Singapore spent S$10 million on dating apps last year – and most of it went to Tinder

Tinder came in third on a list of 10 apps Singaporeans spent the most on, losing out only to Netflix and Bigo Live. (Author not pictured).
The Straits Times

It’s Valentine’s day, and here’s solid evidence that Singaporeans are actually a serious bunch when it comes to looking for love: the nation spent a collective US$7.1 million (S$9.9 million) on dating apps last year, according to a new report by mobile analytics platform App Annie.

This sum – an 80 per cent jump from the US$3.9m the country spent in 2017 – easily beat out the totals of larger countries, including Malaysia (US$5.8 million) and Indonesia (US$5.8 million).

App Annie’s report, published on Friday (Feb 14), listed Tinder as the top dating app among consumers here, followed by Coffee Meets Bagel.

Rounding out the top five were OKCupid Dating, Tantan, and iDates.

Tinder also came in third on a list of 10 apps Singaporeans spent the most on, losing out only to Netflix and Bigo Live. Coffee Meets Bagel came in ninth.

Read also: There’s a key difference in how men and women use Tinder — and it makes the whole experience frustrating for everyone

App Annie’s Asia-Pacific managing director Cindy Deng said that dating apps had “unlocked the keys to monetisation” in the past few years by offering subscriptions.

“(These apps) provide an in-demand service which consumers are willing to pay for to unlock deeper value, largely displacing previous modes to become the de facto dating tool,” she added.

App Annie’s Asia-Pacific insights head Lexi Sydow added that dating apps were popular in Singapore as millennial and Generation Z users had ingrained social media habits, and typically spent about two hours a day on social communication apps.

“The affordability, ease, and privacy of finding someone based on your own personal preference from the palm of your own hand is something traditional matchmaking companies can’t offer,” she said.

Sydow added: “Dating apps have made finding a match quick and efficient – in fact, the swiping motion, popularised by dating apps, is now an ingrained habit and adopted across industries on mobile.”

Read also: Tinder cofounder reveals how he came up with the app’s game-changing ‘swipe’ feature in the shower

However, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky warned that popular dating apps like Tinder were often used to spread malware or steal users’ personal data and bank details.

“Users are required to leave their personal data or connect to the applications via their social media account. The result is not surprising: the data will later be used or sold by cybercriminals,” the company said in a statement on Feb 13.

The company said it had detected 1,963 malicious apps last year masquerading as popular dating apps-  including one app that resembled Tinder, which consistently asked users for access rights, then stole their money.

It also advised users to avoiding sharing too much personal information, and ensure the people they were chatting with were not scammers using fake profiles.

Said Kaspersky’s head of advanced threat research, Vladimir Kuskov: “Love is one of those topics that interests people universally, and of course, that means that cybercriminals are also there.”