Latin America Online Dating

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The Top LATAM Dating Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

If you’re single and looking for a date, you’ll likely be paying more attention to your phone in the coming days. Every month, more than 200 million people use digital dating services around the world, and Valentine’s Day provides an added motivation to get swiping.

The dating app industry continues to grow and adapt at a quick pace. Consumers spent $2.2 billion on dating apps in 2019, according to App Annie’s State of Mobile 2020 survey, which is double what they spent two years before. Contrary to popular (boomer?) belief, it’s not all about chance encounters: according to another recent survey, nearly 40% of heterosexual couples and 60% of same-sex couples who married in the United States in 2017 met online. As a result, it’s no surprise that ‘Tinder weddings’ are growing popular (and a hashtag).

Tinder is the clear leader in the genre, but users now have a plethora of swiping options, with Bumble, Hinge, Grindr, Badoo, and Happn all gaining traction. A newer generation of dating apps is thinning out the dating pool by focusing on specific demographics or special interests, such as the over 50s, the Jewish community, or transgender persons. Hater connects you with someone who shares your pet peeves, whereas Grazer connects vegans. Do you have a thing for beards? “Connect those with beards to those who want to stroke beards,” says Bristlr.

Latin American developers are also joining the fray and for good cause. Tinder and Badoo have drawn millions of LATAM users, who, according to a recent Liftoff analysis, is at least three times more likely than consumers in any other region to make in-app purchases or subscribe to a dating app.

While international dating giants like Match and Cupid have a big presence in the region, here are some of the local rivals you may not be aware of.

1. Poppin (Brazil)

“Put down your phone and stop swiping.” Begin popping.” So is the slogan of this Brazilian-made program, which allows users to ‘burst’ profile bubbles that capture their attention. But it’s Poppin’s questioning users about their favorite hobbies and then utilizing Facebook to link others who have confirmed attendance at the same event that’s the true innovation. This way, if you’re talking to someone, you’ve most likely already scheduled your first real-life date. Since its inception in 2016, the app claims to have 600,000 users and has made over 2 million matches.

2. BlindLove (Argentina)

blind love prefers to view itself as a more thoughtful and slow-paced alternative to Tinder’s impulsive swiping. The emphasis is on developing an emotional bond with your matches; photographs are initially blurry and only become clearer as you interact more. The software then suggests activities or events for users to do to make planning a first date easier. Federico Volinsky, an Argentine developer, says he intended to combat the ‘dehumanizing’ aspects of dating applications that depend too heavily on physical beauty. BlindLove is expanding largely in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States since debuting in 2018.

3. GPS Gay (Uruguay)

This one is not strictly a dating app, but it is one of the most important online LGBTI communities in Latin America. GPS Gay was created in 2013 by two Uruguayan entrepreneurs, Magdalena Rodríguez y Rosario Monteverde, who wanted an LGBTI-friendly platform that went far beyond the ‘hook up’ culture of other dating apps. Users can chat and connect via geolocation but also share articles, cultural guides, and film recommendations with the wider community. It won the Best Audience Award at the 2015 Mobile Premier Awards in Barcelona, and continues to expand in Latin America and beyond.

4. Styler (Mexico)

Looking to date fellow goths? Or is athleisure your favorite look? Styler is one of those dating apps focused on a particular interest – in this case, fashion. Users can pick from 10 main ‘styler tribes’ and connect with others that share a similar sartorial aesthetic. You can also search for people based on their preferred brands and designers, though other filters for location and age are also available. Styler launched in Mexico in 2018 and is seeking to expand into fashion capitals around the world.

5. Layk (Colombia)

Layk is a new LATAM dating app, this time from Colombia, that promises more meaningful matches for individuals who are sick with Tinder. The program stands out because of its more rigorous admissions process: users connect through their verified LinkedIn account, and their profiles are examined before they are allowed. It’s spreading across Latin America and Spain, with suggestions for first date activities in each city. It also hosts “luxury and creative” events where members may meet and connect in person.

 

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