New Delhi - Searching for love online during the festive season seems to be a new fad in the town. Yes, you read it right. If you are wondering what festivals have to do with people searching their matches, read on.
According to dating app Woo, youth increasingly searched for love online this festival season, with a massive surge in the number of downloads and sign-ups.
"Woo experienced three times the number of regular sign-ups and two times the number of regular match-making on its app during the holiday period last festive season," its chief executive, Sumesh Menon, told IANS.
During the season, the app registered around 1.7 million downloads and helped make around 17,000 matches every day through it, he said.
The numbers are staggering for the fact that it usually takes months to match the number of downloads that happened during the festive holiday season, says a tech expert.
Asked about any specific reason behind the surge, Menon, also the co-founder of the app, said: "We collected some users' feedback when we noticed the numbers climbing and it seems that the festive mood plays a big role helping people think of finding their love. That, along with getting time off work during the holiday, has driven the surge in usage numbers."
"Though people connect and fall in love all year round, we have noticed a slight 'seasonality' in the 'search for love'. For two years now, we have noticed that app's activity in terms of downloads increases just around the festive season and continues all the way till February, when Valentine's Day brings the topic of love to top of mind," he added.
Experts termed the new trend "interesting" in the country that is witnessing a tech revolution and is expanding its reach online with every passing day.
Among the other popular dating apps in India are Tinder, Thrill and OkCupid. The online dating platform in India, experts say, has around 15-20 million users and is growing really fast with the advancement in technology and penetration of internet connectivity.
Most of the users IANS spoke to said they loved searching for their matches online, with one saying, "what can be better if technology reduces your effort to find a suitable match, and that too during the auspicious festive time.”
"Diwali is a family time for me. And when everyone got together, the subject of my marriage came up and my brother-in-law downloaded Woo on my phone and asked me to try it. I've had some interesting chats, now hoping to find the right guy soon," Nandini, 27, a Mumbai-based sales professional, told IANS.
She said while she was ok with searching for her partner through an app, she gave utmost priority to security measures.
Vaibhava Mishra, 23, a Delhi-based public relations professional, said it was 'fun' to look for a partner online, adding he actually found one.
"Initially, I thought it would be funny looking for a girlfriend online, but it later turned out to be a serious affair and I am happy to tell you that I made friends with a girl through this app," Mishra told IANS.
A word of caution, though: If you're searching for love in the virtual world, it could just turn out to be virtual.