Who Will Win the Global Dating App War: Match.com Vs Bumble

Harshit Verma Harshit Verma
Feb 12, 2022 13 min read
Who Will Win the Global Dating App War: Match.com Vs Bumble

If you, by some method, go back in time, about some decades ago, you would be surprised to see history. It was a time when there was no internet, no technology (or very basic tech) and people had real friends and no Facebook friends. It was a time when dating was hard and not accessible to everyone. Cut to today, we have dating apps and you can find your soulmate with a swipe.

If you try and explain this to your grandpa or ma, they will get a mini shock. Society is assumed to have opened up with the dawn of the internet era. The internet has changed how we live our lives, how we set our goals, and what we considered an ideal life. It has changed how we date too, how a relationship starts, and everything about finding love.

Have you ever wondered what dating will look like in the next decade? This article talks about future dating trends and the businesses that are disrupting how people date. Key crucial players like Bumble, Tinder, and Match do a lot of trailblazing acts in this domain. Let us see some of the most important predictions.

The Current Scenario of Dating
A Detailed Look at the Future of Dating
About Bumble
Growth Numbers of Bumble and Match Group
About Match Group
Bumble Vs Match Group

The Current Scenario of Dating

If you are a Gen Z, you probably know it more than we do. Dating today is easy, or that’s what the dating apps say. You log into a dating service aggregator and you find your matches. You swipe right to the ones you like and left swipe the ones who you find non-compatible. Sounds easy right, cause it is.

Online dating apps have made meeting new people easy but it has also changed how we see relationships. It is true that you will not find your soulmate sitting at your home, hoping that someday you will bump into the love of your life. That does not happen, or does it?

Kidding, it only happens in Bollywood. In reality, you have to get into a relationship with a lot of patience and hit and trials. As the famous movie ‘Dear Zindagi’ embodies, finding the perfect partner is like selecting a perfect chair among all the chairs in your world. This is a good analogy and a great marketing pitch for the dating apps out there.

A Detailed Look at the Future of Dating

You might think that in this segment of the article, we will talk about humans getting into relationships with robots. Let us not get too carried away with our unnatural and fiction lover brain.

There are, however, great prospects for dating in the future. It is always exciting to see how people will meet each other in the next five, ten, or twenty years. I mean, it was insane to think that in the future you would be able to meet your soulmate with just a swipe but here we are, swiping and hoping to stumble on the love of your life.

“In the next few years, dating is going to be extremely individualised. We’re going to hone in on our preferences, from looks to location, just like we do when ordering food. That doesn’t guarantee happiness ever after, but it does give you a good shot at it because you’ll be able to weed out people more quickly.” —Kristie Overstreet, PhD, clinical sexologist and psychotherapist

The Age of Artificial Intelligence

Yes, it is everywhere. You cannot see it but artificial intelligence has its existence everywhere around us. From your smartphone camera to your Netflix’s recommendations, AI is the hidden fuel. Not so hidden that it can’t be seen but hidden in a sense that you don’t actively think about it. Artificial intelligence is a technology that is already being used in multiple domains.

As the name suggests, it is intelligence that is artificially built. It simply means the intelligence that is incorporated in a computer by a human, so that the computer can exhibit some intelligent replies and actions. There are robots in the world that can defeat humans in chess.  

If you get a flattering text from someone, it can possibly be a wit originating from a robotic mind. Yes, this can happen and probably happen somewhere.

“We’re literally going to have technology help us craft responses, write up our online dating profiles, flirt, interpret messages,” says dating and relationship expert Andrea Syrtash, author of He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s a Good Thing).

All these sorts of artificial intelligence will help us appear good and legitimate to our match. This will eventually help you with better dating life. This is cool, isn’t it? Big fat and real update.

Ghosting will not change much

Ghosting is here to really stay for a longer time. One should get used to the habit of disappearing without a proper and legitimate explanation. It is hard for a very basic human behavior to vanish out of sight. Tech will tighten the loose ends but it will not change rigid attitudes.

“People have tried to avoid rejecting others for the entire existence of of humanity, and I don’t think that’s changing”Jess Carbino, Bumble’s resident sociologist

The Age of Marrying

If you look at the average age of a woman marrying, you will get the age to be 30. If a woman wants to marry, it is probably the last age. Past that, the chances are small.

According to the 2018 census and data, the age now hovers around 27. Which is 7.3% older than the average in the year 2008. This change is observed as the earning capacity of a woman is rising. It is also seen that fertility-extending options are also in big demand. With methods like egg freezing, the age of marriage is likely to increase.

Relationship expert Susan Winter predicts that Gen Z will “hit it and commit it” instead of defaulting to the “are we or aren’t we?”

Even if someone considers getting married and settling down, the apps will offer a lot of personalization.

Virtual Reality

If your reality does not excite you anymore, behold to the new entrant. Virtual Reality is here to change your reality. Change here means for the better of course. It is not even a future anymore, it is here, growing rapidly.

Virtual reality has the power and potential to almost kill the whole game. You can soon go on a date with anyone in the world and you could be looking right into their eyes. Thanks to virtual reality, which could allow you to have your first meeting with someone in your living room.

“Face-to-face meetings will always be critical, at least for long-term relationship formation. Cues that can’t be picked up online or by a technical apparatus are really important: You care about how someone smells; you care about being touched.” — Jess Carbino, PhD

Equal handedness

Heard of the MeToo movement? That is what is going to be the basis of future dating trends. It is about safety and equality for both genders. People have been vocal about it the most lately and it is thought to be the right thing to do. A relationship is just equality distributed among two individuals.

“There’s been an increase in public consciousness on what is acceptable in terms of behaviour,”. “If you’re empowering women to advocate for being treated equally in the workplace, the natural extension of that is, shouldn’t I be treated equally in the place I’m supposed to feel safest, which is in my romantic relationship?” says Jess Carbino, PHD.

Social media will boost relationships

Yeah, apart from the scrolling and sharing that we all do throughout the day, social media is expected to grow new relationships. It is contrary to the common social media belief. On a social profile, everyone wants to look their best and that will create a wall of difference in the reel world and the real world.

More Long Distance relationships

Heard people say that Long distance does not work? Be ready to hear more of these dialogues. As researchers say Long distance is here to stay and is not likely to change in the near future.

As the world gets more and more remote, this change could shift but it is likely to remain in the future too. But ultimately, you gotta have to settle with the love of your life, that is what we call a ’successful relationship’ don’t we?

Language hindrances

Thought that French girl/boy is out of your reach and your regional language barrier, not true in the future. Language barriers will definitely fade away. What is the use of the internet and all the high technology if we can’t even date a person with a different language? 2024 is the year experts predict AI will surpass humans in translating languages. It is after all a serious matter.

We have discussed all the probable aspects of the dating world in the near future. There is however a lack of discussion about the current trends. The trend of today and the trendsetters of today. If you look in the dating world, there are two important trendsetters, Bumble and Match Group.

They have been able to create an amazing brand name for themselves. There are many differences that set them apart from the norms in the market. They both can be said to the market leaders in this domain. What makes them this great and why do people use them. And most importantly, what are the different things which these two offers. Let us see both of them at a glance.


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About Bumble

There is a very low probability that you haven’t heard about this name. Bumble is a super famous dating service provider. It was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd. Whitney was an early employee at Tinder (Another dating service) and after an unpleasant departure started her own quest of finding the perfect dating service.

Years into the making, she found Bumble, which now operates two primary dating apps - Bumble and Badoo. It is the fastest-growing dating service, which is centered around women. The service also motivates women to make first moves, the app from Bumble requires females to message first.

On the other hand, Badoo was an older and somewhat mature business that originally pushed the dating market to new extents. The merger that happened between the two businesses made them work together to scale new heights in this dating domain.

The new umbrella name is ‘Bumble’. It now has the knowledge and skills of the mature old brand, Badoo, and a fresh new innovation with Bumble. According to the reports, it is said that there are about 40 million combined users and out of the 2.4 million are paying users. It is also reported that most of the free and paid users are shifted from Badoo.

Growth Numbers of Bumble and Match Group

For the full fiscal year of 2019, Bumble and the combined community grew its revenue by 36%, that is 489 billion dollars. Despite ignoring the user base and the numbers associated with users, the Bumble app is said to have generated most of the total revenue.

The app also has amazing scaling abilities in itself which makes it clear that it is the pioneer in this market. Reports say that there are about 40 million users on Bumble. Out of the said 40 million users, about 2.4 million members are paying members. Which contributes to the revenue of the behemoth organization.

Except for the 289 million dollars that the giant made in 2019, both Bumble and Badoo could be seen with a real cash income of $92 million. The bumble app grew in the year by looping 70% compared to the other Badoo that grew just about 8% alongside other apps in the daring world.

Over the first nine months of the year 2020, the growth became a little stagnant. We saw that decline in growth rates as the pandemic started to spread across all boundaries. That slowed growth affected the whole company and every app saw some same trends.

Among both Bumble and Badoo, the revenue grew by just about 15 percent and the daily operations at the company shifted focus from profitability to not so much profitability. Albeit the fact, the app did really well in the pandemic, as it introduced appropriate dating norms, matching the covid 19 precautions. As the lockdowns loosened, the app did well and made a good comeback in the dating markets.

One of the biggest reasons behind this amazing growth of Bumble is its wild and viral nature. The app promotes first messages by women and it is also vocal and viral on the social media domain.

Let us see another behemoth organization that is trying by all its might to change the dating world for everyone. This one is known as the Match Group. It is a group of many individual strong entities, which strive to provide a seamless dating experience. Let us see what is up with the match.

In the most recent quarter, the match group reported some 10.8 million as total average subscribers. Out of all the user base that the group has as of now, about 61% of that comes from the popular dating app Tinder.

In the first nine months of the year 2020. Match Group delivered much more revenue than Bumble. Stats say that the Match group did 318% better in terms of revenue than Bumble. The free cash flow that the Match Group generated was also huge. The free cash generated was about 500 million dollars.


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About Match Group

As the name suggests, the Match Group is a group with many small organizations. Those organizations which are to be referred to as brands are very famous and you must have heard some of the names.

The Match Group includes Tinder, Hinge, Match.com, OkCupid, and many more dating services. They are very familiar names because they spend a lot on visibility and marketing. That is one of the reasons why the Match Group has been able to stand firmly among all the changes.

Bumble Vs Match Group

Bumble reported an ARPU of 18.48 dollars per than the ARPU of $0.62 reported by the Match Group. ARPU here refers to the average revenue per user. The average revenue per user is an important metric that is used to compare profitability and scalability.

Bumble did better in this metric than the match group. It is, however, important to notice that Bumble and Match Group do not use the same method to report their users. There is a difference in ways too.

Along with metrics like ARPU and others, there are many more metrics on which a company can be judged. For example, the revenue comes directly from the customers.

One of the most important revenues sources is in-app purchases. Bumble and Match group both offer small in-app purchases across their services that add to their revenue.

Bumble classifies a "paying user" as anyone who has purchased a subscription. On the other hand, Match reports only the average number of users who have purchased subscriptions. The different methods to categorize paying users are something that makes all the difference. The difference that is created out of this, is even considered heavy on the match’s side or in the match's favor.

While it is exciting to pin someone as a loser and celebrate a win of the other, it is not always a result. Online dating is a new trend and it is seen as a hot topic that will be here for a long time.

Bumble is here to stand the tides and the brands operating under the Match Group are also ready to explore and innovate. Both the companies, Bumble and Match Group, are ready for the future and have the trajectory that is needed to ace the long-term game and it continues to grow.

Dating services like these are bound to excel in the revenue game when people want to search everything online. When people first started searching for their soulmates online, these trends were hard to predict. But now, with the significant and sustainable growth in dating services, it is proved that online dating is here to stay and grow. With that being mentioned, Match Group has better prospects according to us, as it is not an individual organization trying to fit in.

Moreover, dating apps mostly live as a trend and die as a trend. The most famous apps are created when people experience something viral and contagious. The growth and upscaling and the life cycle of a dating app are much like a video game.

If there are not enough people on the app in the first place, there is no hype and motivation for others to join the game. Bumble is seeing good growth right now and has a good future for itself.

The Match Group on the other hand has plenty of diversification. It most probably entails a good amount of customer data that can help in acquiring more customers. It is also to be mentioned that Match Group is a big and multiple organization with diversifications and Bumble is more of a standalone brand trying to grow. The future is exciting when both these big names create it for us.


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Conclusion

In this article, we discussed how dating has changed over the years and now is becoming online and digital. With no offense to real conversations and offline meetings, this new thing of online dating has changed the table, hopefully for the good.

It is speculated that in the future, there will be more virtual dates, increased age of marrying, and a more holistic detailed, and personalized approach to selecting your soulmates. Dating apps will do the personalization for you.

The topmost leaders in the dating segment are Bumble and the umbrella organization “Match”. Match entails famous brands like Tinder, OkCupid and a couple more brands. With more diversification, Match Group is seen as a safer bet for many.

On the other hand, individual metrics like the ARPU count are better with Bumble, the standalone warrior. It might be exciting to declare a winner but what is more exciting than this is the future we are stepping into. As both these behemoths ease our search for soulmates, there is a huge space for both of them to prosper and scale great heights.

FAQ

What is the best dating app 2021?

Bumble, Tinder, OkCupid, Hinge, and Happn are some of the best dating apps.

What dating app has the highest success rate?

eHarmony is an online dating site launched in 2000 that has one of the highest success rates.

Which is better match com or Bumble?

Match com generates more revenue than Bumble from its paid services.

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