Which dating app offers the best chance of meeting someone you’re interested in?
That’s the question on the minds of people using dating apps. They want to use the app with the largest pool of potential soulmates.
It’s also a question that we can help answer. Using SurveyMonkey Intelligence, our platform for measuring app performance, we did a deep dive into dating app statistics. We used our data to find out more about which dating apps people use most, how much they engage with these apps, and the demographics of different app users. (This analysis does not account for people using services like OKCupid, which offers both an app and a website, on their desktop.)
According to the data, Tinder is the most used app in terms of total users, but Bumble has the highest percentage of users between 18- and 29-years-old. Christian Mingle, Coffee Meets Bagel and eHarmony are the only apps that have a majority of female users — and two of these apps have the highest user turnover week over week.
Grindr and Happn have some of the the most engaged users, but for very different reasons.
The most popular dating apps
Which dating apps are most popular? We began our analysis by looking at dating app market share (in terms of American iOS and Android users) of twenty of the most popular dating apps to see which has the most users:
Tinder sits comfortably on the top of the list with a quarter more users than the closest competitor, PlentyOfFish (POF), and two and a half times the market share of OKCupid and eHarmony, which also rank highly.
While Tinder, POF and OKCupid are the top competing brands, they are actually owned by the same company: The Match Group. The Match Group owns six of the twenty apps above (Tinder, POF, OkCupid, Match, Black People Meet, HowAboutWe), including four of the top five, for a total market share of 64%. So while Tinder may not dominate the market outright, its holding company definitely does.
Dating app user age distribution
So which of these apps have the youngest and oldest daters? The following chart shows the distribution of each application’s’ user base by age group.
Tinder ranks 2nd in the 18–29 demographic behind Bumble, a service that permits only women to initiate conversations. These two apps are the only services with a clear majority of users in the 18–29 age group; a demographic known for spending a lot of time on their phones.
The best dating apps for women and men
Along with age, another important demographic for dating apps is the ratio of men to women. If you are looking for someone of the opposite sex, you probably don’t want to be in a market where you are overrepresented.
The following table shows which applications have the highest percentage of women.
Christian Mingle, Coffee Meets Bagel and eHarmony sit atop the list as the only services with a majority of female users. It is possible that women view these services as more reputable because they are not perceived as “hook up” apps. These are the best dating apps for men (specifically, straight men) in terms of the men-to-women ratio.
On the other hand, the best dating apps for women (at least in terms of having men outnumber the women on the platform) would include most of the apps that aren’t Christian Mingle, Coffee Meets Bagel, and eHarmony.
Dating app user geographic distribution
We also looked at how the distribution of the dating services’ users compares to the population of the United States. This shows which apps are particularly popular in different regions like the South and Northeast.
Tinder’s user distribution looks most like the geography of the U.S. population, which speaks to the ubiquity of the service. Black People Meet is the most regional app due to its overwhelming presence in the South.
The most-used dating apps
We’ve talked about the demographics of different dating apps. But a full bar isn’t a good place to find a date if no one is talking. So we next ranked dating apps by engagement metrics. The following chart shows the average sessions per day for users of each service.
Happn is number one in terms of sessions per day, with more than double the number of sessions of Tinder. Happn is a unique service that uses geolocation data to inform users when they cross paths in real life. This model encourages people to use the app multiple times per day, since they just might have a serendipitous, romantic encounter.
On the other end of the spectrum, Coffee Meets Bagel provides its users with a single match per day, which results in less of a need to use the service frequently.
Our next chart shows each app’s Engagement Ratio: the percentage of an app’s weekly audience that uses the app on a given day. This illustrates how engaged an audience is with a particular app.
Grindr leads the pack for this measure by more than 10%. Grindr is by far the largest dating app geared toward gay and bisexual men, which may lead this demographic to use only Grindr while other demographics split their efforts among multiple services.
Weekly churn, the percentage of an app’s weekly user base that did not use the service the following week, paints a similar picture.
Grindr users return week over week more consistently than any other dating app users. The weekly churn of Black People Meet is nearly four times higher than Grindr, and the churn of eHarmony is more than 6 times higher.
Traditionally a business wants to maximize weekly engagement and minimize churn, but the goal of a dating app is to help its users find a successful relationship. If the app is successful, users no longer need it! The fact that Christian Mingle, Black People Meet and eHarmony have low weekly engagement and high weekly churn could mean users are unhappy with the service. But it might mean that people are actually finding relationships.
So which dating app should an eligible bachelor or bachelorette use?
These dating app statistics reveal some tips. Straight men may want to check out Coffee Meets Bagel, while straight women can confidently choose between a number of apps where the gender ratio is favorable. Bumble is a hub for twentysomethings, while Match has the most users in their fifties.
But the data also reflects that choosing a dating app is a matter of picking your style of dating. Users engage with Happn frequently — it’s a good choice if you want dating to be a spontaneous, ever-present endeavor. On the other hand, Coffee Meets Bagel users check in infrequently, reflecting its spirit of making online dating a planned, once-per-day routine.
A final piece of advice demonstrated by our Survey Monkey Intelligence data: Don’t make enemies of The Match Group, which controls 64% of the dating app world. If you do, your dating life may be relegated to the analog world.
This post originally appeared on June 1, 2016 on the blog of SurveyMonkey Intelligence, a competitive intelligence product for mobile apps.