Gen Z-ers using dating apps to find friends and partners ironically turn to social platforms to peek behind the curtain and verify the lifestyles of potential matches. The line between dating apps and social media is much more blurred as a result. Gen Z views Instagram and Snapchat as avenues to further explore and evaluate potential matches that might start on dating apps. Conversation might be fluid between the two realms or eventually graduate to their social app of choice.
Integration of social features, including IG profiles included in dating profiles, is the tip of the iceberg as dating platforms respond to this behavior. Marketers should be prepared for the inevitable blurring of dating and social apps for Gen Z. The implications are vast when it comes to brands' strategic approach to gracefully forging relationships with new consumers in an altered space.
How do we shift our thinking to prepare? Here are five ways:
Think dating when you think social
Because of the crossover and blurred lines between dating and social platforms, brands should consider dating apps as part of their social strategy. This could look like a paid presence on a popular dating app, or a deeper partnership to deliver dating advice and other service-oriented content to enhance their experience—much like Lyft and Tinder’s partnership where users can pay for their date’s ride. In short, social marketers need to consider dating apps as part of their area of focus.
Lean into Snapchat and Instagram
The majority of crossover for Gen Z to and from dating apps is happening here. “Can I get your Snap or IG?” has become a ubiquitous phrase for Gen Z, so understanding the user movement among social and dating apps is key to a deeper understanding in general.
Explore alternative (dating) platforms
Know that a proliferation of Gen Z-focused dating apps are on their way to challenge the status quo. Look for opportunities to move first. Familiarize yourself with newcomers so you understand how communication styles and preferences are evolving in a social-adjacent space for Gen Z-ers. Notable entrants include:
Feels, which features a carousel of short-form videos on profiles enabling more personal expressions.
Snack, which bills itself as “TikTok meets Dating.”
Lex, a dating app for queer, trans, gender-non-conforming people, takes inspiration from old-fashioned newspaper personals and uses text only.
Jigsaw, which features profile photos covered by puzzle pieces that are revealed only by exchanging messages.
Look for dating features in social
It’s only natural that the cross-pollination of social and dating apps will lead to feature innovation in the traditional social world (and the other way around). The introduction of multimedia into profiles, and in particular features including voice memos, voice prompts and video, are more popular than ever as communication tools. As the two worlds start to look more like one (Hi, Facebook Dating), feature parity is inevitable.
Please don’t stop the music
Gen Z’ers view music as a replacement for religion. And in the dating world, taste in music is often a key basis for the evaluation of personality type, values and mutual fit (See Spotify’s integration within Tinder). The same is true for your relationship with your potential Gen Z customer. Communicate your brand personality through music curation to more deeply connect with Gen Z, especially on social platforms.
There’s a lot of nuance in the Gen Z dating world. If you remember one thing, it’s that dating is a high-pressure activity, so empathy is a must as you begin integrating dating apps into your channel mix.
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