No date for Valentine’s? GPS can help you find other singles nearby.
Don’t feel like combing your hair? Take an avatar of yourself to a virtual bar.
To see if that person you “met’’ is compatible, upload your photos into an app that reads personality traits. And if you like what you see, spend a few bucks on a virtual dozen roses.
The Book of Love has a new chapter: Dating by app.
Smartphones and Facebook are giving way to new love-seeking technologies that go beyond the typical computer-assisted profile matchmaking.
The most popular are apps that use Global Positioning System to find a date near your typical hangout spot. Skout, an app for iPhone and Android, claims three million active users, according to its founder and CEO, Christian Wiklund of San Francisco. With an average user age of 25, the free app is more youth friendly than sites like eHarmony and Match.com, Wiklund says.
Such established sites have yet to incorporate such GPS tags; the idea of getting alerts from strangers who are physically nearby seems creepy and stalker-like to many users, says online dating business consultant Mark Brooks, author of OnlinePersonalsWatch.com and organizer of the annual Miami Beach Internet Dating Conference.
Still, the category is growing. Grindr, an app for gay men, boasts 1.4 million users and 300,000 log-ons a day, according to Grindr’s founder and CEO, Joel Simkhai.
Cropping up alongside are apps for all would-be daters, including SinglesAroundMe, Urban Signals, Are You Interested? and meetMoi – some of which offer in-app purchases for virtual gifts, like pictures of teddy bears and candy hearts, to woo and flirt.
“We don’t want to replace online dating or replace how you meet people in the real world,” Wiklund said. “But we can make it a little easier.”
Though GPS-based tagging is this year’s hot trend, other technology-based matchmaking tactics may also facilitate finding the love of your life.
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