Dating and Relationship Advice

Dating Apps, the Love-Radar in Your Pocket

Nowadays, there is a whole bunch apps out there for people who have never wanted anything to do with “online dating” before. On our phones and hooking into social networks, these lifestyle add-ons cross the lines between our social life and love life.

They aim to be hip, super easy to use and smart enough to know other singles we will click with. That, they say, will relieve us from the boredom of filling in personality tests and scanning thousands of photo profiles in the hope of finding that one gem.

Is the dating app craze just more hype from a tired old industry struggling to find new clients?

How do they work and are they all they are made-out to be? Or is the dating app craze just more hype from a tired old industry struggling to find new clients? In this article, I want to examine some of the apps that have proven themselves, and have the potential – thanks to GPS – to turn the phone in your pocket into a mobile love-radar.

Here are the top five love apps by popularity:

  1. Tinder.comread more
    5,000,000+ users, 44% women / 56% men
  2. Grouper.comread more
    35,000+ users, 67% women / 33% men
  3. Twoo.comread more
    1,100,000 members, 24% women / 76% men
  4. Twine.meread more
    75,000 users, 82% women / 18% men
  5. Firstmet.comread more
    337,000 members, 24% women / 76% men

Tinder is the biggest out there, but has gotten a bit of a seedy reputation since its launch a couple of years ago. Its main selling point is that it is very quick and does not waste your time by asking you to fill out personality questionnaires – it figures that out. In truth, what happens is that people on Tinder focus about 99% of their attention on looks alone.

Tinder works by showing you pictures of matches it thinks you will hit it off with. It lets you ignore these suggestions or follow them up. All this happens with a quick swipe on the screen – it turns dating into a game of snap.

The beauty of Tinder is that it connects securely into your Facebook profile – you will control the access permission. From this, it mines through your friend network and uses this to tell you which new people might be interesting.

To stop every random stranger in the neighborhood from popping up on your phone, Tinder lets you set some deal-breakers. What these do is to block people you would never be interested in. It also conveniently allows you to set the distance you’d be willing to travel on a date. It should then only give matches who are within your area.

Grouper is for people who just want to get on with meeting people in a safe social setting. What’s different about Grouper though is that it sets you up on group dates. You and two of your friends will be paired with three people you don’t already know. If you’re a bit timid to go on dates with new people by yourself, this might be for you.

Just like Tinder, there aren’t any forms or complicated profile setups. You start by allowing Grouper access to your Facebook page. From there it builds a network of your friends and their friends. Grouper then tries to figure-out the kind of people you like to hang out with.

What it does not do is pair you up with someone who you already know. Grouper works by moving just outside of your friend circle to find people you don’t know but might have a lot in common with.

Twoo has an app for Facebook and for your phone so you can use it in any setting to find people to date and meet-up with. That said, Twoo is much more like a regular dating site than the ones above. Be warned though – it has a pay system that runs like a taxi-driver’s meter. So about everything you do burns up your credits – which of course you have to keep topping up with your credit card – else you’ll be locked out.

Twoo works on regular picture-profiles so you get your own page that you can customize and add your own touch to. They do have a booster, which applies when you fill-out all parts of your personal page. Getting a boost means you’ll appear more often when people search and you will generally get better results.

Twine is the exact opposite of Tinder. It is an app for blind dates. By that, I mean the profile that you make on Twine includes everything – except your photo. The people behind Twine think that this is a better way of bringing people together on deeper and more meaningful level.

You will only find out if it works for you if you give it a try. Many people – particularly men – just cannot move past not having photos to eyeball.

Before you think Twine is just full of empty feature-less profiles, that is not exactly how it works. Once you join, you then make a creative collage of stuff, that you think best represents you and your personality. This can be photos of your favorite places, sports and such. They call this your Twine canvas.
If you enjoy blind dates, surprises and just not knowing who you are talking to, Twine might be the answer. It is definitely for those who place personality above looks.

FirstMet aka Are-You-Interested works through Facebook – there is also a handy phone app but behind the fluff AYI is more or less like a regular dating site too. It does make use of your group of friends on Facebook to make suggestions about new people you might like. Yet this is more of a manual effort. It also lets you sifts through interests and hobbies to try to find people with whom you share common passions.

The matches pop-up instantly telling you who’s active and who’s nearby. There is also a more direct and conventional search that you can make use of. This lets you look through available people and find those matches yourself rather than leaving it to a computer.

AYI is not hands-free like Tinder or Grouper but you are more in control. It sends you suggested matches, but these are most-often just nearby people. To get the most out of AYI means you have to be more active and involved in finding your own dates. You also have to take more time with your profile and making it appealing to other people.

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