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13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating

In this article, we will be looking at the 13 best alternatives to dating apps and online dating. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to the 5 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating.

Online Dating and Dating Apps: Latest Trends

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global online dating industry was valued at $10.49 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% from 2023 to 2030 to reach a valuation of $17.28 billion by the end of the forecasted period. The Asia Pacific region is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR of 8.5% from 2023 to 2030. The growing digitalization of the region paired with a robust penetration of mobile phones is predicted to fuel the growth of the region throughout the forecasted period.

Revenue generation-wise, the global online dating market has been segmented into subscription and advertisement. In 2022, the subscription segment accounted for the largest revenue share, 63%. Online dating apps offer a variety of exclusive features for their premium customers including unlimited swipes and no ads. The subscription model allows the users to navigate their dating experience with ease.


Online dating and dating apps experienced a boom in users during the pandemic. People were bound at home and online dating offered a good opportunity to form new connections. Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) is one of the online dating platforms that exhibited rapid growth during the pandemic. According to a report by Backlinko, Bumble Inc.'s (NASDAQ:BMBL) users increased from 855,600 in 2019 to 1.14 million in 2020. In 2020, the upsurge in the number of users increased the app revenue by 30.85% compared to 2019 levels. Furthermore, the number of downloads soared from 14.93 million in 2019 to 18.43 million in 2020. However, with the end of the pandemic, dating apps are facing a drop in the number of users as people are turning towards alternatives to online dating.

The decreasing number of users, especially paying users, on dating apps has led to a collective crisis in the industry. Dating app companies are reporting weaker revenue forecasts and taking tangible measures including laying off employees to cope with the situation. Furthermore, privacy breaches on dating apps are driving customers away. The uncertain economic condition is also playing a central role in the declining numbers of paying users on dating apps. Therefore, all of these factors combined have resulted in an industry-wide user exodus. You can also read the 12 Best European Dating Sites Without Payment.

User Exodus: Impact on Dating App Companies

Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH), Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL), and Spark Networks SE (OTCMKTS:LOVLQ) are among the most distinguished names in the online dating apps industry. These companies are likewise being impacted by the industry-wide loss of paying users exhibited in various ways. You can also check out the Best and Worst Dating Apps in 2024 Ranked By Reviews.

Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) is one of the most prominent companies in the online dating app industry. The company operates major platforms including Hinge, Tinder, and OKCupid. The company has not been immune to the user exodus amid the economic apprehensions. On January 31, Reuters reported that Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) forecasted the first-quarter revenue below Wall Street expectations. Tinder is one of the biggest dating apps owned by the company which has been struggling to retain its paying customers. Match Group Inc (NASDAQ:MTCH) reported the number of paying users to be 15.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 which is a decline of 5% compared to the previous year. The company expects revenue in the range of $850 million to $860 million for the first quarter compared with analysts' average estimate of $867 million. Here are some comments from Match Group Inc.'s (NASDAQ:MTCH) Q4 2023 earnings call:

"We've assumed FX to be a 1.5-point headwind to full year '24 total revenue growth. We expect 2024 indirect revenue of approximately $60 million, up approximately 8% year-over-year. For 2024, our current anticipation is for AOI margins to be at least 36%. Our margin will largely depend on the various brands' levels of revenue growth and how we calibrate certain investments that are critical to achieve our organic growth plans. There are several key investment areas that are impacting margins that we'd like to call out. The first is at Tinder in both product innovation and marketing. As we reinvent the Tinder experience, we're putting substantial incremental resources into product to improve the experience and cater better to women and Gen Z and in marketing to build a better brand narrative and higher awareness of the new and improved experience."

Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) is another noteworthy company in the online dating apps industry. The company's flagship dating app Bumble is distinguishable from its competitors as it allows women to initiate contact. Badoo and Fruitz are also popular names owned by the company. Bumble has been experiencing a drop in the number of paying users and is adopting different strategies to cope with the changing market trends. On February 27, Reuters reported that Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) will cut almost 350 roles to keep up with the declining customer spending. The company expects to incur almost $20 million to $25 million in light of the layoffs which will be one-time charges. Furthermore, the company reported fourth-quarter 2023 revenue at $273.6 million which was lagging behind the analysts' estimates of $275.3 million. Here are some comments from Bumble Inc.'s (NASDAQ:BMBL) Q4 2023 earnings call:

"Reducing the size of our team is an extremely difficult decision, and I'm incredibly grateful to all of our employees for the role they played in getting Bumble to where it is today. We will do all that we can to support affected colleagues during this time. Rightsizing the company will help us unlock our ability to deliver long-term growth by greatly improving our operational efficiency, agility, and speed and enable us to reinvest a portion of our expected savings in critical foundational capabilities, including dating innovation with AI, machine learning and safety differentiated experiences that will drive our future."

Spark Networks SE (OTCMKTS:LOVLQ) is a notable name in the online dating apps industry. The online dating app portfolio of the company contains a variety of popular names including Zoosk, EliteSingles, SilverSingles, and Christian Mingle. The company has its headquarters in Berlin, Germany. On January 12, Spark Networks SE (OTCMKTS:LOVLQ) announced the completion of its financial reorganization process. The reorganization aimed to improve the company's capital structure and liquidity. These measures are being taken under the widespread loss of paying users in the online dating apps industry. The Munich Commercial Court approved the Share Capital Registration on January 12, 2024. The approval has made MGG Investment Group LP the sole equity owner. Spark Networks SE (OTCMKTS:LOVLQ) has expressed its readiness to drive forward with MGG’s support and continue fostering meaningful relationships. The approval follows a restructuring plan approved by the Local Court Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany on January 4, 2024, under the Act on the Stabilization and Restructuring Framework for Companies (StaRUG).

Amid the rapidly declining paying users and rising privacy threats posed by online dating apps, people are turning towards the traditional ways of dating. However, entering the offline dating arena can be a daunting experience for many individuals. We have made a list of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating. You can also go through the 15 Free Dating Sites For Singles in the US.

13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating
13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating

13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating

Our Methodology 

To make our list of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating, we initially sifted through 10 sources that listed the top alternatives. We separated the items that appeared in more than 50% of our sources and then listed them.

13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating

13. Going to a Bar or Park

One of the best ways to meet someone is by going out more. Parks and bars provide an easy and accessible spot to connect with more people. Going to a bar alone or with a group of friends offers a good opportunity to meet someone new. Furthermore, if you own a pet, especially a dog, taking them to the park can help you talk with other people there which increases your odds of dating.

12. Pursuing a Hobby

Pursuing a hobby or passion can lead you to meet someone with shared interests. You can start by joining some local classes related to your passion or attending an event. By indulging deeper into a passion and attending related events you can get to know more people who are interested in the same thing. It is one of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating.

11. Socializing More in Your Daily Life

Socializing more can be a daunting experience, especially when going out of the way to meet someone new. One of the best things to do in this situation is to incorporate socializing into daily routine. For instance, greeting the next-door neighbor you often see or talk to someone seated next to you on the subway.

10. Changing your Usual Hangout Spot

Hanging out at the same spot can limit your social circle. The same people usually show up at the same hangout spot and the chance of meeting someone new gets minimized. By changing your usual hangout spot, you can be around a fresh set of people. It is one of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating.

9. Attending a Wedding

Weddings are a celebration of love and companionship. By going to a wedding, you could meet someone you like. The guest lists are usually filtered and provide an opportunity to connect with mutual friends.

8. Joining a League/Club

If you are passionate about a sport, joining a relevant league or a club could help your dating life as well. It is one of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating. Leagues and clubs provide an opportunity for people with the same interests to come together and connect.

7. Going to Singles Ticketed Events

Going to a singles-only ticketed event could be a good way to meet someone new. These events provide an opportunity for people willing to meet someone special to come together. The events also provide a safe space to socialize freely and find that special connection.

6. Asking a Friend to Set you Up

Asking a friend to set you up is one of the best alternatives to dating apps and online dating. Friends know us and our likings. By a friend playing Cupid, you are likely to meet someone special. It is one of the safest ways to meet and connect meaningfully with a new person.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating.

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Disclaimer: None. 13 Best Alternatives to Dating Apps and Online Dating is originally published on Insider Monkey.