Tinder Year in Swipe: How Gen Z dated in 2020

Paawan Sunam
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In an unprecedented year, Tinder members adapted and got creative about how they connected. As of Match Group’s Q3 earnings, messages and use of the Swipe feature at Tinder are up double-digits versus the end of February.

While IRL was on pause, members took to Tinder to share cultural moments this year. Folks used the app to chat, meet, hang out and swap creative date hacks and shrugs (?), while staying socially distant.

Tinder bios were a way for members to show who they are and what they care about, and profiles have been more creative, dynamic, or revealing than they were in 2020. And though they were thrown more curveballs than ever, they still managed to unapologetically define their own dating rules.

Looking at a year’s worth of Tinder bios, the themes of creativity and resilience stand out. Here are the 10 most essential trends that happened on Tinder in 2020:

Top 10 Trending Moments on Tinder in 2020

  • Pandemic pick up lines took over Tinder. Mentions of ‘quarantine & chill’ took off in March, as lockdown woes inspired creative one-liners in the spirit of "Let’s be like covid and catch each other" or "Wash your hands so you can hold mine".
  • Masks became a dating essential. Members were “Down to mask up ? and meet up”, with mask mentions up nearly 2.5x by April 2020 and mentions for ? went up almost 5x by April 2020 from the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Tinder was the place to share a collective ??‍♀️??‍♂? at 2020. The most-used emoji on Tinder in 2020 was ??‍♀️, as members showed uncertainty and ambivalence about the future. And it often looked a little like this: "Maybe we’ll have a chance to meet up in 2020, but honestly who knows ??‍♀️"
  • WAP brought unapologetic body positivity to Tinder bios. In August, WAP by Cardi B quickly became the #1 anthem on Tinder and held through 2020, inspiring many to put themselves out there and share their own dance moves. 

Also Read: Tinder rolls out new feature ‘Passions’

  • Support for Causes held strong: 2019 had ‘environment’ as a top trending word in bios and come 2020 the pandemic did not put a damper on the Tinder community’s support for it and climate change. Mentions of Climate Change more than doubled in 2020 from 2019, signaling how members take shared values seriously while matching.
  • We found hope in shared experiences: For the first time, everyone went through the same thing together and they found solace in shared activities. This reflected on Tinder with Dalgona Coffee, Bored in the House, and Banana bread finding themselves in member’s bios reflective of quarantine trends around the world. 
  • We were left in a cold mess: As India collectively cried while watching Kasoor, Tinder members took to their profiles to include the song in their bios.
  • Gamers Overpowered in 2020: OP saw a significant increase in bio mentions up to 3X from 2019. Gaming was popular as a theme on Tinder profiles in 2020 with mentions of Ludo also rising significantly early in the year. 
  • Vocal for Local: Baba Ka Dhaba made its 2020 debut on social media and on Tinder member’s bios.
  • Solving the Rasode Main Kaun Tha 2020 Mystery: While some people used the meme to promote the nutritional value of chickpeas, Tinder members asked the question in their bios, even though everyone knows how it ended. Special shout out to Tinder member Rashi who took full accountability for what she did with the cooker. Tinder hopes Kokilaben is proud. 

Methodology: All data above comes from Tinder profiles or aggregated Tinder app activity. Data was pulled from Jan - Nov 15 for both 2019 and 2020. Items cited in each list are in no particular order.

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