Gen Z Never Stopped Dating in 2020

Gen Z used Tinder to vent, protest, celebrate, commiserate, laugh, but above all else, to date in the U.S.

LOS ANGELES, Dec 7, 2020 — 2020 might have felt like a dumpster fire, but Tinder members didn’t write it off.   In an unprecedented year, when faced with new obstacles, Tinder members adapted and got creative about how they connected. This Fall, messages and use of the Swipe feature at Tinder are up double-digits from the end of February.

While IRL was on pause, members took to Tinder to share 2020’s biggest cultural moments. Folx used Tinder to chat, meet, hang out and swap TikToks and shrugs (🤷), all while staying socially and mostly physically distant. Tinder bios were a way for members to show who they are and what they care about, and profiles have never been more creative, dynamic or revealing than they were in 2020.   And though they were thrown more curveballs than ever, they still managed to unapologetically be themselves.

Looking at a year’s worth of Tinder bios, the themes of creativity and resilience stand out.   Here are the 10 most essential trends that happened on Tinder in 2020:

10 Essential Trends on Tinder in 2020

  1. Support for Black Lives Matter ✊🏿 became a must for many matches. Mentions of BLM grew 55x in 2020, exceeding use of the term ‘hook-up’ by years’ end. Starting in June, Tinder quickly filled with bios that said things like: If you don’t support BLM, we aren’t gonna work 🥰
  2. Pandemic pick up lines took over Tinder. Mentions of ‘quarantine & chill’ took off in March, as lockdown woes inspired creative one-liners in the spirit of Let’s be like covid and catch each other or Wash your hands so you can hold mine.
  3. TikTok x Tinder were a perfect match. TikToks on Tinder became a way to 1) share taste, by asking matches to send some all-time favorite TikToks, 2) to show off their moves, by sharing TikToks they’d made themselves, and 3) show a little flex by bragging that they’re ‘TikTok famous’. TikTok mentions grew 8x in 2020 and peaked in May.
  4. Masks became a dating essential. Members were ready to mask up and meet up, with mask mentions up nearly 10x in 2020, inspiring bios such as: Who’s down to meet in the park w masks on? and Masks on during sex. Just make sure you know how to put it on bc some members sent warnings such as If your mask is around your chin IDFWU 😷.
  5. Carole Baskin was 2020’s other temperature check 🐯. Dropping ‘Carole Baskin killed her husband’ was a common deal-breaker in bios and an icebreaker in awkward Zoom dates as members put out the call for someone to talk about popular Tiger King theories.
  6. Tinder profiles were a creative way to get out the vote 🗳. Some used Tinder to get the word out to go vote while others saw voting as a vibe check along the line of If you’re not voting, don’t even try ;).  Mentions of ‘vote’ doubled in 2020 because you know what’s sexier than voting? Nothing. 🔥🔥🔥
  7. Animal Crossing islands helped keep it flirty from 6 ft apart. Dating creativity peaked as folx skipped bars in favor of Animal Crossing islands. Mentions of AC peak in May, during which members may have come across profiles such as: What if we met up to watch the sunset….on my animal crossing island. Not kidding. 🤪
  8. Tinder was the place to share a collective 🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏿‍♂🤷 at 2020. The most-used emoji on Tinder in 2020 was 🤷🏽‍♀️, as members showed uncertainty and ambivalence about the future. And it often looked a little like this: Maybe we’ll have a chance to meet up in 2020, but honestly who knows 🤷🏻‍♀️
  9. WAP brought unapologetic sex positivity to Tinder bios. In August, WAP quickly became the #1 anthem on Tinder and held through 2020, inspiring many to put themselves out there and share their own twerk, with profiles that looked something like: Looking for someone willing to watch my pretty poor attempt at the WAP tiktok challenge.
  10. Passport expanded dating horizons, travel bans notwithstanding. With borders closed, 16% of members used Tinder’s Passport feature in April to travel the world and meet their quarantine match, a 7x increase from 2019 averages. Passport shout outs looked a bit like this: Exploring my way across the world, with the help of this passport feature.

10 Emojis of 2020

10 of the fast-growing emojis on Tinder that capture how we flirted and dated in 2020:

🤷

🖤

🌱

🐯

😷

✊🏿

🤯

🧻

🛒

🗳

10 Essential Dating Anthems of 2020 

These 10 trending songs on Tinder show how we expressed our 2020 emotions with a match:

  1. WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) / Cardi B
  2. Laugh Now Cry Later (feat. Lil Durk) / Drake
  3. ROCKSTAR (feat. Roddy Ricch) / DaBaby
  4. Wishing Well / Juice Wrld
  5. WHATS POPPIN / Jack Harlow
  6. Toosie Slide / Drake
  7. Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé) / Megan Thee Stallion
  8. For The Night (feat. Lil Baby & DaBaby) / Pop Smoke
  9. Mood Swings (feat. Lil Tjay) / Pop Smoke
  10. Life's A Mess (feat. Halsey) / Juice Wrld


Methodology: All data above comes from Tinder profiles in the U.S. Data was pulled from Jan - Nov 15 for both 2019 and 2020, to make year over year comparisons possible. Items cited in each list are in no particular order.

To learn more about how Tinder members in select countries used the app, please reach out to press@gotinder.com.