Virtual dating is no new phenomenon. The first dating website launched in 1995 and since then the industry has grown exponentially. The development of apps such as Bumble, Tinder and Hinge has made dating even easier. It’s something people can now do at the push of a button.
The industry has proven so popular that the global dating apps market is expected to surpass £7 billion by 2024 – making online dating a very lucrative business. This has been further proven in 2020 with the introduction of Covid-19 to the world. Our inability to socialise with people during global lockdowns saw record levels of usage across dating apps. The BBC recently highlighted that Tinder reported it’s busiest day since its 2012 launch. Hinge saw a 30% increase in messages during March, and Bumble messages grew 35% during the pandemic.
This all means that many black women have turned to dating apps either for the first time, or they’ve returned to using them again in a search for socially-distanced romance. I spoke to two very different women about their experiences of virtual dating during the pandemic.