Sunday, January 12, 2014

Online Dating Goes Mobile: There’s an App for That

Online dating and looking for love online has definitely gone mainstream. According to a Pew Internet study, 11% of American adults have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps while looking for love. Among those adults who are “single and looking,” the figure jumps to 38% who have gone online or used mobile apps to help them find a romantic partner. (Interestingly, another 10% who are “single and not looking” have also used online dating sites and apps. They must be window shopping.)

The study about online dating and mobile dating apps is fascinating in its scope and detail. You can read more about it here:

I’ve covered online dating in previous posts. This time we’re going to look at mobile phone dating apps that turn smart phones into a whole new way to meet up. (Thanks to for bringing these to my attention.)



Let’s face it, most dating sites and apps encourage users to make judgments about people based almost exclusively on a profile photo. (A photo is the first thing you see until you click to see a person’s profile.)  But an app called Twine blurs a person’s profile at first, so it forces users to evaluate possible Cupid connections based only on personality info. Twine syncs up with the Facebook profiles of users to create a more secure environment. The app provides up to three potential matches every day. Users of Twine can see each other’s age, location, a compatibility meter, and their mutual interests (and that blurry profile photo), which the app uses to suggest conversation topics. You can chat anonymously for a while. Then, if both of you agree to see each other’s clear photos and first names, bingo—all is revealed.
Twine blurs a person's profile photo at first to encourage you to focus on their personality and interests.


Like Twine, Anomo is a popular dating app that hides the users’ profile pictures until they choose to share them. So instead of photos, in the beginning people only see a cartoon avatar. They also see a username, gender, age group (verified by Facebook), location, and interests. To get things going, the app suggests games to break the ice and help find potential matches. To make it more fun, Anomo lets you chat one-on-one (using 540 characters or less), invite people to play the games with them, and check into locations. As time progresses, users can unlock personal content including their names, pictures, and occupations. Anomo was originally launched as a dating app, but it has also gained additional traction as a way for people to make friends and connect professionally.



Tinder might just be the perfect dating app for single people who suffer from a fear of rejection. It was launched to connect people anonymously based on their locations and their personal preferences. For whatever reason—who really knows why some apps and some websites catch fire, Tinder has exploded in popularity. Already more than 35 million people have created profiles and more than 1 million matches have been made. One reason it has caught on so quickly is because the app links to users’ Facebook accounts. This gives Tinder the power to suggest possible matches based on Facebook friends and interests. To address privacy concerns, members remain anonymous until they both indicate a mutual “Like.”

The Tinder mobile app already has 35 million registered users. Love is calling!

What does it all mean?

So I guess the moral of this story is this: as long as there are single people, there will be no shortage of ways to connect with them, meet them, and fall in love. Take it from yours truly, Chad Stone, the Middle-Aged Babe Magnet. I found my wife online, so I can tell you that technology can be a wonderful thing when you’re looking for your soul mate.

Please connect with me at for my daily thoughts and discoveries about life, dating and relationships.

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