The Great Debate | Is Instagram a Dating App?

Is Instagram a dating app?

We know you haven’t been living under a rock, but if you have, Instagram is a social networking service now owned by Meta Platforms. According to recent statistics, it’s believed that more than 2 billion people use Instagram worldwide. The app has been available since 2010 and has evolved beyond its standard use — photo and video sharing.

Nowadays, people and businesses use Instagram in numerous ways to generate income and socialize. Yet, what might come as a surprise is that this social media platform is becoming popular amongst single souls looking to meet the love of their life. That’s right, Instagram is, dare we say it – being used as a dating app by the young and old. 

Yet, even though it’s becoming a popular app for those looking for love, there is much debate surrounding whether it truly is a dating app. In our article, we’ll see if we can put this debate to rest while giving you a few reasons why Instagram might improve your dating life. 

Is Instagram a Dating App? – The Truth

Let’s put this debate to rest. Instagram is not designed to be a dating app, but in recent years many people (particularly the younger generations) have been using it as one. This is because many people find Instagram significantly more user-friendly for connecting with people and going on dates than other popular dating apps. 

There are a few reasons why single people are turning toward Instagram and using it as a dating app. Some of these reasons include the following:

  • Unlike many dating apps, Instagram doesn’t only show local people’s profiles. This means that should you want to use Instagram as a dating app, you’ll have access to a broader range of people and be able to communicate with them too. 
  • Most dating apps only allow members to message people they have matched with. If you use Instagram as a dating app, you’ll be able to send a message to anyone you’re interested in without needing to match with them first. 
  • Instagram is unique in that you can learn more about an individual’s personality than you would on a dating app. For example, you’ll see more than a carefully curated average Joe dating profile and cliche bio. Instead, you’ll get to see loads more like where the individual likes to go on holiday, their favorite food joints, their family and friends, and plenty more.

Ultimately, Instagram can help paint the picture you need to determine if you should consider sending a DM and getting the dating ball rolling. 

What Are the Ways Using Instagram Will Improve Your Dating Life?

Now that you know Instagram is not a dating app but that it is used as one, you might be curious about how using Instagram will improve your dating life. We have listed some ways below to help you determine exactly how your love life will be improved. 

1. Eliminates the Need to Exchange Numbers

Exchanging phone numbers has almost become a thing of the past. It may be surprising, but it is no longer the social norm to exchange numbers with a person you’re romantically interested in. Nowadays, people are connecting by sharing their Instagram profiles – eliminating the awkwardness of asking for someone’s number.

Interestingly, a few valid reasons exist for this change in the dating world. First, many felt that giving out their personal phone numbers was intrusive and opened the door to dangerous behavior. 

For example, many people wouldn’t know when to quit and would leave hundreds (slight exaggeration) of missed calls and messages in the hopes of securing another date. 

Secondly, many women, in particular, are reluctant to hand over their numbers because of the risks involved. These risks have prompted women to be more open to giving out their Instagram account handles instead, as it’s known to be safer. 

Thirdly Instagram gives men more chances to connect with women instead of being shot down immediately. Men also feel less pressure surrounding speaking to a woman for the first time via Instagram.

Phone with Instagram on in and table with plate in the background

Lastly, Instagram offers the opportunity to change a bad first impression to a good one. Many people mess up their first impressions because they try to be someone they are not to impress. On Instagram, they see the real you, and you may find that they will change their opinion and view of you. If your Instagram profile is appealing, a date may want to give you a second chance despite their first thoughts on you.

2. It Will Get You More Matches on Dating Apps

It might not seem like it, but using Instagram as a ‘hunting ground’ will help you get more matches on dating apps. This is because you can put your dating bio links on Instagram that men and women can click to view you on dating apps. 

Curiously, having your dating profile links on your Instagram will help verify that you are who you say you are. On your Insta, you can share more about yourself than on your dating profile, so having one link to the other will almost guarantee you’ll achieve more matches. 

3. It Stops the Guessing Games

The guessing games are probably the worst part of getting into the dating world, but Insta might be the answer. Now you’re likely wondering how Instagram has removed the guessing games of the dating scene, but you don’t have to ponder too long as we’re going to tell you. 

Ultimately you won’t need to guess who likes you or who is attracted to how you look and the things you do. On Instagram, anyone interested in you will enjoy and view your posts, and Instagram provides you with data on who is watching and who is not.

Thus, you will immediately see the shift if someone is no longer interested. For example, if they suddenly aren’t reacting to or watching any of your posts, you’ll know that it’s likely they are not viewing you as date material or as a future romantic partner. This will save you time and energy by ensuring you don’t invest in the wrong person. 

Additionally, since you have access to your Instagram data, it can help you find matches because those who are watching probably like you and enjoy your content. It’ll be up to you to reach out and discover just how much they like you.

4. You Can Use Thirst Traps to Your Benefit

No, ‘thirst trap’ is not a taboo word you say under your breath during a conversation because you’re scared of others hearing you. Despite what you might believe, thirst traps have been around for a long time in the dating world, even if they have only recently risen to fame thanks to Instagram and Tik Tok hashtags. Since 2011 (to be exact), ‘thirst traps’ have been used on Instagram and other platforms to capture potential suiters’ attention.

For those unfamiliar with the term (there’s no shame in not knowing it), a thirst trap is essentially a selfie that entices viewers sexually. It generally comes down to shirtless pictures and women in as little clothing as possible.

Instagram is known for its influx of thirst traps and is number one, next to TikTok, where you can find delicious pictures and videos (or reels) of your new interest.

How this adds to Instagram being a dating app argument is that you can see photos and videos (thirst traps) of the people you’re interested in dating without meeting them in person. Allowing you to narrow down who you like and want to explore a romantic relationship with. 

However, you should be wary of catfishes as it’s uber easy for people to edit their photos and videos and pretend to be people they aren’t. 

Instagram vs. Tinder – Should You Make the Switch

So here’s where things get a little tricky. It can be pretty challenging to determine if you should try and explore Instagram as a way to date or stick to Tinder and other exclusively designed dating apps. Let’s look at both sides of the Instagram vs. Tinder coin. 

  • Tinder is the best-known platform for connecting you with people who want to date. Tinder guarantees you get matches with potential interests easily, whereas Instagram requires you to do all the groundwork. However, Instagram has now entwined itself into Tinder by allowing users to display their Instagram content on the Tinder platform and vice versa. 
  • With Tinder, you can only connect with someone if they swipe right, and with Instagram, you can message whomever you want. Interestingly, users are putting their Instagram handles in their bios as a go-around where potential partners can connect and view more of their content. This encourages people to go off the platform and switch to Instagram DMing, where communication is more straightforward. 
  • On Instagram, there is also more of a balanced gender ratio. Keeping that in mind, statistics have shown a higher percentage of men on Tinder, with men making up roughly 75% of users. That leaves approximately only 25% of women, which leaves very few options to partner up with, especially for straight men. In contrast, on Instagram, the statistical data is far more balanced, with male users at roughly 51% and women at 48.4%. 

This data has left singles with the choice of whether it would be far better to try their luck on Instagram rather than on Tinder, despite Instagram not being geared to cater to dating or to match up singles. Ultimately, Instagram is becoming the pseudo-dating app of choice, but whether it’s the right choice for you will depend on your dating site preferences and relationship goals. 

Wrap-up on if Instagram Is a Dating App

So what is the conclusion here? Is Instagram a dating app? We suppose the answer is yes…but it can also be no because it isn’t designed to be one. 

There is no clear-cut answer to this debate because Instagram has evolved far beyond what people expected it to when it was first released. 

Essentially, what it really comes down to in the debate of if you should use Instagram for dating is what you are looking for in terms of your dating experience. So evaluate your dating needs, determine if you should give it a go, and put your other dating apps on the back burner for the time being. 

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