One day, we might use these apps less altogether

Despite all these desires to explore, experts argue that we might move away from using dating apps altogether, which ultimately, links back to the drive towards real-world interaction. “Younger people aren’t really using apps to go on dates so much as they used to. 67 per cent of 45 to 64-year-olds have met someone from an app in person compared to 56 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds. We’ve found that people aren’t using [dating apps] for dating but for self-validation and boredom rather than anything else,” says Friend. On top of that, another study just found that 77 per cent of Grindr users feel regret and that adults vote dating apps as their leat favourite way to meet someone new. 

“I can genuinely see Instagram creating some sort of dating app within the app itself” – Holly Friend

Friend believes that, as dating apps are used less, deemed overly curated or artificial, people will increasingly use existing social media platforms to find romance, “because they are more subtle and ingrained in your everyday life.” We can see this in Facebook’s recent decision to create an in-platform dating app

“I can genuinely see Instagram creating some sort of dating app within the app itself, too,” adds Friend. “I mean, people don’t want to download a million different apps. So maybe Instagram will have a filter asking ‘are you up for finding someone?’ and you say either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and then you turn up on an explore page full of single people or something,“ she muses. “We already use Instagram stories for romantic gameplay, over analyse behaviours on Instagram, and create theories about how the people who’ve seen your story are ordered. Developers know this, so I think it’s only a matter of time before dating apps move in-app.”