Surge in use of dating apps on special occasions

Dating applications are getting more popular with Singaporeans during special occasions like Valentine's Day.

Three Singapore-based app developers that The Straits Times spoke to said they see more user activity leading up to Valentine's Day, and a spike on the day itself.

People use dating apps to look for dates or bond with their loved one.

Korean start-up Value Creators & Company, which developed the couple app Between, said there is a spike in usage on special occasions here.

From December to the end of last month, it saw a jump of more than 57 per cent in the number of messages sent alone. This is up from last year's increase of 25 per cent from January to February.

Between also saw a threefold increase in photo uploads last Christmas. Launched more than two years ago in South Korea, it made its debut in Singapore in 2012.

Mr Joash Wee, general manager of Between Singapore, said they see greater activity during Valentine's Day and other festive periods, as people "actively look for things to enhance their relationships".

As for local start-up LoveByte, a couple app, its co-founder Amelia Chen said they saw a threefold increase in the number of photos uploaded on users' timelines in February last year.

Similar trends are observed this year, she added.

One user of LoveByte is Ms Grace Hong, a 22-year-old student, who used it with her boyfriend soon after they started dating. She enjoyed its functions and said: "I think it's good for couples who like to chart their milestones."

Home-grown app for singles, Paktor, saw a 15 per cent increase in user activity between Jan 30 and Feb 10, said co-founder Joseph Phua.

Paktor, which means "dating" in Hokkien, matches users who "like" each other's profile.

To date, it has "matched" 1.5 million people, said Mr Phua.

More than 50 per cent of these matched couples in Singapore go on at least one date, he added.

"We see an increase in match rates and messaging rates during special occasions," he said. "People are becoming less stringent in their criteria and trying to get dates."

This dating season, Paktor is working with Uber, a car-on-call start-up, for its users to hire drivers.

SEOW BEI YI