Over the years, online dating has become almost completely normalized. Although it used to carry certain stigmas, it is now one of the most popular ways for couples to meet.

A recent study found that 39% of heterosexual couples in the US met online and more than half of LGBTQ couples used dating apps, according to the Pew Research Center.

Now people turn to the internet just to make friends.

“You know, I did this when I was still embarrassed to admit that you were using these dating apps. It’s the same with friendship,” said Niobe Way, a professor of developmental psychology at New York University.

Such programs Bumble BFFs and Meetups have become popular ways to build platonic relationships.

“When you think about the changes that the pandemic has brought, the shift to remote work, I think people of all ages and at all stages of life often say that I’ve grown, I’ve changed in the last few years, and now I’m going to reconnect and reconnect ” said Beth Berger, general manager and vice president of Bumble BFF.

Berger said that by the end of 2021, 15% of Bumble users also used BFF, which stands for “best friends forever.”

“The idea of ​​social discovery and kind of expanding the barriers of online dating beyond just being romantic to meeting people, finding friends online, that’s what both Match and Bumble are focused on,” said Lauren Schenk, an analyst at Morgan Stanley .

However, BFF has yet to prove profitable for Bumble. Schenk said Morgan Stanley’s 2023 revenue estimate for Bumble is just over $1 billion — with only about $1 million coming from Bumble’s BFF and friend-finding service Bizz.

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