For better or for worse, modern American romance is all about apps. We look at a photo, maybe read a quick bio, and then swipe left or right to signify our interest. If we both swipe right, it’s a match! Then, maybe, we’ll have a conversation. On rare occasions, we’ll meet up for a date. That’s about all there is to it — it’s inherently superficial, but also instantaneous, addictive and fun. The pervasiveness of app culture in the United States led us to wonder if people in other countries also rely on dating apps. Is the rest of the world swiping as much as we are? And what are some of the most popular international dating apps? Let’s go speed-dating with apps around the world to see how much we can learn.
Truly International Dating Apps
You might be thinking, they probably just use Tinder everywhere. And you’re not that far off. With more than 50 million global users, Tinder’s popularity has expanded from the U.S. to almost every part of the world. In addition to the U.S., Tinder is very popular in India, Israel, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and the northern and western parts of Europe.
One of the even more commonly used international dating apps is Badoo, which has over 400 million users. Like Tinder, Badoo was based on swiping until recently, when the company got rid of swipe-based matching and debuted a new live video feature. Badoo used in almost every country but is especially popular in southern and eastern Europe, as well as in South America and parts of Southeast Asia.
Dating In The Americas
Tinder. Bumble. OkCupid. Hinge. Chappy. Coffee Meets Bagel. Grindr. JSwipe. The League. The list of popular dating apps in the U.S. goes on and on. But what about in the other countries of the Americas?
Canada’s dating app landscape looks pretty similar to ours. Tinder, Hinge and Bumble reign supreme. In Mexico, it’s Badoo, Tinder, Bumble and Jaumo — a German dating app that features (surprise, surprise) swiping to show interest. An up-and-coming app in both the U.S. and Mexico is Chispa (which means “spark” in Spanish), a swipe-heavy dating app for Latinx singles that’s owned by the Match Group (Tinder’s parent company) and Univision.
Badoo is the most popular dating app throughout South America, though Tinder also has a big presence there. Another popular app in the region is Paris-founded Happn, which switches things up a bit by showing you users you’ve crossed paths with in real life.
Dating In Europe
As mentioned above, Europe is pretty split between Tinder and Badoo as the primary dating app of choice, with the other not far behind in usage. Tinder tends to be more popular in the northern and western parts of Europe, while Badoo rules in the southern and eastern regions.
In addition to the major players, some smaller, local apps are used in various European countries. For instance, Happy Pancake is one of the most popular dating apps in Sweden and Finland and has recently expanded into the Netherlands as well. Aside from having a fantastic name, Happy Pancake prides itself on being completely free, and it has a search function that allows users to find people with similar interests. Another Swedish app is Mazily, which also matches people based on common interests and goes a step further, suggesting cultural events around town where users can go on dates.
AdopteUnMec (meaning “adopt a guy”) is a popular French app that was created to empower women by putting decision-making in their hands and charging men to send women message requests (the app is free for women).
In German-speaking countries, the top dating app is Lovoo, known for its live-streaming video feature. The company survived a bit of a scandal in 2016, but has since been acquired by a larger dating company.
You’ve probably never heard of the most popular dating apps in Russia: Frim and Mamba. Frim is a pretty simple app for chatting with friends and love interests, and Tinder-esque Mamba made headlines for encouraging voters to take a date to the polls.
Fun fact: Russia is the country with the most dating app downloads, followed by Brazil and China.
Dating In Africa, Asia And Australia
In addition to Russia, Frim is the most popular dating app in Egypt. In Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria, Badoo is the top choice.
Moving over to the Middle East, Badoo generally takes the lead with one exception: Saudi Arabia, where the app WhosHere is most prevalent. The app connects users based on proximity and enables them to chat and send photo messages, as well as make voice calls with an internet connection.
In China, Tantan — a swipe-based app that’s similar to Tinder — is extremely popular, followed by Momo — a chat-based app that features games and user-created interest groups.
While India, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand predominantly use Tinder, the rest of the region either uses Badoo or their own local apps.
Despite some variety in the international dating apps we use, one thing is clear: swiping our way to love is a universal activity.