Love in Metaverse

ARTICLES | Mar 24, 2022
Love in Metaverse

Advanced technology is playing a larger role in every aspect of our lives… including love.

Online dating apps have taken off in the last 20 years. Some people are looking for friends. Others seek short-term fun.

Thirty percent of people aged 18-29 in the United States use dating apps, according to a Pew Research Center survey in 2019. And over 40% of romantic relationships in the United States start with meetings online.

Online dating businesses will gross $3,677 million by 2022, according to a Statista report, with annual growth of 6.25% in 2022-26.

The study also found that there are now about 323 million dating apps users, set to rise 55% by 2026 to 501.7 million.

Tinder was the most popular dating app in 2021 with a 32% share of the global market, followed by Bumble with 22% and Hinge with 15%. The popularity of these apps continues to grow. So why do people become addicted to them?

Gamification to turn dating into a game has fueled the rise. Users feel that they are finding love by completing various challenges. Swiping the screen to find someone you like has developed into real-life conversations and relationships.

Research in social psychology and neuroscience also suggests that “matching” quickly on dating apps stimulates the brain to release dopamine, the hormone of happiness. People want to match up with as many others as possible.

Behavior during the use of dating apps, liking selecting likes, choosing a profile picture, and hearing notification sounds are all neurostimulators for the reward system, similar to the symptoms of game addicts.

If dating apps become addictive they can affect daily life, just like any other addiction to a drug or gambling.

Apps are no longer just a way to meet strangers. They are also as an online social space with games that are entertaining and exciting, enticing users to spend more time and engage more deeply.

Being a platform for couples aligns with the metaverse's founding principles of creating experiences to connect real and virtual lives. Leading apps like Tinder and Bumble have announced plans to enter the metaverse in the near future.

Tinder’s parent Match Group aims to ​​create its own Tinderverse, with Tinder Coins and other non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It’s now in its trial period, limited to certain areas. But it will start to be used in real life this year.

A Tinder executive commented that accessing the metaverse with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies would help dating apps blend the real and virtual worlds. Tinder is continuing to develop avatar-based dating but it’s still focused on helping people meet in real life. Bumble has announced that it’ll prepare for “whatever happens in the metaverse”.

Implications for the future:

- Public and private enterprises building their own metaverses with an economy and cryptocurrencies in a closed system may hinder the creation of a metaverse with true interoperability.

- Game-style entertainment will be indispensable in online platforms. Media owners need different strategies so users become addicted to content and use their platforms regularly.

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