Dating App Usage Between Genders

Written By: Rebecca Livingston & Sienna Witherell

Group members for the research, Dating App Usage Between Genders, include two classmates from Professor Leanna Lawter’s Business & Management Senior SeminarRebecca Livingston ‘20: (she, her, hers), Double Major: Business & Management and Elementary Education; Sienna Witherell ‘20 (she, her, hers), Major: Business & Management, Minor: Anthropology.

The proliferation of internet access through the spread of mobile devices has changed the way many relationships form. Romantic relationship initiation has changed drastically through the introduction of dating applications. Dating apps and websites boast that they help people find connections by subjecting them to a multitude of peers who are supposedly looking for a connection as well.

The current issue is that “connection” means something different to everyone. One aim of this research is to help companies define the motives of their consumers. This allows the matching process to be smoother and more conducive to finding partners with mutual desires, which in turn increases companies’ profit margins.

As an increasing number of people turn to online dating services, it is crucial to understand their different desires so that individual dating apps can clearly target a specific market. If apps have specific roles to fill, their consumers will have an easier time finding a partner who is looking for the same type of connection as they are. The purpose of our research project is to determine how men and women use dating apps and their motivations for using dating apps; with the hope that dating app companies will take this information into account in order to differentiate their service so that they can better serve their target markets.

The relationships studied through this research consist of the connection between dating app users and three different dating apps: Tinder, Bumble and Hinge. The study looks into how the gender of dating app users affects their usage of various dating apps. Specifically, the study explores the time spent looking at potential matches, the motivations for using specific apps and the users experiences based on their usage of the apps.

Our hypotheses for the study are as follows:

1a. Primary Tinder users, both male and female are using the app for non-committal hookups

1b. Bumble and Hinge users, both male and female are using it for relationships

2. If men and women are looking for a long-term relationship, they are viewing profiles for longer amounts of time

3. Women looking for casual sex will spend more time assessing individual men’s profiles than men who are also looking for casual sex

We found that there was no significant difference in the amount of time men and women spend viewing a profile on any of the dating apps based on their motivation of seeking a long-term relationship (“Love”). Women looking for casual sex spend the same amount of time per profile as men who are looking for casual sex. Therefore, neither hypothesis 2 or 3 are supported by the data in this study.

We found that “Promoting deep connections” was a top motivating factor for using Bumble and Hinge. Therefore, we were surprised to find that men’s top motivation factor was casual sex for every app, regardless of the overall perception that Bumble and Hinge are used for long-term relationships.

Our data found survey respondents were motivated to use dating apps for three primary reasons: casual sex (28.6%), thrill of excitement (23.8%) and love (19%).

This research was made possible by the overwhelming number of responses we received through our social media based survey (Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat). It was beneficial to have a vast number of respondents, yet we still faced two major limitations. Despite our best efforts, we received an uneven proportion of female to male survey respondents, and an uneven proportion of Tinder users to Bumble and Hinge users.