What was once an alternative to meeting someone in real life, dating apps have quickly become a household name. With a near chokehold on the dating world, many of the apps were quick to monetize, providing options such as Tinder’s new Select plan – available by invite only for $499 a month – in hopes of capitalizing on Americans’ thirst for love.

Data from the CivicScience InsightStore can help us better understand the current market for dating apps and their paid plans in a post-pandemic world. Currently, about 50% of dating app users aged 18-44 report they are using dating apps and sites more often than they were before the pandemic. In contrast, just 23% say they are using them less often.

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This uptick in dating app usage coincides with a decrease in social activities. As the data show, 30% of all adult respondents are participating in social activities less often than they were before the pandemic (compared to 21% who are participating in them more often). It follows then, that with more Americans participating in fewer social activities, the need for apps and websites to create connections would rise.

Additionally, it’s Gen Z adults (aged 18-24) who experience the most loneliness, with 55% of this age-group feeling ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ lonely in the past week or so. 

That said, when it comes to dating app fees, nearly one-half of respondents interested in dating apps (aged 18-44) report they would be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee, and 9% would be willing to pay more than $75 a month. Just over half (51%) say they would only use free apps or sites. Not surprisingly, those most willing to pay a premium are also among the highest income earners, as dating app users with an annual household income of $100K or more are roughly three times as likely to say they would pay $75 a month or more for dating app services. 

Given the rising use of dating apps, coupled with the decrease in social activities and increased loneliness, it’s safe to say that Americans are more than willing to pay for the possibility of love. And that for some of those who can afford it, there may not be a price too steep. 

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