Market Data

Money Can Buy You Love? Dating App Dollars and Usage Surge Despite Reduced Spending in Other Categories

Lexi Sydow

2023 is set to be the most successful year yet for the world’s ever-growing slate of dating apps, as love-seekers now spend nearly 700 million hours in them annually. Here are the category’s vital stats in time for Valentine's Day.

Mobile users around the globe are seriously stepping up not only their adoption and usage of dating apps, but their willingness to spend money on finding that human connection.

In reviewing what Intelligence has to say about the growth of these social discovery tools since 2019, we found a profound increase across three key metrics—consumer spending, downloads, and time spent—over the past four years. Still, even 2022 saw the category blossoming when others readied for winter.

Key findings of this analysis: 

  • Time spent in dating apps is up 11% year-over-year globally
  • The United States accounts for 40% of all in-app spending for the category
  • Tinder Plus represents about 41% of all the app’s in-app purchases (IAP)
  • Gen Z prefers social media fun & friendship to standalone apps

Global Love of Dating Apps Is Only Stronger in 2023

Globally, love-seekers on the go spent about 11% more in dating apps during 2022 than the previous year, while downloads and time spent saw slightly more meaningful growth at approximately 19% and 14%, respectively.

Downloads of these apps reached a record high globally in 2022, with 1.9 billion first-time installations. At the same time, spending neared a record $6 billion—that’s nearly $16 million spent across the category worldwide every day.

All the while, those downloading and expenditures in these apps are also spending more time in them. 

Time spent in all Android dating apps has reached 10 billion hours per year, from 7 billion in 2019 before society adopted altered social practices.

U.S. Love-Seekers Heart These Apps

In the United States, we saw similar, yet slightly more muted, results compared to the category’s global performance.

Double-digit growth in dating app spending, downloads, and total time spent was seen in multiple markets, but the U.S. proved the most lucrative in terms of revenue added. 

This is important as the U.S. accounts for about 40% of global dating app spending.

The estimated $2.5 billion spent in these apps by U.S.-based users was $268 million more than in 2021. U.S. users spent nearly 3.6 times more than their counterparts in the United Kingdom, where $75 million was added to 2021’s total.

As for Americans’ cumulative time spent in these apps on Android, that’s now reached 670 million hours annually. That figure was 530 million in 2019, putting 2022’s at about 26% greater.

The above chart highlights how dramatically outsized U.S. dating app spending growth is compared to other markets, where the passion for finding love via mobile apps slid into negative territory during 2022.

Bucking the growth trend led by the U.S. were dating apps in EMEA markets, specifically Germany, Kuwait, and Russia (the latter’s constriction making sense). Meanwhile, while APAC’s under-indexed markets were Japan and South Korea, both countries where disruptions to daily life were the norm in 2022.

Singles Like What They See in These In-App Purchases

Finally, last month’s data on how lovesick consumers spend their money in these apps provides a unique view into what in-app purchases (IAP) those in the U.S. are purchasing the most and spending more on using’s IAP Purchases report in our Intelligence platform.

Last month, Tinder’s best-selling IAP by volume is the $0.99 one-month Tinder Plus SKU, accounting for about 41% of all app sales. The $19.99 Tinder Plus SKU brings in the app's most significant percentage of revenue at close to 11%.

In the interactive chart above, you can explore how this compared to two other mobile dating heavyweights, Bumble and Hinge.

Gen Z Is Looking for Fun – And Finding It on Snapchat

If region has a significant bearing on product preference, so does age; 15-year-olds and 50-year-olds obviously want very different things from their mobile dating experiences.

In the State of Mobile 2023 report we looked closely at the preferences of Gen Z. The results show that younger mobile users are looking for fun and friendship rather than romance – and that they are doing so via existing social media channels rather than “standalone” apps.

As such, the dating giants barely feature in these charts. Instead, they are dominated by products such as Yubo and Hoop.

Both of these France-based products emerged thanks to Snap’s decision to open up its developer platform. They each let users find new friends more easily on Snapchat. They topped the chart in 11 of the 17 markets profiled.

Another interesting takeaway from the Gen Z listings is the popularity of The Couple, which is #1 in Japan and Taiwan. This app is not designed to find new friends or lovers. Instead it helps existing couples to strengthen their relationships. Users can record stories, upload photos, set up notifications on key dates and more.

Mobile Dating in 2023: Feel the Love

Expect to see an even more significant lift in dating app adoption, spending, and engagement this year as society has normalized considerably from its state in 2020, creating a much more ideal environment for those who are single to pull out their phones to mingle. (After entering their payment details, of course).

Read more about our findings in the Dating app genre in our State of Mobile 2023 report.

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February 14, 2023

Market Data

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