Dating Goes Social – Social Discovery New York ’24 Roundup

The first Social Discovery Insights conference in London last year was an almost dating free-zone. Of course, some recognised that the friendships and communities their initiatives created might lead to romantic relationships as a by-product, but it was absolutely not the reason why most of the platforms in attendance had been created.

Spin forward six or so months to our recent New York event and while the same remains true of the pure social discovery apps; some of the specialist dating market apps have awoken to the fact that some of their communities of shared interest could also ferment social relationships, and not purely focus on romantic ones.

Take music-focused dating app Vinylly. Founder Rachel Van Norwick was clear about the future path. Helping foster social connections for concert tickets or festival excursions could be just as relevant for the app as trying to find that one special person to share your love of Simon and Garfunkel with – other legendary music acts are also available.

Click the image above to read Rachel Van Nortwick’s insights on AI, geographic expansion, and new opportunities

And platforms such as LGBQT-focussed Lex are equally at home in the dating market as they were in the community and friendship space. And that became a familiar tale throughout the day.  It seems as if in just six months the market has recognised that it is not simply that romance can suddenly spring from a friendship forum; the opposite is also true and that friendships and community support systems can suddenly spring from apps that started with a dating objective.

Jennifer Lewis, CEO & Co-Founder of Lex

But while these crossover connections exist, the two markets are still distinct in their own ways. Pure social discovery apps are here to stay and are finding a willing Gen Z audience.  However, some well-established dating-focused brands are fast beginning to recognise the opportunity for a new string to their revenue bow – and they have the technical and marketing expertise to diversify their offer accordingly. 

The event saw thought-leaders in the social app space gather to share their insights and shape the future of the industry. We look forward to fostering more of these important conversations at our upcoming Social Discovery Insights conference in London on the 26th of September 2024.

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