It’s no secret that singles don’t think very highly of online dating. Badoo has identified 8 factors that are impacting users’ trust and confidence in dating online, released in their industry-first ‘Dating Confidence Report’.
‘Badoo’s Dating Confidence Report’ looks to provide insights to daters, as well as other dating apps, about how we can all come together to make online dating more effective and valuable.
The dating app, which serves millions of singles around the world, found that one in five (19%) surveyed daters said their confidence in dating is at an all-time low. This drop in confidence impacts singles’ own enjoyment of dating, Badoo shared.
To combat these feelings of hopelessness, Badoo “identified eight key factors feeding into this ‘confidence crisis’ that we need to address if we want to build a safe and healthy dating landscape for the future”, in this new report.
Here is a summary of the 8 factors they identified:
- Negative Dating Trends
Badoo highlights that bad behaviours in dating, whether it be gaslighting, breadcrumbing, catfishing, or ghosting, have become a trend in their own right. “The proliferation of negative dating trends is crushing confidence”, it shares.
The dating app explains that “by focusing our attention on what could go wrong…we are fuelling pessimism and self-doubt”.
This doesn’t have to be the case though. To take a stand, Badoo states that is “no longer going to unnecessarily perpetuate news of negative dating trends or behaviours”, instead focusing on positive reinforcement.
In addition to this, Badoo suggests that dating platforms can add nudges and prompts to users who are ghosting, for example. It acknowledges these dating behaviours are not nice, but that “we can take steps to ensure they don’t derail the whole experience”.
- Fake Profiles
38% of daters feel nervous or less confident due to concerns that they don’t know who they’re really speaking to on a dating app, Badoo found. To combat this, the dating app highlights the value of “stringent verification processes”.
While singles also have concerns about how AI can make fakery even worse, Badoo highlights that the technology isn’t always used out of ill-will.
“At Bumble Inc., we’re laser-focused on addressing the concerns of our members through responsible innovation. We’re looking at ways to apply A.I. technology that help our community feel safe, secure, and confident – and that better enable us to connect as humans”, said Richard Watts, General Manager of Badoo.
- A Lack of Authenticity
81% of singles surveyed told Badoo they do not think people are honest and authentic on their dating profiles.
To boost honesty and authenticity, singles need to find greater confidence in themselves, and be kind to one another to foster openness. Dating platforms can assist in this process through the way they prompt, encourage, and advise their users, Badoo outlined.
- The Pros and Cons of Online vs Offline Dating
For many singles, meeting a love interest offline is significantly more enjoyable than matching with them online. However, online dating brings with it wider reach and convenience. 26% of respondents told Badoo they don’t want to use dating apps, but don’t know other ways to meet people.
To navigate this issue, Badoo recommends that dating platforms support confidence and communication in online chats, helping them transition to offline dates.
“Platforms have an opportunity to play an important role in boosting confidence with ice breakers, conversation starters, as well as prompts and nudges to encourage chat, keep the momentum going, and help people get from first match to first date”, Badoo explained.
- Dating as an Overwhelming Chore
Assessing one challenge facing daters, Badoo explains “when limitless choice has become the norm, it’s no wonder they feel overwhelmed and disengaged”.
To make dating less overwhelming, and inject mindfulness back into the equation, Badoo poses several different solutions. One path is to limit the number of likes & matches a user can have, encouraging them to be more present and intentional with others.
An alternative way of encouraging mindful dating is to enable ‘holidays’, similar to ‘out of office’ notices, enabling users to take a break from their dating app and establish healthy boundaries between them and their matches.
- The Unhealthy Influence of Social Media
Social media can create unrealistic and perfectionist expectations for romance and relationships. On the other hand, it is also commonplace for users to share examples of dating bad behaviours on their social media accounts.
These issues have lead to the idea that ‘everything is content’, Badoo shares. To help refocus daters and remind them that not everything should be ‘shareable’, dating platforms can warn users before they attempt to take a screenshot of a conversation.
- Managing Expectations
Badoo points out that almost two thirds of daters surveyed recognise that they have unrealistic expectations about dating and relationships.
One way to address this is to have ‘normal’ dates that actually reflect what both parties enjoy. Meeting a match doesn’t have to be done over a fancy dinner, and platforms should be suggesting diverse options for dates, Badoo recommends.
- Feelings of Nervousness
Meeting someone for the first time is often a nerve-wracking experience, with singles lacking in confidence when it comes to finding the right thing to say. While some nervousness is normal, there are ways to boost confidence and stop fear from getting in the way of romance.
Badoo highlights that dating platforms can equip users to help them get to know each other online, for example with icebreakers & prompts. Furthermore, for IRL interactions, platforms can provide coaching, tips, and advice beforehand, in order to inspire greater confidence on dates.