What's Next For Online Dating And Chat Rooms? What's Trending and What's Not
20 Years of Online Dating and Chat Rooms
Online dating, in the form its known today, has been around for 20 years. Through this period, it has evolved from an obscure and shameful instrument to a major part of the social landscape. The evolution of online dating can be divided into three periods.
For the first few years of online dating and chat rooms, the main focus was merely on the ability of single people to search out other singles. The idea of being able to find potential partners and even sort them by age, eye colour, location, sexual orientation, etc., was a major leap for the time. However, because very few people even had an idea what the internet was, the usage of online dating was somewhat limited to computer geeks.
2. Dating Algorithms
By the year 2000, the ability to search for and find other singles had become too old. Something new and fresh had to be introduced. To this end, new computer programs were developed for the dating industry. These algorithms made it possible for dating platforms to suggest compatible partners using the information provided by the users.
3. Less Time Online
Today, the online dating world is, and continues to further drift towards systems that make it easy for users to spend the least time interacting online, and quickly move to the more tangible, more fulfilling real word meet. Online dating and chat room user profiles have slowly become more detailed. For example, the coming of smartphones has made it easy for users to take and upload multiple photos of themselves, simplifying the assessment of possible matches without wasting time.
Features such as live text chat, live video chat, etc., further reduce the time it takes to have a solid impression of a person. The result is that less time is spent on internet dating platforms and people can take their interaction off-line, quicker.
The rise of social media has also made it easy to get a quick picture of a suitor’s personality in less time.
What’s happening in the Online Dating World Today?
· More Streamlined Dating
Niche dating and chat rooms is on the rise. There are dating platforms being made to cater to people of all sorts of characteristics, values, interest, and backgrounds. Platforms exist for different races, religions, fans of different sports, people of different body weights, different financial statuses, etc. This ties in with the shift towards spending less time on the internet and quickly moving to real world interactions. For example, instead of spending time sifting through profiles looking for a vegetarian partner, all one has to do is sign up with a vegetation niche dating site.
· Dating on the Move
In line with the fast-paced lifestyle that describes the modern times, technology makes it easy to be connected with the rest of the world while on the move. Mobile gadgets.
For online dating and chat rooms, devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops mean users can now connect from anywhere, anytime. People no longer have to be home, at the office, or at an internet café to try their luck with finding a partner.
But the most obvious expression of people's tendency to use quicker and more efficient tools is the rise of mobile dating apps. These are convenient and can be accessed anywhere, right from the palm of the hands. Features like notifications for activity such as messages, profile views, pokes and the like, make this even quicker and more convenient.
Internet connectivity has become phenomenally convenient. Whereas people needed to be at home or at the office to connect to the net, it is now possible to access the internet over Wi-Fi networks as you move about. It is also currently much faster and more reliable than it earlier was. For online dating and chat rooms, this means you can browse potential partners and plan a date from anywhere, and anytime.
On top of that, people have become generally more web-savvy. The average person can easily find their way around an everyday website.
· Online Dating Has Become Popular and More Accepted
Apart from the lack of access to technology, the other main reason most people couldn’t see online dating as a legitimate way to find partners was its social connotation. In yesterday’s setting, resorting to the internet to find a partner was a thing to be ashamed of. It was a sign that someone was a social failure.
Today, more people are beginning to accept these means of starting a relationship. Although it’s now more popular among people aged 35 and below, online dating and chat rooms are being used by people across all ages from young singles to older divorced or widowed individuals.
Part of the reason online dating has become so accepted and popular is that people have taken huge chunks of their lives online. Today, people can learn, have fun, work, shop, and communicate with each other all online. This increase in the time spent online has naturally been extended to cover dating as well.
Current User Trends
· Photos First, Profile Second
Visual appeal is an important factor in human attraction whether off or online. When users browse for potential dates, they first look at pictures to see if they can find any they like before focusing on anything else. This weighs in heavily if the person is looking for a short term non-committed relationship. To this end, photo services have come up, offering professional online dating profile photos.
However, the photo is only the first point of attention for online daters. The next thing is the profile. In line with people’s fast lifestyle, the best profiles are those that are succinct and yet thorough. They should highlight the best attributes of a person character without being artificial. There are companies that offer profile writing services.
Online daters have embraced texting in a big way. Once a user finds a potential match, they exchange numbers and instead of meeting right away, they spend some time texting each other sometimes throughout entire days before finally meeting. Earlier, that middle ground was non-existent. The trend is reflective of the need to know more about a potential mate’s personality type quickly.
· Multiple Options with Social Dating
The need to quickly move things offline has become heightened. This has led to the evolution of social dating websites which let users spend the least time they can online and quickly move to an offline meet.
The rise of social dating and chat is also linked to technological improvements like geo-location apps. This gives users the ability to pinpoint other users’ locations, meaning a date can quickly shift from an online ‘hi’ to a quick meet at the local coffee shop.
· Serial Dating
The high number of options people currently have also comes with some negativity. It has led to surging numbers of serial daters, people who date one person after another, trying to find perfection that may not exist. The access to a large pool of singles sustains people's hopes of finding the mate with exactly their preferred characteristics, even though the said characteristics may be unrealistic fantasies. With the anticipated increase in the number of online daters, this trend will in all likelihood only grow stronger in the years to come.
Current Dating Dos and Don’ts (2016)
Men with selfies are getting fewer responses and messages. The best kind of photo is an outdoor shot with the man smiling. The worst photo ideas for men are currently the bathroom selfies and topless shots.
For women, selfies produce the exact opposite result, increasing contact by 4 percent. Outdoor photos, on the other hand, decrease contact by the same 4 percent. The most attractive photo for female daters is one that depicts an active lifestyle. For example, a photo showing yoga or fitness interests. The worst photo idea is the duck face.
Full body photo increases contact for both males and females. Those with other friends in the picture are getting less attention. The same applies to users with their pets in the shots. It is best to have an everyday photo and not a staged look.
Honesty is what is getting men the best results when it comes to profiles. Any hints of unrealism in the profiles result in less contact. For men mention of words like ‘ex’, ‘separated’, or ‘divorced’ get responses more responses from women by over 40percent. That’s because these appeared more honest in the eyes of women than those who simply claimed they were single.
Having the same words in the profile, however, do not produce the same results for women. Those that used words like 'ex' or 'divorce' in their profiles get less attention. Mentioning kids is also a major drawback.
It’s possible for online daters to initiate contact with someone who’s not who they say they are. Some users might even be members of a criminal gang in disguise. Their goal is to establish a connection deep enough for a user to trust, desire and be sympathetic with them enough to be willing to help them financially. Once they’re sure, they’ll then ask the victim for financial assistance to sort out a problem.
The Fraud happens in several ways. For example:
- They may claim to have everything in place to visit a user but need some money to pay travel costs, visa costs, and the like.
- A family member or someone close to them needs medical attention and they have no money to foot the bills.
- They have some due debts but currently don’t have the money so they ask their victims for cash which they’ll promise to send back on a later date.
Once the user sends the money, the fraudsters will come up with more elaborate stories to obtain more cash from their victim.
If you have sent them any sexual pictures or recorded yourself performing sexual acts, the fraudsters will threaten you with showing the pictures or videos to your family, friends, or workmates, unless you send them more cash.
The Australian bureau of Statistics says 30 percent of financial fraud in 2015 was from online romance scams. However, the figure is said to be higher as some people feel too embarrassed to report the fraud. More people are becoming sensitised to the fraud schemes and less are falling victim.
What’s Next for Online Dating and Chat Rooms?
· Full-sensory virtual dating
According to a report published in the Telegraph of the UK, data transfer rates will increase to a point that will make it possible for humans to interact digitally with each other through all the five senses.
For online dating and chat rooms, this means the date will be more realistic and give users instant insight into their potential mate. All from the comfort of their home, users will be able to 'hold hands', smell each other’s fragrance, etc.
With the coming of wearable technology, it will be possible to interact with each other more realistically from anywhere. This will change what long distance relationships are.
· Behaviour-based matching
With increased connectivity and faster data transfer rates and the use of wearable technology, people will be able to make matches easily. Instead of writing about who you are and what you like, data from your tracked behaviour can be more accurate in deciding what you want depending on how you handle different life situations. Wearable technology will be able to track the places you go to most, the people you look at most, the words you use both in your everyday speech, and online to see who can be the most compatible partner for you. Such technology will use your core character traits to find you the best match.
· DNA-based match-making
Attraction is an uncontrollable mechanism deep-seated in the human brain. It has to do with finding the best genetically compatible partner to produce viable offspring. By 2040, the price of DNA research will have fallen considerably. This will enable researchers to unravel the mechanics of attraction at a genetic level. Online dating platforms will have it possible to predict possible matches based on DNA compatibility.