Drive User Engagement in Dating DMs

April 6, 2021

Online dating is a popular way to meet a potential new love - especially in the age of the pandemic. But, meeting someone between screens can be, well, awkward. Content and rich media are helping people to better communicate across all platforms - and dating DMs are no exception. From emojis and stickers to web links and news articles - content is being used at lightning speed to help people have better chats. And there’s an opportunity to increase user engagement on dating platforms with just that - content. 

Holler Stickers

Dating Platform Behavior Stats 

Let’s set the stage here just to put things into perspective. It’s no surprise that online dating has increased in usage over the past few years - even more so since the pandemic. People are now meeting on Bumble instead of at bars, testing the waters on Tinder instead of on blind dates - well you get the point. And the stats don’t lie (although your date’s profile might). 


Global dating app users increased by 20M in 2020 and projections don’t show any signs of dating apps slowing down. 

According to Pew Research, Three-in-ten U.S. adults say they have ever used a dating site or app. And this percentage increases in younger age brackets:

  • 48% of 18 to 29-year-olds say have used a dating site or app
  • 38% of people ages 30 to 49 say they have used a dating sit or app
  • 16% of people 50 and over say they have used a dating site or app

Clearly, dating apps have been heavily adopted by the masses, making it easier to meet someone virtually in a world driven by digital communication. So, how can dating platforms make these millions of people’s experience with online dating better? 

You guessed it, content. 

Content in Dating Apps: How Rich Media Sweetens the Chat 

As an app or platform, your objective is to increase user engagement there (and help facilitate happy hookups and long term connections, of course). And content is the perfect way to do that.

People crave content in the DMs - especially the people who are using dating apps at the highest velocity - Millennials and Gen Z. 

50% of Millennials say they use content in chat “all the time;” 49% of Gen Z say the same. 

However, in an environment where strangers are meeting virtually, sending links is not as popular in dating apps as it is in chat with your BFFs. 

Users who click on links shared in dating apps:

43% do so ‘all the time’ or ‘sometimes’
45% never do

Source: Holler Observation Study, Dec 2020

Bringing the content to the chat is crucial - so people don’t have to worry about NSFW links or being spammed instead of courted. Providing your users with as many tools as possible to move the conversation along will help to delight them and keep them on the platform. 

Let’s Get Visual 

Visuals in particular, like stickers, emojis, and GIFs, can help sweeten the chat. Think about it - in a dating environment, there are a lot of challenges to overcome, like:

  • How to respond to a DM
  • How to break the ice
  • How to let someone down politely
  • How to ask the right questions in order to get to know the person

Visuals are the perfect way to excite or diffuse a situation, which is why they’re used so heavily in digital contexts. 

Holler data shows that relevant stickers go a long way. We’ve seen sky high share rates on dating-related and emotion-based content across dating apps specifically. 

14.84% share rate

12.96% share rate

12.75% share rate

12.48% share rate

10.53% share rate

9.59% share rate

*Holler data from MeetMe platform March 1-15 2021

The Right Content at the Right Time 

Providing users with content is important, but the way it’s served is even more crucial. People want access to a plethora of content and they want it right at their fingertips. But most times, they need to exit the chat to get the stuff they’re looking for. 

In fact, 82% of Millennials and 78% of Gen Z say they need to exit the chat some or all of the time to find content they want to send in messaging. The necessity of exiting the chat isn’t only annoying for your users, it impacts engagement on your platform. 

The solution? Giving them what they want, right when they want it. Understanding this need, Holler uses AI technology that understands the context of conversations to suggest the right content in the right moment. So, if someone is discussing grabbing drinks, we’ll suggest stickers and GIFs that are relevant to the topic and useful to the chat. 

Increase Engagement on Your Dating Platform 

With more and more people depending on digital means to meeting someone new, having an engaging dating platform is more crucial than ever. Giving users the tools they need to have better conversations will not only help their chat, but help your platform benchmarks. 

Holler’s suite of Stickers and GIFs is the ultimate content collection. We provide content when your users need it at just the right moment. And with Kit 5, one simple integration is all it takes to give our users access to the premium content.

To learn more about Holler Kit5, visit our Developers Page

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