Millennials expect everything at their fingertips— including love. Their expectations regarding an ideal partner are evolving fast and so are social and cultural expectations. Keen to make their own choices based on the connection they share with a person, they are in no hurry to settle down or compromise until they feel comfortable with their choice of partner. “Around 67 per cent (of individuals) would rather find a meaningful relationship in the serendipity of a dating app than have friends and family arrange a set-up,” says Sitara Menon, senior marketing manager of dating app OkCupid.
With the proliferation of Internet, new ways and means are in place to find love. Traditional dating culture among teens and those in their early twenties have been replaced with varied and flexible methods of getting together in which technology and social media play a crucial role. Pawan Gupta, CEO, Betterhalf.ai, says: “I used many matchmaking products and had a frustrating experience going through the whole process. It made me realise that traditional matrimonial sites in India suck because they were designed for parents, instead of urban Indians, and match people based on outdated, old parameters such as religion and caste/ community.”
What’s clear is that daters are looking for love on their own terms. They have explicitly rejected the idea of shrinking themselves into a few pictures and 120 characters or the placement of your stars at birth and the zeros in your CTC. “Today, dating apps are responsible for 1 in 3 relationships in the US, and this truth is expanding to India. Online dating puts the power of choice with individuals, allowing them to match with someone based on clearly expressed intentions,” says Menon. On OkCupid, daters answer a minimum of 15 questions to feed an algorithm that forms the heart of the product. These are related to individuals’ beliefs, values and quirks so that they can find somebody compatible.
Role of Artificial Intelligence
In the current paradigm, anybody can be slotted on the basis of parameters, and AI-driven algorithms then find the most optimal matches. The AI engine of Betterhalf.ai, for example, uses technology at five different stages: registration, pre-chat stage, product gamification, post-chat stage, and removal of any biased data using machine learning. “It uses the user’s basic preferences regarding their partner’s age range, height, caste, religion, location, education, and salary to filter and rank those matches. This is how users receive matches,” adds Gupta. As users spend more time and interact with more …….