The Rise of Online Dating in India’s Small Towns

Some online dating platforms have focused on forming connections within a singular city, but India’s dating trends are moving in the opposite direction. 70% of the country’s users on apps Tinder, Bumble and TrulyMadly are located in small towns outside of India’s bustling cities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian citizens left metropolitan areas to return to their smaller hometowns, taking the latest dating trends with them, reports Mint. This is combined with an increased trust in online platforms, and a willingness to spend for more online dating services.

Video calls are also playing a renewed role in this trend. Video calls between online dating users are now used as a screening process before they meet in real life, said Able Joseph, CEO of dating platform Aisle. 

Dating app executives agree that online interactions are becoming more normal, stating that around 72% of users believe it’s possible to find love online without meeting in person, Mint reports.

This is especially the case in smaller towns, where the number of users and matches is limited. Users in India are looking online for suitable connections from across the nation, says Ravi Mittal, CEO of dating service QuackQuack.

“The distinction between our online and offline world is blurring. As a result, the time spent online is on the rise,” said Shalini Singh, founder of Andwemet.

While video calling on dating platforms is growing in India, similar trends have been recorded globally. In Tinder’s Year in Swipe 2021, an annual roundup of dating trends and predictions, it states that mentions of video calling in Tinder bios rose by 52% globally in 2021.