October 30, 2014 Online dating around the world


It has been more than a year since Wamba entered the international dating market, and today there are around 32 million people from all corners of the globe registered on the system. It is no secret that the rules governing interaction between the sexes differ hugely from country to country. In just one year, Wamba has captured a significant portion of the market in different parts of the world. This has allowed us to bring together the statistics in order to draw various conclusions about the way in which people of different nationalities behave online.

Four countries were selected as targets for this research: Russia, Bulgaria, Brazil, and India. These regions show particularly clearly the nuances of human interaction in different cultures. For example, it is common knowledge that in Latin America social mores are somewhat more relaxed than in Asia. It has to be said that even online the rules governing social interaction barely change – if at all. We have looked at several factors, and these have helped to give us a general picture of the way things are. 

As a rule, the first point of interest with regard to dating websites is the relative proportion of male and female users, as well as the age of the average user. The statistics show that in Bulgaria and Brazil, men are three times more likely to register on the system. In Russia, the proportion of male to female users is 55% to 45%. The greatest difference, as one might expect, is seen in India, where there are ten men who join for every one woman. This is influenced by the fact that the question of marriage here is usually pre-decided by parents and by social status. As far as age is concerned, the youngest users on the system are registered in Brazil (more than half are between the ages of 18 and 25). In India and Bulgaria, most users are aged 22–28 years old, and Russian users are the oldest (25–32). 

What are people from different countries looking for on a dating website? In all these countries, both men and women are most likely to choose “friendship” first. After that, almost across the board comes “love” – except among Russian men, who after “friendship” are most likely to be looking for “sex”. Needless to say, this does not sound particularly romantic, but at least it’s honest. After “love” we see “dating” from users of all nationalities except Indian. The latter are not so keen to meet face to face just yet, and are more interested in communicating online with their potential partner in life.

Arguably, as most would agree, it is a person’s profile picture that first grabs the attention of other users. And you know what? In all these countries apart from Russia, men upload photos much more frequently than women. By contrast, women tend to be more reticent and prefer to show pictures of themselves only to a select few via private messaging. 

And, finally, the statistics on virtual giving confirm that men in all these countries are equally generous and proactive in giving gifts to the ladies they’ve taken a fancy to. The ladies, it has to be said, also give a certain number of gifts, but this cannot be compared to the amount they receive.

Mamba’s Executive Director commented: “When we first began our move onto the international market, we hadn’t allowed for the many nuances of human interaction in different countries. After more than a year we have finally realised that even Europeans differ from people in the post-Soviet region in the way they communicate with one another. And in Asia it’s another story again. We are trying to make the most of the experience we have gained by using it to make regional modifications to our product, and we are always delighted to share these with our Russian colleagues.”