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Mobile dating apps popular among singles

Looking for love? Millions are turning to their cellphones because mobile dating apps are revolutionizing relationships.
November 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Are you looking for love? Millions of people are turning to their cellphones because mobile dating apps are revolutionizing relationships.

Danielle Gray didn't meet her boyfriend Ray at a bar or through mutual friends, but on her phone via a free app called Tinder.

"I started to get addicted. I was like, oh no, what is happening?" said Gray. "Little did I know that I would basically meet someone who was basically the same person as me."

Gray's roommate, Lindsay Strongin, met the guy she's dating on Tinder.

"It seemed to mirror reality a little bit better than like a dating website, for example," said Strongin.

Los Angeles native and USC grad Justin Mateen co-founded Tinder just 14 months ago. He runs it out of his office in West Hollywood.

"It's addictive because, as humans, we have this innate need and desire to meet new people," said Mateen.

More advice from dating expert Julie Spira:

How does Tinder work? You pick pictures from your Facebook account and it uses GPS to tell you potential matches that are near you.

You swipe to the right if you're interested in the person and swipe to the left if you're not interested. If you both swipe right, you and your match can text message each other inside the app.

Tinder claims it facilitates 4 million new matches every day and its user base is growing 15 to 20 percent every week.

"The mobile phone today is actually an extension of us. It's really become the most intimate possession that we have. Meeting someone on Tinder is just like meeting someone in the coffee shop," said Mateen.

Cyber dating author and blogger Julie Spira says mobile dating is now a $200 million a year industry.

"In the old days, people associate online dating with people that didn't have the social skills to go out and socialize in public and get fixed up. Not anymore," said Spira. "We're doing so much on our phones, there's no reason not to find love the same way."

Traditional online dating sites like eHarmony, Match.com, JDate, and OkCupid, all now have mobile apps that tend to include personality questionnaires.

Grindr uses GPS to connect gay men. It claims to have millions of users who've sent more than a billion messages.

If you prefer not meeting someone by yourself, Grouper sets up group dates where three friends meet three new friends.

Coffee Meets Bagel provides you one match every day at noon. Then you have 24 hours to decide whether to accept or pass.

"There's not one size that fits all. There's something for everyone," said Spira.

I asked Tinder's CMO about criticism that all this is a little too superficial.

"I would say Tinder is extremely honest. It's a very accurate reflection of how humans interact," said Mateen.

It may not be for everyone but it's clearly working for Gray and her boyfriend.

"It's basically human nature. I don't think there's anything wrong with it," said Gray.


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