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Gegli news - Why Young People Are Using Dating Apps to Find Friends - 7/28/2022 9:23:13 PM 9:23:13 PM 

Dating apps are getting friendlier. A greater number of


Dating apps are getting friendlier. More younger people see no problem swiping left or right to find friend matches rather than dates or hookup partners. Millennials and members of Generation Z have been comfortable using dating apps to meet platonic friends for a few years now, especially when moving to a new city. But since the onset of the pandemic, this behavior has boomed. Here’s why.

1. People got lonely during lockdown.

In a recent survey of more than 300 members of Generation Z aged 16 to 24 in the U.S., 35% said they have used dating apps to make platonic friends over the past 12 months, according to OnePulse, a consumer insight app and web portal, which conducted the poll for The Wall Street Journal. Nearly 27% said they used dating apps to make friends because they were lonely in lockdown. More women than men—39% vs. 29%—said they used dating apps to make platonic friends.

2. Apps are embracing the friend zone.

Bumble has seen growing interest in its friend-finder option, Bumble BFF, over the past year, says Tariq Shaukat, Bumble’s president. During the first three months of 2021, the average time spent on Bumble BFF grew 44% for women and 83% for men. Similarly, after noticing a spike in the usage of Tinder’s Passport feature—which allows chatting with users anywhere globally rather than just locally— Match Group, which owns Tinder, made the service free. It also plans to broaden its services beyond dating to finding friends with its June purchase of South Korean social-media company Hyperconnect.

“There’s tremendous growth in this area because now we’re not talking about just singles,” said Faye Iosotaluno, Match Group’s chief strategy officer.

3. The platonic connections on dating apps can feel more authentic.

Though the qualities and interests that friend-seekers list on their profiles are in some ways similar to what people look for in romantic partners, they don’t get hung up on physical appearance or existential questions like wanting kids. They’re clear about wanting people to hang with, and will even announce they just moved to a new city and are looking for new friends. For example, when photographer Gaby Deimeke, 26, relocated to Austin, Texas, from New York with her boyfriend in September, she turned to Bumble’s BFF feature. She found two good friends, one of whom asked her to photograph her wedding this fall in Spain. “We met from Bumble and now we all have these big life moments together,” said Deimeke.

4. Sometimes those connections blossom into romance.

In some cases, friendships formed on dating apps turn into something more. Eager to make new friends in her Atlanta metro area after growing apart from her old friends during the pandemic, Insley Christian Davis downloaded Tinder in early March, on a female friend’s recommendation. Ms. Davis, a 26-year-old script writer and film director, managed to click as a friend with one man. The two, both vaccinated, went on hikes together and before she knew it, romance blossomed. “In early May, I realized I really like him,” she says. The two recently began dating. Ms. Davis remains hopeful she can still find platonic friends on dating apps.

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