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The Short Version: The capabilities of the internet are rapidly changing. With the advent of virtual reality, the rise of the metaverse seems imminent to corporations and consumers alike. Dating Group seeks to amplify the abilities of the dating industry within the metaverse through Social Life 3.0, which is the team’s take on social connection in an entirely digital world.
Many companies and technology users believe that the metaverse is the future of the internet and, possibly, modern life. Since Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta, the concept has entered the mainstream. “Imagine a virtual world in which people live, work, shop, and interact with others — all from the comfort of their couch in the physical world,” David Needle wrote for TechTarget.com. “This is known as the metaverse.”
In the metaverse, people can use technology — including virtual and augmented reality — to build a community online. Technology is no longer a way to enhance your reality in the physical world, but a means to create a new and more profound reality online. Users can game with each other, make friends, travel, and even find love.
The team at Dating Group is convinced that connecting on the metaverse will soon become a popular way to meet romantic interests. “Whether it’s for platonic friendships, romance or business, we’re all about people connecting around mutual interests and creating deeply personal, long-term relationships,” KJ Dhaliwal, Chief Strategy Officer at Dating Group, told us.
Dating Group takes pride in being at the forefront of social discovery and digital intimacy. Its portfolio includes Dating.com, Dil Mil, and the newly acquired Cupid Media. Thanks to its dedicated work in the industry, Dating Group is now the world’s largest global dating company, with more than $300 million in annual revenue. And its portfolio of 45 dating apps serves over 250 million users in 100 countries.
Dating Group is now intent on creating Social Life 3.0, a fully digital metaverse in which all the significant parts of social interaction can take place across the globe. So far, the organization has committed $20 million to develop Social Life 3.0 to help create the best possible dating and romantic experience for future metaverse users.
“We are working hard to shape the future of Social Life 3.0,” KJ said. “And for us, that means creating products and platforms that enhance digital intimacy, enabling people from across the globe to connect without limits, judgment, or borders.”
Most people use technology to connect with friends and family. They may even have relationships that exist entirely online. They may never meet family members in other countries, remote business connections, or social media friends in person. But their most meaningful and close relationships are likely physical.
A mix of physical and digital connections is the standard model of Social Life 2.0, which is where society currently is. Social Life 2.0 is a hybrid between the physical and the digital, though physical connections remain dominant. Social Life 3.0, however, will be 100% digital.
“Fifteen years ago, people would have found it completely abnormal for someone to have an online-only relationship with someone they’ve never met in person,” KJ said. “Today, it happens all the time. Many of us have online friendships, which is the trend Dating Group is following.”
When people have primarily online connections — whether through a mutual connection, a gaming platform, or social media — they often try to find ways to transition that connection from the internet to the physical world. Friends will fly across the country to meet each other; those starting a relationship online may eventually find a way for one partner to move to the other’s city. Significant online relationships often become a hurdle on the path to in-person connection.
But with Social Life 3.0, many users will find themselves content with relationships that exist only in the metaverse. They’ll see that digital life is vivid enough for social connections — even romantic ones — to occur entirely online.
“In the metaverse, people will be doing much more than just accessing information or communicating via reimagined chatrooms and instant messengers,” KJ said. “The metaverse will be a virtual world that is interactive, persistent, and completely immersive. And people will utilize their digital identities, which will not be limited by physical constraints or social taboos, to live lives they otherwise couldn’t.”
Dating in person can be a thrilling experience when it’s going well. But there are some significant drawbacks. Meeting someone new in a space you’re uncomfortable with can add some anxiety to the experience. Going out a lot can get expensive. You may struggle to find eligible dates if you live in a remote area. You may find it challenging to be yourself.
But the Dating Group team believes that Social Life 3.0 will solve many of the problems that inevitably come with modern dating. “What better way to get to know someone than in a virtual world where you can be exactly who you want to be?” KJ asked. “And with the advent of new VR technology, like haptics, brain-computer interfaces, eye-tracking, and more, dating in the metaverse is about to get even more enjoyable. There will one day be a physical element to our digital selves.”
In the metaverse, you’ll be able to date people from around the world as any avatar you want. You can go anywhere on a date from the comfort of your home. Metaverse dating offers many of the benefits of dating in person, with more convenience and safety for the user.
“Although the metaverse is still in its infancy, we are already seeing a trend of people meeting and interacting in online games and virtual worlds,” KJ said. “Second Life has been around for nearly two decades and is still going strong, with over 1 million active users. And with more communities like Dating.com’s space in Decentraland, which is dedicated to NFT matrimony, we will begin to see more and more people find love and friendship in the metaverse.”
The metaverse is a whole new world for socializing and dating. With organizations like Dating Group getting on the ground floor of the innovation, the metaverse is just starting.
“The metaverse is the culmination of dozens of advanced technologies, including Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Supercomputing, Blockchain, and more,” KJ said. “And because of that, it offers immense potential to revolutionize our lives and how we communicate, transact business, and play. At its core, the metaverse is set to be the next iteration of the internet.” The metaverse will reinvent the internet in ways that are now nearly unimaginable.
Dating Group has already begun its move into Social Life 3.0 and the metaverse with its creation of virtual weddings (different from weddings live-streamed in the worst months of COVID-19). In September 2022, Dating.com — an affiliate of Dating Group — hosted three couples as they were wed in blockchain matrimony at Dating.com’s location in Decentraland. The couples lived all around the world, yet they were united alongside their friends and family in the metaverse.
“For the occasion, Dating.com developed a unique architecture in Decentraland that is saturated with love,” KJ said. “We are also building a unique gift-giving feature, where singles can now gift each other NFTs – the ultimate sign of digital love. And we will continue to offer weddings to couples that want to wed in the metaverse.”
As the metaverse grows in popularity, digital weddings may become the norm. Dating Group estimates that by 2026, as many as 25% of romantic connections will be made in the metaverse. According to Dating Group, Social Life 3.0 may reimagine modern dating as we know it.
“Modern singles should stay current on new technologies,” KJ said. “If singles aren’t prepared for what tomorrow will bring, they will miss out on a big opportunity to make a connection in new and exciting ways.”