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Dating apps recalibrate as pandemic-weary users seek friendship rather than sex

Months of isolation during the pandemic are steering a new direction for dating apps with many users now on the lookout for friendship rather than sex.

Apps including Tinder and Bumble report that people are craving the social groups they have been starved of and are launching new services focused entirely on making friends.

Bumble told Reuters that ‘people are seeking friendship in ways they would have only done offline before the pandemic’. It plans to invest in a feature called Bumble BFF, or best friends forever.

Meanwhile rival Match Group - owner of apps including Tinder and Hinge - is also following the friendship trend after buying South Korean social media firm Hyperconnect, which lets people from all over the world chat using real-time translation.

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