After all the problem of finding companionship/friendship/hookups which is addressed by internet dating is universal with Zimbabwe being no exception.
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There is also the 13% of Zimbabweans that are either divorced, separated or widowed, which is a segment that dating services whether online or offline, always seeks to address.
With 5.2 million people that have access to the internet (a 40% national internet penetration rate) and the oft-quoted but never clarified 127.9% mobile penetration rate (think of the possibility of a USSD dating application) there is a huge addressable market here.
This can always be thinned down further with niche services (It could be Christian dating, college dating or urban singles) which seems to be how different dating services work efficiently. The whole world isn’t completely blind to the opportunity that exists here though.
41% of Zimbabwe is below the age of 15 which represents a rising market that will fit snugly in the teenager bracket.
When it comes to internet dating and social media trends a lot of attention should paid to this market.
Where tech adoption and appreciation of new trends is concerned this is the group of early and easy adopters that is likely to relate to any exciting form of social media better than older generations.While this might mortify most parents this younger market has also dismissed the cultural boundaries that come with meeting someone online, something that has also been worn away by the immense success of Facebook which has also been noticed locally.Long before social media received a global definition from Mark Zuckerburg’s Harvard dormitory experiment, a lot of people had been experiencing the opportunity of the internet as huge meeting place for potential partners and social connections through online dating.The phenomenon has changed dramatically (to think it used to be email only) to incorporate social media and modern communication.Although it has blossomed as huge industry in its own right we still haven’t seen it gain as much acceptance on the local market.So why is it internet dating in Zimbabwe hasn’t become a huge deal?