While online dating itself is a modern development, the concept behind it is not.

Dating apps, websites and social media profiles are simply the latest manifestation of humans doing something they have always done – creating new tools to communicate and using them to find love.

For everyone who has been ghosted, unmatched or sent themselves into a spin worrying about the length of time it is taking a love interest to message back, there have been equivalent traumatic episodes for generations.

The first recorded lonely-hearts adverts appeared in 1695 – just five years after the modern newspaper was invented.

One of the earliest personal adverts ever placed was in the UK by a ’30-year-old man with a very good estate seeking some good young gentlewoman that has a fortune of £3,000 or thereabouts’. Good luck with that, mate.

Jumping forward to 1965 when Harvard students used an IBM 1401 computer to create Operation Match – the first matchmaking service in the USA – just six years after the technology had been invented.

The same can be said about dating apps following on from the advancement of social media.

MySpace was first on the block in terms of mainstream social media in 2003, with Facebook emerging a year later having originally begun life as a 'Hot or Not' rating community for Harvard's campus. 

Within three years of MySpace’s launch, dating websites PlentyOfFish, OKCupid and Badoo had all opened their doors.

Come 2012 and it was the turn of both Tinder and Hinge to join the love-in, and their popularity has boomed alongside the acceleration of smartphones and similar technology.

In 2018, it was estimated that Tinder alone had 50m users in 190 different countries, who have got through 20bn matches since its launch.

Romantic social media platform Badoo, meanwhile, clocked in 500m users in February – for context, that’s 1.5 times the entire population of the USA.

But with so much choice in terms of dating apps and so many active users, there is bound to be variation across the globe.

Which countries can tell their Bumble from their Badoo or prefer Hinge to happn?

With research from Betway online casino, we find the most popular dating apps across the world and reveal the countries in which you are most likely to find love at first swipe.

What are the world’s most popular dating apps?


If you’re looking to cast your net the furthest, there is only one app to turn to. In terms of global popularity, Tinder is the place to be by some distance.

Tinder was the highest-rated dating app in the iOS app store in 86 per cent of the 165 countries researched.

The app was launched in 2012 and accrued an estimated 50m users in its first six years, recording 26m matches per day.

It’s available in 190 different countries and more than 40 different languages – although the language of love seems to be a universal one.

Badoo was the second-most popular, with seven per cent.

In terms of actual users, Badoo is the most popular dating app in the world with 500m according to its own website. But there is clearly a shortage of people downloading it at the moment.

American-based app Bumble, meanwhile, was third-most popular on the dating scene in terms of app store ranking.

Just two per cent of countries had it as their highest ranked dating app despite a user base of approximately 42m.

And which countries are using them most?


In terms of where to find the most willing daters, it’s clear that any keen singletons looking for love are best advised to steer clear of Asia.

Just nine of the 41 researched countries in Asia had a dating app ranking in the top 100 of their respective iOS app stores.

Of those nine, only Armenia, Myanmar and Brunei, which has a population of fewer than 450,000, had one ranking above the 90th-most popular spot.

But the results suggest that people in South America, in contrast, are among the most amorous in the world.

Whether it’s to do with the passionate rhythms of Latin dancing or otherwise, it is the best place to be if you want to swipe your way to a date.

The average ranking of the top dating app among the 12 South American countries researched was 68.5 – higher than any other continent.

Of those 12 countries, 10 had a dating app in the top 100 of their app stores, with Tinder topping the charts for each of them.

If you want to go even more specific on your hunt for a date, Bolivia is where to book your flight, with Tinder ranking 49th in the app store – higher than anywhere else in the continent.

The dating app also ranks inside the top 65 in Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The two outliers, meanwhile, are Guyana and Suriname, both of which have populations of under 800,000.

It was in Europe where the biggest split was, likely to do with cultural differences between the west and east of the continent.

In all of Europe, the average ranking for the most popular dating app was 88.9 in the iOS App Store – the lowest in the world, but that does not tell the whole story.

There is a clear divide, with almost every country in western Europe other than Italy having at least one dating app in the top 100.  

The most prolific daters among those come from Germany, with Tinder hitting number 55 in their app store.

Northern and eastern Europe, meanwhile, are to be avoided by those looking for love. None of Russia, Norway, Sweden or Turkey are fond enough of dating apps for any to appear among the top 100.

It’s clear from the results that there are plenty of differing attitudes to online dating across the globe.

But despite that, Cupid’s arrow now has 5G connectivity and can be aimed anywhere in the world at the flick of a finger, so don’t lose hope.