Online dating is not new. In fact, it’s been around for quite some time, but has only recently been exploded in the mobile space. It wasn’t too long ago that a negative stigma of online dating existed within American society. It was thought of to be mainly for “older” people or people who really had trouble finding someone via traditional avenues such as bars, Church groups, blind dates, or through mutual friends. People thought it was a poor way to find love, because the relationship was created through digital means versus in person social interactions.
Oh, how times have changed.
With the invention of the smart phone/iPhone apps, dating has been taken to a whole new level. It has now actually become trendy to use digital devices to find another person. While the traditional dating websites such as Match.com and Plentyoffish.com have created apps as an extension of their websites, let’s take a look at the popular/up and coming aka “trendy” dating apps.
Tinder: Perhaps considered the most controversial of the dating apps, Tinder uses a combination of looks and geographic data as a means for a connection. This app connects to a user’s Facebook account, and uses the data from this social media website to display mutual friends between 2 individuals. Ultimately this has resulted in a more superficial dating app, where the majority of people are not looking for long term relationships.
Coffee Meets Bagel: This app also integrates Facebook data into the user experience by leveraging mutual friends of friends to find matches for the user. Once a day, a user will receive one “bagel”, that is, they will receive one potential datable candidate a day. Within a 24 hour time period, they have the ability to either LIKE or PASS the person. If both individuals LIKE, then CMB will give you a private phone line to set up phone calls and/or exchange texts without giving away your actual number.
Lulu: This particular app is not really considered a mutually beneficial dating app, rather, it’s a girl-reviews-boy app. The app was launched in 2011, but has recently come to limelight within the past year because of its controversial nature. Lulu used to be a safe haven for women to rate their experiences with any guy who has a Facebook account. Essentially, any male on Facebook was automatically listed on the app, whether they opted in or not. Recently, however, Lulu changed the rules so that guys have to opt-in to be rated on the app.
The digital dating world has evolved from a mostly static user profile description to a vastly dynamic and data mining method. Using Facebook information has become the norm in these dating apps primarily because the Facebook platform allows direct access to data on its 500 million users.
In the near future, it won’t be surprising to see a dating app that uses Instagram or Snapchat as a means for connecting.