Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps

Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps

Cupid, the pretty little boy with wings, a bow and an arrow, will be waiting for some in the metaverse as dating companies move into the virtual space in the new year.

In the past decade, dating companies such as Tinder have relied on matching people on their sites. Going forward, there will be need to embrace an immersive approach and match them in the metaverse and have them meet there.

Dating in the metaverse

With over 1,500 dating apps and websites on the market today, the market is seen reaching $9.2 billion by 2025. “People are meeting both pre and post-dates already and we know they have been dating in the metaverse,” Together Labs CEO Darren Tsui says.

“It’s inevitable that dating companies will seek to join these experiences together. We’re seeing a lot of people in our societies using the metaverse as a way of figuring out ‘what happens after the swipe,” Tsui adds.

Tsui reckons there is a market. Generation Z (Gen Z), the Western demographic group succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha, are seen embracing this development for a number of reasons.

Gen Z, kids born from the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s, are prime suspects for metaverse dating.

Informal relationships: situationships

Situationships are seen supporting this kind of dating. A situationship is a romantic or sexual relationship that is not considered to be formal or established.

This growing dynamic is the result of Gen Z’s attitude towards romance as well as their changing lifestyle. Gen Z is more socially aware and has many aspirations. Romance is one of many aspects of life that Gen Z cares about and may not rank as high as previous generations.

“Compounding that with their busy lives and their comfort with socializing digitally, situationships are a pragmatic approach to Gen Z’s circumstances,” Tsui adds.

He is not the only who sees metaverse dating taking off.

“We are already seeing a trend of people meeting and interacting in online games and virtual worlds. Second Life has been around for nearly two decades and is still going strong, with over a million active users,” KJ Dhaliwal writes.

“With online games and communities dedicated to dating, we could begin to see people find love in the metaverse,” he continues.

Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps

Match Group, the Parent company of Tinder, has in the past considered the metaverse dating space. But of late, the company has been scaling owing to concerns emanating from a lack of a clear and immediate monetization strategy for its VR dating.

Dating in VR?

The company postponed plans to introduce VR dating on an app linked to Tinder in the third quarter of this year until its earnings improve. Although Match Group has put the brakes on the metaverse, others have forged ahead.

Early this year, a VR Dating app called Nevermet was launched with some describing it as “the metaverse version of Tinder.” Then in May, Flirtual, rose to prominence after launching an app that allows users to “flirt in the metaverse and hook up in the real world.”

Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps
Avatar dating in the metaverse

All this is suggestive of a void in the dating space, the experts say.

“However, even with the lack of a monetization strategy, I believe we are going to see many companies investing in this technology in an attempt to be the premiere platform for dating in the metaverse. Dating trends over the last 10 years have changed considerably, with more people using dating apps and websites to meet potential partners,” KJ Dhaliwal adds.

Meanwhile, demand for better apps is rising. A total 47% of respondents in a survey by Tido expressed willingness to join an advanced, AI-based dating app to find a potential long-term partner.

This may work for Gen Z, tsui adds.

Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps

According to Pew research, Gen Z doesn’t distinguish between friends made in the physical world vs. online. They are perfectly comfortable meeting someone in a chat room and “going out on a date” by playing Animal Crossing together, Tsui tells MetaNews.

“We see this exact behavior on IMVU. The metaverse has changed the way people interact digitally and this is something we’ve been tracking for the last 18 years based on our deep understanding of the science of friendship.”

Already some people have gone a step beyond dating in the metaverse, they are marrying in the virtual world.

“Hi, I’m Dinesh Kshatriyan and I’m most famous for ‘Asia’s first metaverse wedding'”, I’m the groom.

I’m from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India,” reads the tweet with a picture of a smiling couple and a link to a story.

Money in the metaverse

Moving from dating, Tsui sees NFTs becoming adopted for everyday transactions in the coming year. He sees transactions booming in the 2023 in the metaverse.

“As with gaming 10 years ago, microtransactions are set to explode in the metaverse and NFTs are the mechanism through which this will happen. We see games morphing into metaverses and there’ll be many going forward.”

He said although users “own” digital goods for a game, they don’t own them in practice.

“They can’t take what they own off platform and they would lose everything if the game becomes defunct. NFTs make true ownership possible so users can freely buy, sell, and trade,” Tsui added.

Dating in the Metaverse: Here Are the Latest Apps

Hasn’t crossed the mobile chasm. Yet.

Darren Tsui adds he thinks the mobile phone had a huge role to play in metaverse adoption and see phones driving metaverse growth in the new year. We have not seen the metaverse cross the chasm in reaching the masses with a broad age range yet.

“We believe the biggest needle-mover is creating metasocieties and making metaverses a welcoming place versus world-building only for the sake of creating content or technical gadgets that are expensive and cumbersome to use,” he added.

Mobile has proven to be an efficient medium to socialize and you don’t have to wait for adoption. Mobile devices are powerful enough today to deliver immersive 3D experiences giving users the sense of ‘presence’, the feeling of being at another place with other people.

Although Roblox has a large user base, its appeal is limited to a young demographic (age 9 – 12 as core.) The path to crossing that chasm is through mobile, where there are billions of users spanning all ages.


Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.