In 2022, a third of the French population used a dating application. But what is the environmental impact of looking for love?
We measured the 10 most popular mobile dating apps (on a common user journey).
Here is the Flop 3 (the most impactful apps): Lovoo, Grindr and OkCupid.
Here is the Top 3 (the least impactful apps): Bumble, Tinder and Happn.
The impactful number: Projected over a month, the impact of these 10 dating apps is 9614 tons EqCO2. That’s equivalent to driving around the Earth 1102 times in a combustion engine car (counting 23 million French users with an average use of 55 minutes per day).
Note that many people use several applications (even if it means maximizing their chances 😉 )
Since the creation of the geolocation feature for smartphones, dating applications have become very popular. Today, there are more than 8,000 of them in the world, including 2,000 in France. Nearly a third of French people use or have used a dating application. Moreover, users spend 55 minutes a day on them.
Given these figures, we can wonder about the impact of these applications on the environment.
The dating applications we chose to measure
Three criteria were used to choose the 10 applications we evaluated: popularity, free access, and availability on Android. Indeed, we chose to evaluate applications that are free to use because they are among the most used. Less than 3% of French people use paid applications.
Regarding the evaluation, a common scenario was determined that is compatible with all applications, namely consulting profiles, liking or not liking the profile, and sending a message. This allows us to get as close as possible to the real use of the application.
Step 1: Launching the application
Step 2: Dislike a profile (by swiping or clicking on “reject”)
Step 3: Like a profile (or send a tap) (by swiping or clicking on “like”)
Step 4: View the details of a profile (by scrolling)
Step 5: Like the profile (or send a tap) (by swiping or clicking on “like”)
Step 6: View the last conversation
Step 7: Send a message in this conversation
Ranking of the environmental footprint of the 10 most used free dating applications in France
The 3 most impactful applications: are Lovoo, Grindr, and OkCupid.
The 3 applications with the least impact: are Bumble, Tinder, and Happn.
We note that the most impactful application (Lovoo) has an impact 5 times greater than that of the least impactful application (Bumble).
The average carbon impact of these applications is 0.25 gEqCO2 for an average duration of 25 seconds. This is equivalent to driving 1 meter in a combustion engine car.
Projecting carbon impacts over one month
To project the impact of the applications in this ranking, we will use the following assumptions
- 100% of users are in France
- 100% of users are on mobile phones
Various studies show that one-third of the French population (23 million individuals) used dating applications in 2022 with an average of 55 minutes spent on them.
Projected over a month, the impact of these 10 dating apps is 9614 tons of CO2e. This is equivalent to driving around the Earth’s circumference 1102 times in a combustion engine car.
For the highest-ranked application (Bumble), for an average of 55 minutes per day for a month, a user has an impact of 579 gEqCO2. This is equivalent to driving 2.7 kilometers in a combustion-engine car.
For the lowest ranked application (Lovoo), for an average of 55 minutes per day for a month, a user has an impact of 2.7 kgEqCO2. This is equivalent to driving 12.4 kilometers in a combustion-engine car.
Greenspector experts focus on the soberest application: Bumble
The Bumble application is particularly sober during the launch and opening phases of the message page. During these phases, little data is loaded and there is no major energy overconsumption.
On the page where the profiles are displayed, only about 4 are pre-loaded. Animations are also limited during actions on the application and a delayed loading of photos has been implemented for those not seen on the screen.
Greenspector experts focus on the least sober application: Lovoo
The Lovoo application is at the bottom of the ranking with a much higher impact than its competitors. Although the performance is excellent except for the rather long opening time of the application, the energy and data consumption is very high. The integration of ubiquitous advertising with carousels or videos contributes greatly to this over-consumption.
Opening the page to swiping loads an average of 1.9 MB of data. Many profiles are pre-loaded to be displayed smoothly after each swipe compared to competing applications. More than 20 profiles are preloaded compared to about 4 on other applications.
Between the soberest dating application and the least sober application, we note that the impact is 5 times more important.
Note that the differences are mostly due to animations, the consequent loading of data (photos, videos…), and the management of the elements displayed on the screen. By applying good practices, it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of applications.
As a user, we can reduce our impact by using only one dating application if we have several.
And to go further in digital sobriety, it is always possible to meet people in real life!
|Applications||Version||Energy (mAh)||Data exchanged (MB)||Carbon impact (gEqCO2)||Water Footprint (Litres)||Soil Footprint (cm²)||Scenario duration (seconds)|
|Adopte un mec||4.9.21||86,0||0,6||0,2||0,0||0,2||30,4|
Following his internship at Greenspector in 2021, Corentin became a consultant in digital responsibility. He has at heart to accompany you in your projects as well as the measurement of your sites and applications.