HONG KONG, January 22, 2023 – (ACN Newswire) – – “Being consciously single” is not a new term. Over the past few years, especially during the pandemic, it has become a trend to enjoy being single.
According to a study by Bumble, a female-dominated dating app, 53% of respondents said it’s “actually okay” not to have a partner. Instead of aimlessly searching dating apps, people are more inclined to live gracefully and confidently before meeting the right person. Another survey also shows that 83% of women are content to wait until they find their Mr. Right. In other words, people are more cautious about dating and building a relationship.
Despite this, humans’ desire for social connection will never diminish because we are social animals, and consequently this creates a tipping point from which social networking applications can adapt to the changing demands of users.
Dating apps like Tinder actively incorporate interactive and immersive features to entice users to meet. Beyond such mainstream products, trendy social apps launched by companies such as Newborn Town and Hyperconnect, which offer various audio and video features for online parties and making friends, have become free time companions for users . Meanwhile, IMVU and similar social apps, derived from the metaverse concept, allow users to interact in virtual scenarios with a virtual avatar and join real parties without leaving their homes.
You can say that social apps are evolving from a dating tool for two to a meeting place for all.
1. Tinder starts to “Explore”
In September 2021, Tinder launched “Explore” to diversify social networking experiences. Explore has provided multiple interactive modes and features early on, including Hot Takes, Vibes, and Swipe Night. Apart from many further innovative explorations, it has recently introduced a Festival mode. With these new features, Tinder becomes more of an entertaining and complementary app than a simple tool where users can swipe left or right. Users can also filter more precise interest tags for these activities and thus meet like-minded intimates.
A few days ago, Tinder published a 2022 user trends report on its website, titled Dating Games are Dead in 2022, Young Singles said. As noted in the report, Tinder saw a 49% increase in members adding the phrase “situation” to their bio in 2022. In other words, rather than being a dating tool, Tinder offers a variety of social networking activities for young people to identify compatible relationships that can progress naturally without purposefully defining them.
Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, revealed in June 2021 that it had successfully acquired Hyperconnect, a leading video technology and social discovery company in Korea. According to Match Group, they will develop their products with Hyperconnect’s experience in the video industry. It’s conceivable that social apps like Tinder will update more video features to expand interactive experiences for members.
2. New genes of emerging social applications
Unlike traditional dating apps that cater to new trends through feature adjustments, newly emerging social products no longer focus on matching dates, but appear in front of global users with party and camaraderie genes.
MICO, a live video social app, has gained popularity in MENA, Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and North America over the past year. This app has tons of features, including the ability for users to make or watch live streaming, video call or text chat with their friends or whoever they’re with, and even play mini-games while chatting .
Similar to TikTok, content creators on MICO attract fans with their talent and charm, then, as a result of sharing interests, a creator-centric social network is established. According to MICO, its users are incredibly loyal, the app’s social networks can accompany users for a long time, and meeting and having fun with friends through MICO has become a daily ritual for many .
Behind MICO is Newborn Town, a global company with audio and video social networking as its core business. Apart from MICO, there is also a voice-based social product from Newborn Town called YoHo. YoHo, unlike MICO, concentrates on the MENA market and is also experiencing strong growth in Southeast Asia. This is mainly because in these regions where religious norms and culture are more conservative, voice socialization is more user-friendly than video socialization that requires revealing the face.
There are many voice rooms with different themes on YoHo, so users can chat with strangers in the room they like or set up a room with their friends. These voice rooms, with capacity for hundreds of speakers or just two or three, have become hubs for users to socialize, make friends and share information.
3. A virtual social paradise in metaverse
Over the past year or so, the metaverse concept has taken over the world. Even Facebook, a well-known social media company, has become Meta. Socialization is an indispensable element of the metaverse. Then, as the metaverse becomes known, an increasing number of metaverse social apps appear in app stores, making socializing more imaginative.
On a social app called IMVU, more than a million people visit it and spend an average of 55 minutes a day. These users customize their avatars, share experiences, shop, hang out at awesome parties, and even earn real money creating virtual products on IMVU. Currently, IMVU offers more than 60 million virtual accessories, from clothes to different accessories, with which users can customize their virtual avatar to fully express their individual style. In addition, users can also customize their chat rooms, organize or join groups in various virtual settings, and interact with others in a unique dynamic.
IMVU stated in late 2022 that they would be releasing limited edition NFTs. NFTs will further incentivize virtual goods creators and complete the IMVU metaverse. After studying IMVU and other similar products, we may already have a glimpse of the future of social networks and even the ultimate form of the Internet. These apps are no longer just a place for users looking for a romantic relationship, but have become a platform to connect endlessly with others without space-time restrictions and engage in real social interactions in a virtual world .
Socialization, as a rigid demand of humans, has never changed, but social scenes and forms are continuously evolving to meet user requirements. Today, online dating services, which have been available for almost 30 years, are being different because young people are no longer addicted to fast food dating and relationships.
Today, these services place greater emphasis on providing users with the opportunity to show their special traits and meet close friends, realize immersive online social experiences, form a permanent spiritual companionship, and build a kind of paradise for various parties virtual
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