The evolving role of social media in modern dating
December 7th, 2023, Kineree Shah

The evolving role of social media in modern dating

While online dating platforms have changed the way we meet potential partners, is there still a place in the market for social media-based dating? Data from YouGov Global Profiles across 48 international markets reveals that while a still significant minority of consumers are finding dates, this share has declined.

There is a notable shift in how consumers use social media for flirting and dating. In 2023, only 15% of consumers agreed that they use social media for these purposes, a significant decrease from 22% in 2022. However, the percentage of those disagreeing saw a substantial rise, from more than half in 2022 (55%) to three-quarters in 2023 (70%).

Delving deeper, among the 18-24 (30% in 2022 vs. 28% in 2023) and 25-34 age group (28% in 2022 vs 25% in 2023), there was a slight decrease in use of social media for romantic endeavors. The older age groups exhibited a more pronounced shift, with only 11% of those aged 45-54 and a mere 4% of those aged 55 and above using social media for finding dates in 2023, compared to 18% and 7%, respectively, in 2022.

Analyzing data by gender reveals that males are generally more open to using social media for romantic purposes than females, though the overall trend indicates a declining interest among both groups. In 2022, more than a quarter of males used social media for flirting and dating (27%), which decreased to one-fifth in 2023 (19%). Females showed a lower level of agreement in both years, with the percentage dropping from 18% in 2022 to 12% in 2023.

YouGov Global Profiles data also reveals how the use of social media for flirting and dating varies significantly across different markets. About a third consumers from Saudi Arabia, India, and Thailand use social media for flirting and dating (31%, 31%, and 33%, respectively). Although these figures represent a slight decline from 2022 for Saudi Arabia (34%) and India (33%), Thailand saw a marginal increase (31%).

Conversely, in the US, the trend was markedly different. Two in 10 used social media for romantic pursuits in 2022 (19%) down to one in 10 presently (11%). Similar declining trends were observed in Norway (dropped from 16% to 9%) and Sweden (decreased from 12% to 7%).

Some markets showed notable increases. China's agreement level rose from 23% to 27%, and Hong Kong saw a substantial increase from 16% to 25%.

A stark decline was observed in Great Britain, where the agreement level plummeted from 10% in 2022 to just 4% in 2023.

Interested in exploring deeper insights from 48 international markets?

Contact us to access comprehensive data and learn more about YouGov Global Profiles, your gateway to understanding the intricate dynamics of social media in modern dating.

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Methodology: YouGov Global Profiles is a globally consistent audience dataset with 1000+ questions across 48 markets. The data is based on continuously collected data from adults aged 16+ years in China and 18+ years in other markets. The sample sizes for YouGov Global Profiles will fluctuate over time, however the minimum sample size is always c.1000. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India and UAE, which use urban representative samples, and China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, which use online representative samples. Learn more about Global Profiles.