There are nearly three times as many men as women on online dating platforms in India.
According to homegrown dating app Woo’s survey of 20,000 urban Indians, the gender divide on these apps is massive, with only 26% of their users being female.
This is far lesser than in the US, where women are slightly more than 40% of the user base on dating apps like Tinder and Bumble.
Unlike in the West, where dating platforms are used mostly for hookups, Indians use these services with more serious goals.
The survey found that the main reason Indians join a dating app is for a “meaningful relationship.” The second most common reason is to meet new people after moving to a new city.
“When we look at the 18- to 21-year-olds, a lot of them get on to a dating app just to make friends. This is common particularly for girls who are new to a city either for work or to study,” Sachin Bhatia, co-founder of dating app TrulyMadly, had told Quartz in October. “Their social networks are fairly limited in the new cities, so they use dating apps to make friends, get to know people, and, obviously, if something results in a relationship, so be it.”
According to Woo’s survey, an average user spends around 45 minutes every day on dating apps.
“Men usually spend more time on dating apps when compared to women, since they tend to chat with multiple women at a time. However women limit their conversations to two to three men only at any given point of time,” says the survey report, shared exclusively with Quartz.
So few women
The lack of women on dating apps in India is well-known, and painfully felt by other users. While men complain of not having enough profiles to “match” or “like,” the few women on these platforms complain of being bombarded with attention from too many men.
The skewed gender ratio also reflects the larger divide in Indians’ access to the internet. After all, 89% of mobile internet users in the country are male. Even on social media platforms like Facebook, men outnumber women three to one.
Fearing harassment, 70% of the female users of dating apps are also apprehensive about sharing their personal information, Woo’s survey has found.
Dating apps realise the importance of women users and are taking several measures to make them safer. In September, the US-based online dating giant Tinder launched the “My Move” feature exclusively for India. Similar to American rival Bumble, the app now allows women to be the only ones to begin the conversation in a pairing.
Bumble will also launch in India this month, in partnership with Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra. In an India-specific move, the app will allow women to show only the first initial of their name. Woo also has the feature of showing only a woman’s initials on her profile.
The attention to women may be showing results. According to the survey, 70% of women users say they feel safer on dating apps as compared to two years ago.
This article first appeared on Quartz.