runs more toward women in general. Once we get into the 50+ range, the guys tend to hide more for some reason. In the younger range we tend to see more guys, while the older range is less active.
What do you think the future will be of dating?
I don't think people want to put the time into creating a profile or answering 200 questions. They want to have it be fairly effortless. So, as I look further into the future, I think computers and all these apps we're putting little pieces of ourselves into, that we are allowing to get to know us better, they should feed into a central character profiler. Look at systems like Acxiom, which is a huge marketing database that has a lot of information gathered over the years about individuals, and companies likes Google that have also positioned themselves to know us very well. Ultimately, I think single people will demand more because they don't want to fall in love with the wrong person. So, the value will be there for them to work with the leading dating services and give them more information that will help them do better with compatibility profiling.