10 Dating App Trends 2023: Based on SplitMetrics’ Data
- 10 Main Trends for Dating Apps in 2023
- The Bottom Line
It’s that time of the year again: some have love confessions on their lips, others have no dating intentions, and we, app marketers, are on the lookout for new top dating app trends to emerge.
Apps have significantly changed the way people meet each other. The tech-driven solutions brought us to the age of dating renaissance where finding a potential partner is no longer a hardcore quest.
Dating apps differ by their value proposition, so it’s really easy to kindle a serious relationship, dive into casual dating, or even find platonic friends online. However, this diversity results in a number of versatile trends — and it’s often unclear which one you should follow.
In this article, we’re going to reveal which dating trends in the mobile world are the real deal and which should get the ‘swipe left’ treatment.
10 Main Trends for Dating Apps in 2023
Before we jump right into the trends for dating apps, let’s take a look at what their current standing is.
Statista claims there were 366 million users looking for online dating services in 2022. This number is about to grow to 440 million in just a few years. At the same time, the survey conducted by Business of Apps says there are 300 million people using dating apps.
Let that thought sink in for a second.
We have 366 million people using online dating services, and 300 million out of them actually use apps for this.
And that survey found 20 million users out of this crowd actually pay for premium features. In dating apps, that typically means additional packages that speed up the process of meeting potential matches. It’s most likely that more and more publishers are going to experiment with advanced filters and in-app purchases, so this new functionality will define the dating scene in 2023 and beyond.
Taking into account all the points above, it’s safe to say that apps themselves are, actually, one of the biggest dating trends. They’ve transformed the way we fulfill our emotional needs and start new relationships — and they’ll keep doing so in the years to come.
Since the future of dating apps is bright, now it’s time to understand how to secure it for your own online dating project.
We’ve singled out the most reliable and data-driven trends in dating apps — with most of them checked out via SplitMetrics Optimize, a mobile optimization platform for validation of concepts via A/B tests for iOS and Android.
Trend #1. Diversification
Dating in 2023 promises to be exciting.
With new dating trends on the skyline, it seems like people are becoming more self-aware and get a clearer understanding of who they want to date. Younger generations, such as Gen Y and Gen Z, are leaning towards emotional maturity and want to take things slow. Thanks to them, new dating terms emerge — such as Dry Dating and Women-First Dating. These users are now longer interested in superficial qualities of potential partners and want to be careful with total strangers.
At the same time, as SplitMetrics’ experts found when carrying out research for our Lifestyle Report, these people are craving for meaningful relationships and want to find a soulmate.
To provide top dating experience for their users, mobile publishers are now adapting to these changes.
Some of them are strengthening their discretion policy by setting boundaries between dates. Others create niche apps to satisfy the emotional needs of different users. Some apps in the dating category are going further and offer setting up friendly connections alongside romantic relationships.
All the top dating trends above make the work of app marketers even more poignant — and the creation of a solid value proposition is coming to the forefront.
Trend #2. Subscription Changes
It seems like intentional dating is now a big thing for the mobile industry.
Recently, the dating app Hinge made headlines by rolling out a new subscription plan that will cost up to $720 per year. This new package aims at “highly motivated daters” and is supposed to increase your profile’s exposure and give you access to enhanced recommendations within the app.
While still being tested out, this subscription tier is already being compared to Tinder’s new package. Just like in the case of Hinge, this new system isn’t available to regular users, but experts predict that this feature will also be focused on serious relationships.
These introductions will have an impact on regular activities of paid user acquisition managers and ASO professionals. They will have to highlight new features and subscriptions in their strategy to get the attention of high LTV users.
Trend #3. Straightforward Messages
Perhaps, you’ve heard that people will notice — and love — you if you stay true to yourself.
Surprisingly, it’s the same trend with apps for dating.
You can make the dating lives of your users much easier if you instantly state what your app is about on the app stores.
Screenshots are your best friend here. Put straightforward CTAs to the images that show your value proposition. Thanks to thousands of A/B tests, we were able to find out that screenshots with direct CTAs show higher levels of engagement among users.
Running an app for dating exclusively in your town? Find a way to put this ‘current city dating’ on your screenshots. Creating something to unite dog owners? Make pets part of your messaging. To ensure you’ve captured the attention of your future users, make sure that your very first screenshot shows your main value proposition.
Don’t forget to test all the options before changing the creatives on the product page to detect the winning variation. Here’s a special A/B testing framework by SplitMetrics that will help you carry them out.
Trend #4. Simple Icons
Icons are the one of the most important elements of a product page. Their purpose is to capture the attention of users and make them want to learn more about your product — so that they eventually download the app.
With this in mind, you should take care of what your icon stands for. It’s better not to keep users guessing what the app is about otherwise you risk being unnoticed by your target audience.
Clear icons with one element standing from the background show better results, so the virtue of simplicity is pretty applicable to the mobile dating scene. A minimalistic style also protects users from feeling overwhelmed and helps them get a clearer understanding of your dating app’s value.
Trend #5. Classic Symbols of Love
Speaking of simple app icons, it’s also worth mentioning that classic symbols of love haven’t grown out of fashion.
A/B tests carried out via SplitMetrics Optimize showed that these traditional attributes on a dating app icon show a good performance:
- A person with hearty eyes
- Cupid’s arrow
- Playboy Bunny
- Puzzle pieces
- Gender symbols
Depending on the dating app theme, other options gain popularity. Masks, for instance, are a trendy icon element as they preserve an air of mystery and anonymity.
These symbols are also a great ASO makeover idea for Valentine’s Day. See more examples in this article.
Trend #6. Letters as Main Icon Element
There are many apps for dating that have carved their way into users’ hearts and pop culture. Some of them have intergenerational fame and are instantly recognizable with single millennials and Gen Z.
What’s their secret?
They are great at offering their USPs to users, ‘get’ the relationship science, and build a strong brand around it, including a memorable name and logo that can be used for creation of a stellar product page icon.
If you go to the App Store, look at the dating apps category and keep scrolling down, you’ll see lots of ‘letter-focused’ icons. It’s a popular trend right now — a minimalistic icon doesn’t irritate users and sticks in their memory.
Using the first letter of your dating app for an icon design is a solid choice — especially if you pick a mesmerizing typeface and find a way to add symbols of love and passion into it.
Trend #7. Brand Screenshots
If you have an alluring dating brand, it makes sense to look closer into this trend.
According to SplitMetrics’ benchmarks and mobile trends report, brand screenshots sometimes demonstrate a better performance than the screenshots containing your value proposition.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you have to follow this trend blindly.
Make it a habit to check out any idea thoroughly before applying changes to your creatives.
Trend #8. Viva Magenta
Dating in 2023 relies on technology — and some amazing color trends.
Viva Magenta, the current color of the year by Pantone, is the most sought-after shade right now. And it will look stunning on dating app icons or screenshots.
Pop culture is obsessed with Viva Magenta and describes it as a vivid, bold, and fearless shade. In terms of ASO and dating, you can use the color for making bright and unconventional creatives that will scream ‘dating expert’.
Trend #9. Value-Oriented Video Preview
Have you ever felt that something is wrong with your video preview?
You put a lot of effort into it, but users keep passing by without stopping for a second.
The performance of this product page element often leaves much to be desired because video previews don’t have a clear value proposition.
One of the biggest trends for the dating category is to use more videos focused on the value of matchmaking apps.
Your users don’t want to waste their time on an elaborate app video preview. App marketers should take note of these preferences and put less emphasis on long beautiful videos.
To keep the attention of your audience, craft a clear message and insert it into your video preview together with a clear CTA.
Trend #10. Gamification
What’s the best way to heat things up between potential dates and make users interact with your app? It’s gamification!
Bumble’s ice-breaking questions and Tinder’s mystery game “Swipe Night” are great examples of a successful gamification strategy. These unconventional novelties caused a furor among users and even brought new ones to these apps.
To add gaming elements, some publishers revamp the dating app profile by adding users’ interests or character type so users can find a date according to their personalities.
A great example of such an enhancement is the app known as Ur My Type (UMT). It matches users according to their Myers-Briggs personality type and supports the idea by creating an active community filled with relatable memes.
Another superb gamification case is the way SplitMetrics’ customer Smitten, an app that makes the dating life more fun, engages with users and sets them up for a lively and unique dating experience.
Smitten introduced mini-games to set people at ease with each other. You can play a game known as Lie Detector, which is based on the classic game of two truths and a lie, to check your intuition or start a conversation with Guessary. The app also has a distinctive user profile that is based on fun listings of what users are great at. This entertaining approach is a fantastic way to make your app stand out from the competition — and should be reflected on your product page.
Take a cue from Smitten: they use their gamification features for ASO. This move helps them strengthen their brand and win users over.
App marketers can use such content to drive brand awareness, improve creatives, and bolster their paid UA strategy.
The Bottom Line
In a sense, mobile marketing is exactly like dating.
You create a stunning product page to impress a potential date. They look you over to make sure you’re worth their time. If everything goes smoothly, it’s a match. They install your dating app — and use it until they find someone special.
Then, of course, you’re left out in the dark and have to move on. The only difference is that app marketers aren’t heartbroken about it because there’s always a constant flow of users looking for new relationships.
However, they may look for something different unlike your previous audience. The thing with the dating category is that real life is the ultimate decision-maker anyway.
To keep up with it, you have to be nimble, self-reflect from time to time, and pay attention to the top dating trends that dominate the world.
It is the only way to make sure your app is turned down.