From Facebook relationship status stalking to Match.com, online dating has become more and more common in the busy professional lives of our generation. With smartphones equipped with GPS increasingly accessible to the majority of consumers, we're seeing another revolution to the conventions of meeting you significant other. NY Times and GQ both covered interesting rise in dating in the mobile arena. Get prepared to get down, check out some up and coming dating apps and stay ahead of the curve.
Grindr/Blendr: The originator of mobile location dating, Grindr is an app targeted for gay men who are looking for like-minded people locally. With 2.4 million members signed up, Grindr is a force in location based dating. With new funding, the creators of Gindr has created Blendr, a version of the app for straight people. The app itself is marketed more for location social networking than romantic/sexual relationships. The profile in this app is design to be simple and contains no more than a profile picture, a short description, and a status.
OKCupid: Another app featured in the NY Times article, OKCupid is an app from the simple and free online dating site. The way people are matched up is a little more complex than Grindr/Blendr. Instead of simply seeing who's nearby, the site actually has a personality test which assigns a score to users around you, and only broadcast your information to those that matches your personality closely. Which gives you and your potential date a little more insight than a complete blind date.
Jazzed: Not to be outdone, online dating giant eHarmony has released Jazzed, a site/app geared more towards the younger dating generation, those in the 20s to 30s. It is also a location based app that broadcast your location to singles around you.
As expected from eHarmony, Jazzed uses personality data to match you only with those that are "compatible", so you have a better chance of finding someone you like rather than looking for an exit strategy on your date. Jazzed focuses on the privacy of its members, allowing them to have full control over their search options. "Sophisticated algorithms" are used to highlight members that could potentially be good matches. Finally, Jazzed set restrictions on incomplete profiles, weeding out the chances of encountering a fake profile.
Skout: A start up that is focused on easier access. Sign up with your Facebook, and post updates and photos to share a little more about yourself. Skout uses a social network approach to dating, kind of like your Facebook for strangers. With alerts and notifications for when someone you "like" is nearby, this is perfect for avoiding missed connections.
Yobongo: Another start up taking location social networking to a different direction. Yobongo takes a chat room approach to rather than strictly flirting/dating. You can join a chatroom that is occurring near your location and strike up chats with strangers that are reacting to things in your immediate surroundings. Take things up a notch by going into private chat. Right now Yobongo is still in trial phase and is only available in New York, San Francisco, and Austin.
Just like online dating, location based meetups can have its pitfalls. Being location based could create more risky situations. Exercise caution when using any of the dating site/apps. And with any social services, expect to see some scammers and spammers. On that note, happy dating!
What do you think about online dating or the growing trend of mobile dating? Or maybe you're an experienced veteran in this area, we'd love to hear what suggestions you have for our members. Let us know in the comments below.