Popular Dating Apps in Japan; Pairs or Tinder?


Online dating is “blooming” in Japan.

“We only have 20% of the single population who have ever used online dating,” Nishiyama said. “If you compare it to (the) United States where it’s 60%, I think there’s only growth which can happen for Japan.”


That is the quote from Emu Nishiyama, the brand director at Eureka which is part of Match Group operating major dating apps such as Tinder.

App Ape data also show nothing but growth over the past two years:

Number of active downloads of major dating apps in Japan

In this article, we will be looking at the two top dating apps in Japan: Pairs and Tinder.

Pairs is a Japan-born dating app with extensive emphasis on marketing including TV adverts. The app’s priority of providing a secure and safe dating environment may well be the reason why it has made a name for itself in Japanese market and attracted many female users way more than its main competitor, Tinder.

The app doesn’t allow registration under real name, meaning you must choose a nickname for your profile. However, ID verification is conducted upon registration and before you are able to make any moves! Pairs is free for female users whereas men must pay a monthly subscription fee to be able to connect and chat with their matches. This business model calls for those who are looking for serious relationships, perhaps marriage, and provides added comfort to women, ensuring them that people on this app are real and “majime” (Japanese word for serious).

Tinder, on the other hand, is known as the dating for casual relationships and short-lived endeavors. However, Tinder can not longer be called a dating app. Other than the usual dating service, it also provides a platform for people looking to make new friendships, exchange languages, or just simply hoping someone would tag along to events such as musical festivals.

Such measures or “policy” along with “dating purpose” are perfectly reflected on the distribution of user age groups of each app.

Looking at the graph below, the number of Pair’s monthly active female users is 5 times that of Tinder and has been growing over the past two years. Meanwhile, Tinder’s monthly active female users seem to have been hovering around certain levels over the same period.

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