DECEMBER 6, 2021: If 2019 had us face-palming at the state of the world and 2020 had us shrugging with uncertainty about the future,* 2021 is the year we all exchanged and adapted to oscillating highs and lows. From sharing a collective look of to a common appreciation for simple meet-cutes to keeping it real with vax mentions, Tinder Gen Z members showed how they were authentically themselves as they looked to connect with new people in 2021.
2021 was a side-eye kind of year.
While millions of emojis were used in Tinder bios, one rising star really caught our attention: the Side eye saw a whopping 40% increase in usage in Tinder bios globally this year, as members showed a mixed bag of optimism and skepticism throughout the year. Further, Indian Gen Z ‘told us without telling us’ the range of emotions they experienced in 2021 with and being the next two popular emojis - highlighting the rollercoaster of a year they have had.
URL and IRL.
In 2021, Gen Z enjoyed both virtual meet-cutes and post-vax IRL dates. Video dates have turned into a first date staple for singletons with mentions of ‘video call’ in Tinder bios growing by 52% globally. A significant number of Indians took to video dating on Tinder where Hyderabad reigned supreme as the chattiest video dating city, followed closely by Chennai and Bengaluru.
Yet, Gen Z was also looking to make a connection with new people close to them for real life hangouts with ‘nearby’ and ‘close by’ both increasing by 20% in Tinder bios globally, showing that the IRL world isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon when it comes to dating.
First date ideas ranged from cozy to outdoorsy.
First date drinks are officially outdated! In 2021, we also learned that first dates have become more about activities than icebreakers. Daters are picking more interesting, unique first date activities that help them really get to know each other. Tinder saw a 2X increase in mentions of ‘long walks’ in bios and requests for date activities from cycling to taking a pottery class in bios. When asked about first date go to plans on Tinder**, “picnic in a park” and ‘a virtual movie night’ were both popular choices made by members in India.
Being vaxxed became a (dating) flex.
In a year when getting vaxxed was the first thing on the date prep checklist, sharing the post-vaccine lifestyle on their Tinder bios made Gen Z feel safer to meet someone. As vaccination drives accelerated locally between February and August 2021 , mentions of ‘Vaccinated’ in bios in India grew by 40x as members advocated for vaccine status as a dating essential.
Vaccine badges*** from Tinder became the new flaunt feature with the badge being the most popular by far amongst Indian Gen Z members.
Small gestures made it big.
It's the smallest of favours that make a date a favourite. Mentions of ‘small things’ increased by 30% year on year in Tinder bios as members shared their appreciation for the little joys in life. Our Indian Tinder members settled on small gestures such as ‘getting them coffee’ or ‘complimenting their outfits’ as ones that would make their day**. ‘Warm hugs’ made Gen Z feel loved and fuzzy and a ‘new ping from a match’ was guaranteed to bring a huge smile to the majority of members**.
Dating anthems were all kinds of feels.
With music being the top interest shared amongst Tinder members globally, what songs members choose to display on their profile told us a lot about their mood. The raw emotions of Olivia Rodgrio’s good4u and Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber’s STAY ranked as chart-toppers in Tinder bios in 2021. Following them closely were Indian Punjabi favourites like AP Dhillon’s ‘Brown Munde’ and ‘Lover’ by Diljit Dosanjh.
All Mentions in Tinder bios compared between the period from 1 Jan 2021 to 30 Nov 2021 and 1 Jan 2020 to 30 Nov 2020
*most popular emojis from Year in Swipe 2019 and 2020
** from Tinder’s VIBE feature
***Badges as available in Tinder’s Vaccine Centre
Tinder and Year in Swipe are trademarks of Match Group, LLC