SYDNEY, 6 DECEMBER 2021: If 2019 had us face-palming at the state of the world and 2020 had us shrugging with uncertainty about the future*, 2021 is the year we all exchanged the side eye and watched the drama continue to unfold. From sharing a collective look of to a common appreciation for simple meet-cutes to keeping it real with vax mentions, Tinder Gen Z members showed how they were authentically themselves as they looked to connect with new people in 2021.
2021 was a side-eye kind of year
While millions of emojis were used in Tinder bios, one rising star really caught our attention: the side eye saw a whopping 40% increase in usage in Tinder bios globally this year, as members showed a mixed bag of optimism and scepticism throughout the year.
Showing further optimism for the future and general good vibes, two other emojis that ‘understood the assignment’ for Aussies this year were the shooting star, and sparkles, emojis.
URL or and IRL.
In 2021, Gen Z enjoyed both virtual meet-cutes and post-vax IRL dates. Video dates have turned into a first date staple for singletons with mentions of “video call” in Tinder bios growing by 52% globally. Plenty of Aussies took to video dating on Tinder, especially during the seemingly never-ending lockdown, with Wollongong crowned the chattiest video city in the land.
Yet, Gen Z were also looking to make a connection with new people close to them for real life hangouts, with “nearby” and “close by” both increasing by 20% in Tinder bio mentions globally – showing that the IRL world wasn't going out of fashion anytime soon when it came to dating.
First date ideas ranged from cozy to outdoorsy
First date drinks are officially outdated! In 2021, we also learned that first dates have become more about activities than icebreakers. Daters are picking more interesting, unique first date activities that help them really get to know each other. Tinder saw a 2X increase in mentions of ‘rollerskating’ in bios and requests for date activities from taking a pottery class to kayaking pop up in bios. When asked about first date go-to plans on Tinder**, ‘spontaneous adventure’ and ‘coffee’ were both popular choices made by members in Australia. Aussie Gen Z’s coffee obsession is clearly stronger than ever, with mentions of ‘coffee date’ in Tinder bios growing by nearly 25% compared to the past year, as daters look for easy ways to see if there’s a connection with a potential match.
Being vaxxed became a (dating) flex.
In a year when getting vaxxed was the first thing on the date prep checklist, sharing the post-vaccine lifestyle on their Tinder bios made Gen Z feel safer to meet someone. As vaccination drives accelerated locally, mentions of "Vax" in bios in Australia grew by 95% between July and August as members advocated for vaccine status as a dating essential. In fact the term ‘vax’ appeared 3X as much as mentions of ‘vaccine’ through the entire year,
Vaccine badges*** from Tinder became the new flaunt feature with the 'Vaccinated' badge being the most popular by far amongst Aussie Gen Z members.
Small gestures made it big.
It's the smallest of favours that make a date a favourite. Mentions of "small things" increased by 30% year on year in Tinder bios as members shared their appreciation for the little joys in life. Our Aussie Tinder members settled on small gestures like ‘surprises me with coffee’ or ‘compliments my outfit’ as ones that would make their day**.
Dating anthems were all kinds of feels.
With music being the top interest shared amongst Tinder members globally, what songs members choose to display on their profile told us a lot about their mood. The raw emotions of Olivia Rodgrio’s good4u and Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber’s STAY ranked as chart-toppers in Tinder bios in 2021.
All Mentions in Tinder bios compared between the period from 1 Jan 2021 to 30 Nov 2021 and 1 Jan 2020 to 30 Nov 2020.
*most popular emojis from Year in Swipe 2019 and 2020
** from Tinder’s VIBE feature
***Badges as available in Tinder’s Vaccine Centre
Tinder and Year in Swipe are trademarks of Match Group, LLC.