LibraryblogThe history of online dating — and where it’s headed

The history of online dating — and where it’s headed

A look at the rise and rise of online dating, unpacking the dangers and looking at some potential solutions.

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Ashley Nelson
Content Strategist
July 20, 2023
Blog Post
Identity Verification
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Why Veriff

The online dating sector is booming. Valued at $9.65 billion in 2022, growth is set to hit 7.4% annually between 2023 and 2030.


The online dating business has become increasingly sophisticated, appealing to customers worldwide in a range of niches and markets, each with its own characteristics and audience. 

It appeals to a range of customers, from those interested in general dating sites to niche offerings focused on specific demands in such areas as religious or cultural preferences.


The industry is growing across the world. North America makes up 36.6% of global revenue share, but Asia-Pacific has the highest growth rate (8.5%).


The market’s appeal is not just a matter of money – it’s also the sheer diversity. Online dating covers anything from general dating sites and apps that serve a broad audience, to specialized providers focused on specific age groups, religions and interests. Others cater to individual countries or wider regions. 

Each niche brings unique demands and challenges. Overall, the business is focused on attracting and retaining users, building revenue through subscriptions, advertising, and premium services and features. 

The dangers

The sector faces all the dangers associated with any online industry, plus a range of unique challenges. It must protect its users’ data from scammers and other criminals. TV programs like The Tinder Swindler expose the danger of romance scams, usually where a criminal fakes a romantic relationship to exploit the victim for cash – or worse. 

Sadly, this is big business for fraudsters; according to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly 70,000 people reported a romance scam in 2022, with reported losses hitting $1.3 billion. The median loss reported was $4,400. 

And it’s not just a financial issue. Companies must ensure their services are not exploited by sexual predators, for instance. They must guard against underage users accessing services that are intended for adults. 

What's next?

So how can online dating services meet customer demands, while protecting them from online dangers? Technological solutions are key. By embracing cutting-edge, automated technology, companies can enhance the customer experience – while keeping them secure.

For example, age validation techniques could prove if a person is above a defined age, while liveness assurance could establish that they are a real person and not a bot. Biometric authentication can help prove that a person is who they say they are. 

This will require a careful approach. Identity verification (IDV) is not legally required in online dating, and in some cases could be highly sensitive due to privacy concerns or religious reasons, among other potential issues. This means that traditional approaches to IDV – those seen in gambling, for instance – might not be suited to online dating apps and websites. However, it could be used as a supporting product for some sites, perhaps to add value or as an extra security measure when a user is flagged as too young or suspected of being a bot. 

Ultimately, successful online dating providers must meet two primary, connected goals — ensuring that customers are both satisfied and secure. How can they strike the right balance?

Reach out

We can support your brand in identity verification, regulatory compliance and more, using cutting-edge biometrics and automated technology to ensure only the right people have access to your platform. Our approach can be tailored to your needs, ensuring you meet security demands while respecting customer needs on data extraction and use. 

If you would like to learn more, reach out to book a personalized demo. 

Develop and maintain trust

Veriff’s suite of IDV products create a trustworthy online experience that provides checks against bots, catfishers, and scammers.

Prevent underage users

Veriff’s Age Validation & Age Estimation solution mitigates the risks of underage users from being able to create a profile, ensuring age-appropriate users can interact on the service freely.

Retain users, attract advertisers

Proving that your platform is keeping bots at bay and cultivating a community where real users will attract advertisers.

Safeguard your users

Ensure that banned users and accounts cannot bypass your platform’s security by using blocklists and data crosslinking, and promote safety to your true users across the app.

Better fraud detection

Veriff’s data-driven fraud detection is consistent, auditable, and reliably detects fraudulent forms of identification.

Get more details

Discover more about how IDV is keeping your business and customers safe.

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