Dating apps surge in Latin America as North Americans lose interest - report

Alyssa Clementi

Subscription and purchase rates for dating apps in Latin America have jumped over 12,088 per cent since last year, according to Liftoff’s third annual dating apps research and analysis report, All You Need Is Love. Liftoff, a mobile app marketing and retargeting platform, analyzed more than 53bn ad impressions within 15m dating app installs throughout 2018, specifically tracking location, gender, season, and operating system.

In 2017, Latin America’s dating app market was struggling to attract users and had the highest install-to-subscription cost in the world at $1,509.38. Although Latin America ranked extremely low in user engagement rates (.09 per cent), it’s install-to-subscription cost was six times more than Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and 10 times more than North America.

After Latin American dating app subscriptions and purchases rose more than 12,000 per cent in 2018, the cost per in-app action lowered to $20.84, which was a 98.6 per cent decrease compared to 2017.

At the same time, North America strained to attract and retain users, with new dating app registrations dropping 485 per cent year-over-year (65.8 per cent in 2017 to 11.23 in 2018). For existing members, subscription and purchase rates dropped 40 per cent, prompting Liftoff to say marketers may need to “double-down” on retargeting.

Mobile dating apps around the world are seeing an increase in new male users, as men’s registration rates hit 57.92 per cent, a 21.9 per cent jump year-over-year. It seems women are starting to lose interest in trying a dating app, with women’s registration rates dropping 5.4 per cent to 57.19 per cent. Additionally, men just barely come up above women in willingness to commit (2.17 per cent versus 2.02 per cent).

Liftoff found that paid subscriptions to dating apps are becoming more popular in both men and women, up 36.8 per cent and 24.7 per cent, insinuating singles are becoming more invested in the mobile dating experience. On average, a user will try out the app for two days before deciding whether to dish out money for additional or premium features.

Liftoff also researched if more people actually do pursue a relationship in the colder months known as ‘cuffing season’, the beginning of which is a cue for singles to find someone to cozy up to for the holidays. According to the report, dating app registrations jumped in September - the start of cold weather - by 71.1 per cent, and cost-per-install (CPI) was as low as $2.46.

After the end of ‘cuffing season’, there is a slight lull until people start getting the urge to find a summer fling, triggering dating app subscriptions to peak in June and July, at 2.59 per cent and 2.61 per cent, respectively.