Mobile Online Dating: The New Players

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In my last article, I discussed some of the original online dating services and how they are working as online dating moves to mobile. Today, I wanted to talk about some of the newer services that have had a focus on mobility since their creation.

Coffee Meets Bagel

This app is a new concept designed by three sisters living in the Big Apple and wanting to actually connect with other people, not just race past them. However, privacy and genuine interactions were fundamental to their goals. They list their three top values as follows:

  1. Unless you want to tell others, your dating life should remain private.
  2. Your friends are the best conduits for your dates.
  3. Meeting quality people doesn’t have to be so awkward or complicated.

Rather than posting your public profile for all men to see, this app takes some basic information (ethnicity, education, age,) asks about your preferences in a match, and sends you just one daily match every day at noon. You then choose to either “like” or not; if one of you does not click “like”, end of story, no harm no foul. If you both “like,” a chat room will open up, where you can talk for one week before the room closes.

It’s structured so that no personal information (including your name) is shared until you have made a match. Once your chat room opens up, you have 7 days to decide whether you want to give out your personal phone number/email. The idea here is that the internet can only get you so far, and to truly benefit from an online meet site, you have to make the plunge and go meet over a casual cup of coffee.

Personally, I’ve had a very positive impression of this app, although unfortunately have connected with only two men after months of daily use, neither who I chose to meet in person. I am notoriously picky and also very tall; the downfall for this app is that height is not a filter, and therefore I auto-reject 85% of “bagels” for being shorter than myself (go ahead, judge away. I may be superficial, but at least I am honest!)

Tinder

If you haven’t heard about Tinder yet, you may be living under a rock! However, if you’re still not sure who uses it and with what intentions, you’re definitely not alone.

The app requires the use of Facebook to login, and matches people by the gender you are seeking and nearby location (supposedly along with common interests, although I haven’t seen that make much impact.) You see a picture of someone (in my case, a man, typically within a 20 mile radius) and swipe the image left if not attracted, right if attracted. That’s really all there is to it. You can also click on the picture, which gives you the opportunity to see a few more of their photos, along with a short message about themselves, if they chose to write one. Three common themes I have noticed are listing height, common cities (for men that travel often) and Instagram screennames (I’m not a user, but I assume this is for the photogenic men who either want to show off further or just prove they do not have a fake profile.)

Tinder was first described to me as a “hookup app” by friends using it in a college town, looking to find someone attractive to meet at one of the local bars. I refused to try it for a very long time, under the impression that something so superficial could not possibly attract quality people. However, this app has gained traction so quickly and is so well-known that many other people have joined, with just as many good-hearted intentions.

If you consider dating a numbers game, Tinder will surely deliver. The good thing about this app is that you can quickly tell what a person’s intent is once you have matched. Their initial message will typically say it all. I now have several friends who are in very happy relationships after meeting through Tinder.

I have now caved and got myself signed up for Tinder. Can’t say I’m proud of it, but I had to know what the fuss was about. It’s admittedly fun and addicting at first, although for me, the novelty wore off quickly. This app, though, has resulted in a first date for me—with an attractive and very polite man with whom I am still in contact (we’ll save that story for a rainy day!)

 

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About the Author:

Rebecca is a late 20-something, still in the "dating as a young professional" phase of life. She enjoys soccer, travel and fitness and is currently accepting boyfriend applications, should your [brand name dating site] attempts be unsuccessful.

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