What’s next for dating?
When it comes to the future of dating, Scott Harvey, editor of Global Dating Insights, says that artificial intelligence and video are the “two main talking points in the industry” right now.
Facebook’s new dating product, an opt-in feature of the main Facebook app, which has launched in the US and 20 other countries and is scheduled to go live in Europe next year, includes the option for users to share video or photo based Stories from their main feeds to potential dates, cutting down on the effort of creating curated content for separate dating platforms. Since Facebook already knows so much about us, it will, Harvey argues, end up with an “unparalleled insight” into which kinds of matches end in relationships, marriage or divorce, which can be used to inform future matching algorithms.
In terms of video, he says dating app companies also want to test “whether people can get a feel for in-person chemistry by chatting face-to-face” using video chat functions and “whether people will actually go to the trouble of having short video dates on a Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening” as a way of avoiding lacklustre real life encounters.
Meanwhile industry analysts and coaches including both Scott Harvey and Damona Hoffman also point to a resurgence in offline singles events on both sides of the Atlantic, whether run by larger online dating companies seeking to find new ways of connecting existing pools of singles who are tired of swiping, or newer players looking to capitalise on current debates about the challenges of dating in today’s digital era.
“We saw this huge demand for authentic connection and genuine meetings and how difficult it is to create this on your own,” says Philip Jonzon Jarl, co-founder of Relate, a Scandinavian dating and relationships start-up which organises singles parties, matching guests with a handful of attendees based on their values.