These figures suggest operationally at least, dating apps can find markets in African communities.
On the “app” part of “dating app”, Tinder is on solid ground.
In March 2015, the i Hub, Kenya’s premiere tech-focused co-working space celebrated its fifth birthday.
Similarly, an estimated 4 million Kenyans use Facebook, also mostly connecting through their phones.
Yet the success of the “dating” part depends on factors beyond technology.
Cultural and social issues shape romantic relationships, and conversations with tech-savvy Kenyans reveal that app developers have their work cut out for them.
For many, online dating is a code for casual sex, not a path to love, marriage and babies.
Even in its original markets, Tinder has a reputation as a hook-up app for people who are interested in casual sex to connect with like-minded people.