I wanted to take this opportunity to look ahead and make some predictions about online dating trends for 2021 and beyond. I realize that predictions are only a matter of opinion, but I see some exciting changes for the major online dating sites over the upcoming year. Some of these changes are just a continuation of what we've observed over the past year or two and some, we feel, may be truly revolutionary. In either case, these changes are good for you - our visitors - because they invariably mean more choices and better service to anyone who decides to join an online dating site over the next twelve months.
Seniors Lead the Way
A growing trend in 2020 has been the increasing number of seniors (those fifty-five and older) who have taken the plunge and joined an online dating site. I think this trend will continue in 2021 for a few reasons. The first being that dating sites have become more mainstream and 'socially acceptable' over the past year or two. Somebody probably knows somebody who has had some success using internet personals and would like to meet someone for themselves doing something that has already been proven to work. The second reason for our online dating prediction regarding more seniors coming to online dating sites is that baby boomers are getting older. This means that there are more widows and widowers in one of the largest segments of our population. As the older generation's single population increases, there is a more likely chance that these men and women will turn to the online personals for companionship or to find a mate.
There are only so many single men and women and the big online dating sites will continue to seek members aggressively. As competition between the online personals sites increases, there will be more offers and better opportunities for anyone who is still undecided about joining an online dating site. These offers will be more of the 'try before you buy' type where the dating sites will let you join for free to try out their services before you join. This has already begun in 2008. I have offers right on this page, including Match.com's FREE 7-Day Trial and Match.com's Join for 6 months and get 6 months FREE offer. In addition, Chemistry.com often has their Chemistry.com Free Communication Weekend, which is going on RIGHT NOW (New Years Day Weekend - 2021)! I believe that more sites will follow the examples set by Match.com and eHarmony and offer more opportunities to join for free for a limited period of time. These limited free memberships will also offer all of the site features that are available to paying members to give users a better feel for the site. Hey, maybe there will even be a new major online dating site to further increase the competition in the online dating space and really stir things up!
I predicts that one trend for 2021 and onward is that dating sites will offer more advanced features. These features will be in two forms: video features and customer service features. The first advanced feature will be some type of video upload facility to allow members to upload their personal video. This will revolutionize the online dating member profile as I know it. Online dating video profiles will be the next big thing. The second advanced feature will be something related to customer service, such as immediate individual attention from live customer service agents who will resolve issues and problems quickly and effectively.
Can You Say Social Networking?
In 2021, I predict that there will be an even further blurring of the lines between online dating and social networking sites. Perhaps a major social networking site will merge with an online dating site or maybe a site like MySpace or Friendster will enter the online dating realm. Perhaps there will be a hybrid type of dating-social-networking site.
One growing online dating trend over the past two or three years has been the evolution of niche dating sites that are really just smaller, more specific versions of online personals sites. These niche sites attempt to focus and match single men and women who have something specific in common. For example, singles interested in an interracial relationship or seniors interested in dating other seniors. Loveawake predicts that this trend of niche dating services will continue with even more specific niche dating sites being created. I think that the niches will be so specific as to even extend to singles who want to meet singles from a certain occupational field (i.e. Date A Doctor) or maybe even singles who fancy a particular type of pet and want to meet other men and women who like the same type of pet or have a specific eye color they find attractive.
It will be fun to revisit these predictions at the end of 2021, as I look back one year from now and see how accurately I have predicted the upcoming trends and changes in online dating. As we wrap up the first decade of the New Millennium, it will be exciting to see how advances in technology, increased competition, and population changes will revolutionize online dating.