April 20, 2024

How Instagram Became the Most Popular New Dating App

tThanks to the depletion of dating apps, another digital platform has usurped the stronghold that Hinge, Bumble and their children have long held in the way we find love. Maybe you’ve heard of him. It may be what you spend the most time looking at. Maybe you are using it right now while reading this article. Introducing the dark horse of the dating world: Instagram.

Whether it’s jumping into someone’s direct messages, commenting on their posts with some fire emojis, or simply replying to their stories and starting a conversation, the opportunities to form meaningful connections on Instagram are as endless as they are on a traditional dating app, if not more.

This has been a common practice among celebrities for some time now, particularly among young stars. Take Millie Bobby Brown, 19, who met her now-fiancé, Jake Bongiovi, 21, on the ‘gram. As part of a question and answer video filmed for cablinghe Strange things The star was asked how their relationship blossomed. “We met on Instagram,” she responded. “We were friends for a while and then what can I say?”

It is a meeting that follows a long line of other famous couples. Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner’s relationship may not have lasted, but during the four years they were married, they remained one of the most attractive (and adorable) couples in Hollywood. “We had a lot of mutual friends and they had been trying to introduce us for a long time,” Turner once said. People magazine. “We were following each other on Instagram and one day, out of the blue, he sent me a direct message.” The couple, who separated last year, share two children.

The DM slide also proved successful for Dua Lipa, who messaged her ex Anwar Hadid on Instagram after meeting him at a barbecue. When Andy Cohen asked him in his See what happens live On a chat show, if she had ever sent a private message to a celebrity on social media, the singer responded: “I have a confession to make…mine was my boyfriend, so my current boyfriend. “I definitely did that.” The couple dated for two years.

On the other hand, there are Dylan Sprouse and Barbara Palvin, who initially met at a party but did not exchange numbers. “She followed me, so I thought, I guess I’ll give her something,” she said in 2019. “I slid into her DMs. She didn’t message me for six months.” Finally, Palvin responded; The couple got engaged in September 2022.

I often recommend to my single friends that they start following hashtags for things they are interested in to find a partner who has similar interests.

Barry, 34, who found love on Instagram

Finally, there’s Mandy Moore, whose relationship with Taylor Goldsmith, the frontman of the folk rock band Dawes, began after she posted a photo of one of their albums on Instagram. “Somehow, Taylor saw it and sent me a note,” the actress said. People. “We started emailing back and forth, then we went on a date and the rest is history. Thank you Instagram for helping me meet my fiancé!

But back to us, mere mortals. The general consensus among singles today is that dating apps have gamified romance. A survey by dating app Badoo found that more than three-quarters of singles felt burned out by unrewarding interactions and inappropriate matches from platforms and apps. Meanwhile, a 2022 US study showed that four in five adults experienced “some degree of emotional fatigue or exhaustion from online dating.” Maybe Instagram offers us something different.

“One day, Instagram randomly popped up an image from a hashtag I was following and in the photo was a cute girl in a cool cosplay of Mass effect, my favorite video game series of all time,” Barry, 34, recalls. “Naturally, I then did what any other guy would do in that situation and looked at his profile. The photographs of her showed her as a real nerd who loved making her own art and she had a good sense of humor.”

Barry commented on the first photo he saw to congratulate her on her costume; They started sending direct messages shortly after. The couple has already been married for six months. Instagram has been touted as the preferred dating platform for Gen Z, which could be why it continues to give us new opportunities to flirt. Take for example the relatively recent feature that allows you to “like” other people’s stories – a subtle way to show your interest in someone, perhaps, before committing to the DM slide?

“I often recommend to my single friends that they start following hashtags for things they’re interested in to find a partner who has similar interests,” advises Barry. “For me, what really interested me was my wife’s genuine, non-commercialized passion.”

Barry’s story highlights one of the key appeals of using Instagram to find love: it offers a more well-rounded sense of person than a dating app profile ever could. On any app, the information you’re asked to provide is usually minimal and superficial, covering basics like whether or not you want to have children, whether you drink or smoke, as well as your age, height, and maybe even your star rating. sign.

Sure, these things can be important, but they are often incidental information that means very little when it comes to reflecting our identity. Through posts, stories, and captions, Instagram offers deeper insight into the things we enjoy, the way we communicate them, and how we choose to live our lives.

More couples turn to Instagram instead of dating apps to find love online

(iStock)

“I think with Instagram you have the opportunity to see who a person is better than with a dating app with just a bio and a couple of photos,” says Deunta, 35, who met his girlfriend on Instagram. “We have been following each other for a while but neither of us remembers how or why, because we both live in two different states with no friends in common. We never talked and just liked each other’s posts from time to time. One day I cut my hair and posted a video of my new look and she commented with the heart eye emoji.” She entered his direct messages the next day. “We exchanged numbers and soon we were talking every day. Three years later, she moved to Texas with me.”

Sometimes, just like in real life, meeting someone online can be as simple as being in the right place at the right time. Take Sharath, 34, who found himself in a house in Rhode Island one summer while his neighbors were in Machu Picchu. Out of boredom, he started looking at his photos on Instagram and soon found himself looking at other people’s snapshots of the famous Peruvian destination. That’s when she noticed 39-year-old Sundeep.

“He found my profile and hit ‘follow,’” Sundeep recalls. “Fast forward a few weeks and Sharath finally appeared in my DMs in response to one of my stories. “We started getting to know each other and within a week we had already exchanged numbers.” Despite living on opposite sides of the US (Sundeep in Sacramento, California, and Sharath in New York), the couple made it work and eventually tied the knot in September 2020.

“Using dating apps is like the Wild West,” says Sundeep. “You don’t know what kind of people you’ll encounter or how quickly the conversation will turn into something purely sexual.” The difference with Instagram is that dating is not the intention. At least not at first. “Its main objective is to share moments of your life with your followers. So our first messages were mostly about the experiences I shared on Instagram rather than the flirty things you might send on a dating app.”

What unites all these stories? None of them were initially romantic. Taken out of the context of a dating app, those initial conversations were just everyday exchanges that allowed people to feel comfortable with each other. Perhaps that was what allowed the romance to blossom. Without pressure, he left room for something else. What we all crave when it comes to love and often lack on a dating app: authenticity. And that can be found more easily when the initial bond you have with someone is based on common interests than, say, a few photos and someone’s height.

For Sundeep, the moment that bond changed came during his third FaceTime conversation with Sharath. “I told him, ‘I don’t know what’s going on here, but I can’t leave Northern California because of all my commitments.’ He replied, ‘There’s nothing stopping me.'”

The rest was history.

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