There was a time when “dating” wasn’t even a familiar word to the people of India. It was considered as something very casual and western, and very much against the cultural habits of the country. Even though there were typical Laila Majnu love stories that always involved two people who are madly in love and ultimately wanted to get married, dating was never a thing before. The only way you met someone was either during a family event, at school or college or by chance on the street. There was no searching for a partner unless it was done by the family with marriage as a direct motive in their mind. Well, those days are almost gone now and the way Indians are finding their partners (long term or short term) has drastically changed.
According to a data report released by Google, there is a 40 percent growth in searches related to dating by Indian users. This growth rate is much higher when compared to that of the searches related to matrimony. Also, there is a 37 percent growth in searches related to online dating brands which is almost triple the growth rate of matrimonial brand searches. With more than half of the population being youngsters who are approaching dating and marriageable age groups, these rates are probably going to reach the sky in the coming years (1).
Insights From The Report
The report titled “Year in Search – India: Insights for Brands” points out that the people of non-metro locations have a higher search rate in general when compared to those from metro areas. Now, that’s something quite interesting! With the kind of modern and practical approaches that the crowd of metro cities often practice, the higher number of internet searches should have ideally been in their court. However, it looks like the population in non-metro areas are learning and adopting new things faster due to their curiosity to know more.
While sharing the report to the media, Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director, Google India said, “The online space in India has never been more vibrant. India has become the fastest internet consuming country in the world and the internet has now become the bridge to Bharat’s aspirations. He also said that the increase in usage of language and voice, along with a rise of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings a great opportunity for marketers. With the marketers providing a better user experience, the audience is going to stay for longer periods on web pages, resulting in a win-win situation for both.
India’s Changing Face
A couple of years back when dating apps like Tinder made its way to the Indian society, not a lot of people including the youngsters were excited about it. Online dating apps were considered to be more of hook-up apps used by those who wanted to meet someone for an intimate interaction. However, today things look much better for these apps as people who genuinely want to find their partners are seeking their help. This is probably why many other dating apps like TrulyMadly, Happn, OkCupid, and Coffee Metts Bagel have become familiar names for Indians. This is probably why Bumble, which is considered to be one of the best dating apps in the world (even more popular than Tinder) was recently launched in the Indian market.
The young population of India is getting away from the typical marriage scenario where they get tied “in the knot” with a random stranger. As the level of education and urbanization is rising tremendously, people are realizing their individual rights when it comes to finding a partner whether it’s for dating or for marriage. Also, the sudden internet revolution ignited by Reliance Jio that slashed down the prices of data packs considerably plays a very important role here. More people are able to use the internet and learn about the global culture without even getting out of their houses.
The influence of internet and dating apps is not only on the youngsters but it is also on the parents as well. If you think about it, parents are much more open-minded than before when it comes to their children finding their own partners. Even in an arranged marriage, the couple is given enough time to talk to each other and understand their interests before the wedding. However, this is just the bright side of a bigger sphere. India is still the victim of social evils like forced marriage, honor killing, and child marriage that stomps over individual rights.
With this report of Google’s, we’re quite sure that more Indians are adopting the global culture. Hopefully, in the coming years, we can expect marriage to be a mutually acceptable decision than a necessity to cope with societal and family pressures. Have you ever met someone through an online dating platform? What do you think about the changing mentality of Indian youngsters regarding dating and marriage? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.