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Tinder, America’s fast-growing online-dating juggernaut, last week unveiled its first big branding partnership aimed at its core audience of millennial fling-seekers: a neon-drenched video-ad campaign hyping Bud Light’s mega-keg party, “Whatever, USA.” Meanwhile, over at Tinder’s less-youthful rival e Harmony, a recent ad saw its 80-year-old founder counseling a single woman besieged by bridesmaid’s invitations to take some time (and, of course, the site’s 200-question compatibility quiz) to find that special someone: “Beth, do you want fast or forever?
” Both companies are dominant forces in America’s .2 billion online-dating industry, which in the last few years has quickly become a bedrock of the American love life.
Urban and suburban residents are more likely than rural residents to use online dating, and those who have attended college are around twice as likely to do so as are those who have not attended college.
In 2008 just 3% of all Americans said that they had used an online dating site; by 2009 that figure had risen to 6% of all Americans, and today 9% of the adult population has used an online dating site.In terms of demographics, online dating is most common among Americans in their mid-20’s through mid-40’s.Some 22% of 25-34 year olds, and 17% of 35-44 year olds are online daters—that is roughly double the rate for those ages 18-24 or those ages 45-54.One in 10 adults now average more than an hour every day on a dating site or app, Nielsen data show.
Yet for all their growth, the companies have staggeringly different ideas of how American daters can find their match — and how to best serve different generations.
Of course there are sites aimed at specific religious or ethnic groups, but there are also those who aim to match couples with very specific interests.