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Hearts Not Racing for Online Dating

Consumers view online dating positively, but few use it

“We met online” has become another response to the old “How did you meet?” question. However, a June 2014 study by YouGov found that just over one-fifth of US internet users had used an online dating site or mobile app, and only 6% admitted to currently using one. Meanwhile, nearly three in five had never tried online dating and didn’t know anyone who had.

Though they had the highest percentage of respondents for past usage, online dating activity had dropped off for those in the 35-to-54 age group—perhaps they found love, or maybe they gave up on digital romance. Current usage was highest among the youngest generation—typically the most tech-savvy, and at the age where many start looking for a permanent partner.

However, that didn’t mean consumers weren’t accepting the idea of online dating. In fact, the majority (52%) said that meeting someone online was easier than doing so in a public place, and 44% believed it was acceptable to use online dating sites or apps, no matter one’s age. On top of that, 36% of respondents felt that couples who met through online dating were just as likely to last as those who connected through other situations.

Despite these positive opinions, October 2013 polling by AYTM Market Research found that few US internet users who hadn’t tried online dating planned on doing so—just 11.0%, compared with 61.5% who hadn’t and were not interested. Around one-quarter (27.5%) said they had used online dating.

November 2013 research by Apigee found extremely low dating app usage among US smartphone users: 89% of respondents said they never used one. Among those who did use a dating app, just 7% did so at least monthly—with none saying they accessed one more than daily.

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