THE DRUM - June 15 - It goes without saying that Covid reimagined socialization entirely. One of the sectors that felt this shift most acutely - and yet was perhaps among the most well-prepared - is the online dating industry. At the onset of the pandemic, 82% of singles turned to online dating. And engagement has remained high throughout the past year and a half. On Tinder, for example, users saw an average of 11% more swipes and 42% more matches in 2020. Meanwhile, Hinge saw its global app downloads spike 63% in 2020 compared to 2019. Virtual dating and video chatting are here to stay. Daters also revealed that they are looking for something a bit more serious these days. 75% of Hinge users say they're seeking a relationship this summer rather than a casual fling. Health transparency is now the norm. The brands that dominate the online dating space are increasingly teaming with other organizations to bring new experiences to daters, market their product in innovative ways and expand their offerings.