Matchmaking sites saw increased engagement during lockdown: Experts

At e4m's webinar on technology playing Cupid during the lockdown, panellists shared some insights on 'dating' trends seen during the time

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 27, 2020 5:46 PM
akamai

The pandemic has halted our normal day-to-day life. But, the need for social distancing has lead to a want of emotional connect. During these times, the matrimony and dating platform worked as bridges to connect people and fill the emotional gaps.

To understand how technology assisted the Cupid’s arrow, Exchange4media has organized a webinar on the topic, ‘Technology: Playing Cupid In Times of Covid-19'.

The panellists for the e-discussion included, Chandrasekar R, Chief Technology Operation and Infrastructure Officer, Matrimony.com;  Ravi Mittal, Founder and CEO, QuackQuack; Renjit Paul, Deputy General Manager - IT, Malayala Manorama and Rohonesh Kar, Pre-Sales Leader, India Media, Akamai Technologies. The session was chaired by Ruhail Amin, Senior Editor, exchange4media Group.

Opening the conversation, Amin inquired the panellists about how has the business been during the lockdown, and Chandrashekar informed that there had been a 30% increase in number of registration in the last 90 days.

Mittal too has a similar story to tell, as said the past 3 months has been a roller coaster ride for dating apps too. He informed that though the user base increased; it didn’t translate to revenue generation. “We were adding around 10K users per day before lockdown, which been increased to 18K during the lockdown. We have also witnessed a 60% spike in daily chats from 300K chats, the number increased to 500K chats per day. But we also observed a reduction in paid subscribers”, he said.  He added that since the first phase of unlock started; the numbers are going back to their pre-COVID position gradually.

Deferring from his fellow panellists, Paul said that he haven’t seen a significant increase in traffic on his platform post lockdown. “There was an initial drop in terms of traffic because people were probably getting used to lockdown, but post that traffic came back to normal”, he said.

Talking about his user base, Chandrasekar said that matrimony.com has been built with keeping the tradition in mind and could be used by the family as well as the individual. “We noticed that people have an affinity to the community they belong to. In circa 2009, we launched 350+ community websites. We have witted more traction on community-based websites.”

Giving the perspective of a dating website, Mittal said, “We had launched around 10 years ago, and over the time we have witnessed people are getting adapted to the concept of dating in India.” As per Mittal, in recent years, the average age of users has dropped from 29 years to 25 years, and the majority of the traffic comes from youth better 18-20 years.

Drawing a distinction between people present on dating app well as matrimony app, Paul said, “There is a clear distinction in the people's mindset between a dating app & matchmaking or matrimonial app. In our experience as a matrimony site, our users prefer a more curated space, and credibility of trust is a key factor for our users.”

When asked about the importance of data security, Kar said that Securing information becomes very important for matchmaking business as they deal with personal information. “Protecting customer identity is the single most important focus area for most of these websites as lots of personal information is at stake. Apart from that, the platforms need to be protected against hackers and Not profiles”, he said.

Talking about how they adapted and evolved during the lockdown, Chandrasekar informed that they have come up with a video call feature whereby families can talk to each other without revealing their numbers. They have also matchmaking business. He added, “In the services business, we launched a feature called home weddings. We connect the prospective couples with the service providers including Purohits.”

Mittal added that as a dating app, they are apprehensive about introducing video option, as it has the potential to be misused. He further said, “We are at a stage where matrimony was probably 10 years back. We launched a feature called random chat during the lockdown, where users randomly connect to other users and start chatting.”

Kar observed that the video option on the matrimonial website is going to be an important feature in the coming years. He also informed that cyber attacks have increased in the last 90 days so focusing on security has been his priority as the assistant provider to tech platforms. 

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