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Online dating in France - Statistics & Facts

With France being considered one of the most romantic countries in the world, it is no surprise that online dating activities have found a comfortable niche there. The passionate French are known for their love of love and might even go as far as breaking the rules of the coronavirus (COVID-19) confinement, just to feel the physical touch of a virtual stranger. With a booming global business, the Match Group, owning online dating platforms such as the eponymous, Tinder, OkCupid and others generated a total revenue of 651.41 million U.S. dollars during the fourth quarter of 2020. The revenue of the online dating market in France is expected to grow to 203 million euros in 2025.

Online dating apps and French preferences

The most popular fee-based apps in France were Badoo and Meetic, both with a 43 percent paying customer share in 2020. However, if French people truly are so romantic, are dating apps and sites really the main channel for them to find friendship or love (or lust)? Most had met their current partners at parties or private parties with friends and online dating and dating agencies were mostly playing in the same court as family reunions or and nightclubs. By combining online shopping habits and novel functionalities on dating apps such as AdopteUnMec, reaching a peak of 170 thousand downloads during the summer 2020, women have the possibility to not only shop for clothes or whatever they like, but they might also be able to find a man. The success of online dating can be seen in the 2020 leading social media apps ranking, where Badoo and Tinder are among the most used in 2020.

But who is looking for love (or sex) online? Of men, 49 percent of of those aged 30-39 mentioned having had subscribed to a dating website at some point in their life, compared to 32 percent of women aged under 30. Even though other sexually inclusive apps such as Grindr, having generated about 60 thousand U.S. dollars in revenue as of January 2021 in the Apple App store, they seem less represented in online rankings. This, however, does not mean that apps such as Tinder or Meetic do not have the same options as Grindr.

Change in usage due to sanitary restrictions and the fear of leaked content

Online dating platforms were still seen as a popular way to combat loneliness, especially in times of social seclusion, a prime example being the coronavirus lockdown in 2020. Thus, in December 2020, as many as three quarters of the French population were sure that most inhabitants were still using dating apps regardless of social distancing. But, even though some worked around the sanitary measures, 44 percent of people saw themselves using virtual tools to meet for the first time (for example through video conference).
Virtual dating does come with fear for some: as some users have developed tactics to avoid being recognized, the fear of having such intimate content leaked is quite strong. There are other downsides of online dating: 29 percent of French men aged 25 to 34 had felt a dependence on dating apps and 77 percent of women had encountered at least one type of harassment on a dating site in 2018.


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