Figures for mobile dating are on the up…and then some!

Two years ago, mobile dating was very much in its infancy and prototypes were having limited success, and even fewer take ups. Mobile handset security was in question, as was the whole concept, querying whether or not dating sites would make safe enough havens for such platforms. As Phil Collins once warbled: Well take a look at me now!

No empty spaces here any longer – mobile dating is the ‘app-ening trend amongst savvy singles out for a night on the pull. No longer is there the need to trawl thousands of dating site profiles at home before enticing a potential partner to hook up for those with Smartphones, Androids or Blackberries. Simply make sure it’s switched on whilst you’re out on the town and wait to be pinged by another member of the dating site when they’re in your vicinity and see where it leads.

For proof of this growing phenomenon, one of the leading franchisers of dating sites, who have only recently adopted dating applications for mobile devices, have seen some stunning results since launching their platform.

This is how fast the take up of mobile daters has been, the developers have not yet found a way of handling individuals’ request to send their dating site mobile en masse and are having to literally take the framework for each website, de- and re-code it, and issue them in batches to their franchise managers every few weeks. It’s all a bit techy for me, but this involves redirecting users once they land on their traditional dating home page by some javascript snippet and then, after the server deciphers the type of device the dating site member is viewing the website with, will transmit the signal so that it’s functional on their device. See what I mean?  It may as well be in the icloud, it’s that far over my head, but the punters seem to like it as the following sets of figures will amaze and astound you.

Singles like mobile dating. After just the second full month live, the dating site sign-ups have increased by nearly a half, registering a 44% increase. That represents almost 20% of the whole of the new business (and the company I’m talking about, that’s some big numbers).

And this is the truly amazing figure. Like most dating sites, there’s has both a free and paid for facility. True to many models, a lot of members try the free aspect initially and then go on to sign up for the full monty, some with considerabubble monthly fees. The increase in upgrades via mobile technology has escalated 133%. Or simply put, for every three people who were upgrading their dating site membership prior to the mobile platform, there are now seven people doing the same.

Mmm, it does kindle one’s interest, doesn’t it?

The party’s postponed for the men in little white coats

See, now this is a headline that CEOs of static dating websites the world over will just not want to read. Following years of trying to shake of the stigma that has prevented many a single desperate for love from entering their credentials into an online dating facility, the moment that they finally achieve that goal, with 2012 officially seeing the death of dating site dementors, they are being told that static dating websites are dead and that the future of dating is on mobile devices, instead.

Don’t know about you, but at the drop of this news you can almost hear the post-stigmata party being prematurely ended with a solitary parp of a trumpet. And hear that one technician laughing gutsily alone, the news not yet filtered through to her, as the scientists, still in their white coats , turn silently as one before being ushered back below ground into a sterile environment to start recoding the dating site so that people can have the same experience on their Smartphone as they do on a static online dating site. The laughter finally stops.

These CEOs will claim a small victory, though. And so they should – it has taken years to cast off the cloak it adorned at the public’s behest. Now more than ever, with ten percent of US citizens hitting dating sites every month, the impact of the medium they have developed patiently in their underground laboratories has changed the way the world dates forever.

CNBC in the US recently hosted Love at first byte – an insider view into the unseen world of online dating. What they discovered was not, as one would expect, a world of fluffy pink pillows and love hearts adorning every wall. Contrarily, the image portrayed envisions a chaotic place, a world of psychologists’ couches, main-frame computers, blackboards with lengthy equations chalked onto the slate, forever being rubbed out and perfected. And IT guys with a hand on the socket, awaiting the ‘turn in off and on again’ request that’s a short moment away.  Stephen King, stretched on one of the couches, soaking it all in before he turns the scenaro into another million+ best-seller.

It is these armies of boffins and IT technicians that have brought the world of online dating to the fore, piggybacking on the rise of hyper-connectivity in a world where everyone has at least two social media accounts, accessible from Android, Blackberry and iOS platforms. And now that the men in white coats have finally cracked it, brought their paymasters that tag of ‘social acceptance’ to the niche, technology has outpaced them.

If you can download an app, and there are many that, utilising GPS, can even ping you whilst you’re out and about to let you know that someone else from your dating site is in the vicinity, carrying a hand-held device or not having to put aside time that eats into your night to find someone is a far more productive way for the single masses to date than the alternative.

The party’s over for the time being for the dating site scientists, but you can bet that they’ll be back with something soon that’ll change the game, again. With $2bn – and growing – up for grabs, there’s a lot at stake for the men in the little white coats.

Mobile dating app means she’s not the only one I know

Do you remember, ooh, pre-Google say, when you had a little black book full of names that you could rely on to get you out of a spot of bother if you had a get together but no date to go with? Failing that, you had to pull your finger out, get in a taxi to Picasso’s in Wolverhampton, flop your hair about to The Charlatans a bit and hope that was enough to score a partner for that family do you just knew you’d be chastised by your lovely, but dated and slightly senile, aunt for if you turned up without a girlfriend on your arm?

Well, Tim, Blunty and the gang are still going but my hair is less floppy, now – more ‘distinguished’, one could say – but if the only one I know is otherwise engaged, nowadays I can just tap the app and, even though those long, strawberry-blonde locks have gone, I retain that winning smile if I need to rustle up an off-the-cuff date. Especially with apps that let me know of any like-minded singles that may be in the vicinity.

If we thought that dating sites had revolutionised the way one hunts down a member of the opposite sex in an hour of need, we stand to be amazed by the progress that GPS-toting smartphones are making to those ends.

There are now more and more apps – downloadable for most types of devices – which can hook up to a satellite and see other members of these mobile dating sites who are literally minutes away from you.

I think anyone who has ever gone out for a night ‘out on the pull‘ has walked into a bar and, following a quick reccy, decided what a lost cause it was and subsequently been at a loss. Not only do these mobile apps let you know who’s about, but they also contain a snippet of dating site profile information about that potential partner who’s just waiting to be found.

With one tap of the app, you can entice them to come and meet you, have a drink of their choice waiting and, all of a sudden, that bar is no longer so desolate as when you first walked in. You can even make out to the other singles hanging out there that you’d arranged the date beforehand as you wait the short time for your mobile dating correspondee to enter the establishment.

With a smug grin, you can turn around and ask silently: who’s the saddo, now? Nowadays, that would probably be me, flopping about to ‘Then‘, minus the fringe, glitterball reflecting where it once swayed, oh so softly…

Light-speed dating

It’s Saturday night, your contacts have all been dialled, sent texts or e-mailed, and you’ve still not got a date for the evening. You’re about to get the metro home, when your mobile rings…
…not from one of your known contacts, but it’s your speed dating app buzzing you.

Instead of hitting the hay, within hours, you’re hitting the town with a brand new beau on your arm!

Okay, dating on a wing and a prayer will not be everyone’s cup of tea, for sure. Certainly, the more mature dating age groups, ot those looking for a more substantial relationship, may wish to analyse potential partners over a PC screen rather than over an iPhone or Android display. And, presumably, with a little more notice than ‘meet you in an hour’.

But that’s what the new app HowAboutWe can do for you. If you’re in the right place, at the right time, you could be meeting up with a brand new date in minutes, rather than having to wait for weeks, or even months, as is the norm with your standard internet-based dating service.

There are variations on the theme. You can download this app as a stand-alone dating service or, if you are an existing dating website member, you may find that the service to which you subscribe has started to integrate this service through their portal.

The app was originally designed to be a facility whereby people looking for love online could look to meet likeminded within the local vicinity, but using traditional dating site methods, such as filling in your profile, meeting people in chat rooms or forums, then posting private e-mails and waiting patiently for a response.

However, since the conversion of the app into an instant online date facility, its popularity has exploded, opening up a possible new niche for those looking to find love online sooner rather than later.  Theoretically, this type of service would appeal to those who have few commitments and can drop everything to get to a date literally as if ‘on call’. And those assumptions are reflected in the figures posted by the app hosts; those using the application most frequently tend to be in the 20-30 year old age group.

This has lead to some questionable press about the app being used by people who are perhaps only looking for one thing. And that’s not to discuss the amount of money spent in the Premiership or the latest offers in Selfridges.

However, as online security develops and apps are becoming available whereby you can check a potential date’s credentials against government records, or even criminal records, meeting via this app, whether as a stand alone download or through your registered dating site membership, it may, in the long run, prove to be a safer way to meet people than going out and trying to find a date off-the-cuff in your local town or city.

NYPD? DYP App polices dating prospects for you

With countless new dating sites eternally hitting the internet, it’s no surprise that security is a growing concern. The real worry, especially with many free dating site ventures that rely purely on advertising or sponsorship for revenue, is that countless new sign-ups are being allowed to register with appropriate scrutiny.

Following on from the beta launch of the tru.ly app in the US, which double-checks new singles dating site registrations against governmental records, there is yet another security-conscious app, this time which can check a potential date’s criminal records.

Available for both iPhones and Android devices, the new instantly-downloadable application, called the ‘Docket in Your Pocket’ is currently available only in Pennsylvania.  However, it may well catch on quickly across the internet dating global community.

For a one-time price of $2.99, once installed the app searches through over 32 million court records, stretching back to the start of this millenium. Few crimes are exempt, which is good news for the dating community at large. If a potential date has commited a jaywalking offence, that may even be considered an ice-breaker after striking up your online relationship.

However, if the crime is as serious as robbery, or even rape, for the sake of $2.99, this application could be one of the best investmants for the online dating community in a long while. And it may be worth getting now, as the cost to keep the records up-to-date as it deletes older records to make way for the latest week’s new ones is running at around $600. This may mean that for future downloads, a subscription may be required in order to make it profitable for the creator.

Matt Haindfield, who developed the application affectionately christened the ‘DYP’, did so after drawing up blanks for every platform available to mobile devices for researching criminal records.

Mr Haindfield, a lawyer from Iowa, was looking into the dubious criminal past of a witness but could find nothing whatsoever available; subsequently, he has no qualms about the legitimacy or moral debate about the records which many online dating services could eventually endorse.

It is Mr Haindfield’s reasoning that, as these records are held by the state, ownership transfers to the public, because people’s taxes fund that state.

The one concern that has been raised, however, is the possible impact this device can have on existing relationships, on- or off-line, or in the workplace. It is quite possible to see how, ‘for a laugh’, a group of workmates or friends could put their names through this app. If one of the group has a record that they have worked hard to leave in the past, it may lead to them being ostracised for something that is irrelevant to the person they are now.

But, for the purposes of online dating, it is nothing but a plus – prevention, as they say, is better thn cure.

Why not join the e-love-ution evolution?

Social Media – love it or hate it, it is undeniably here.  To stay.Long before our lives were dominated by the facebooks and Twitters of this world, even way back to the dawn of Friends Reunited (remember them), there were online datingsites.Once upon a time, when you had to unplug your phone to obtain a dial-up connection to even access the internet, if you accidentally let slip that you’d spent the previous evening checking out your perfect match on an adult meeting site, that comment would be followed by a look of suspicion, nay, disgust.  From the very look in your co-respondent’s eyes you could deduce them summoning, in their mind’s eye, visions of long overcoats, thick bifocals and park benches.

And to top it off, when you attempted to return to your ‘seedy little stomping ground’, after waiting for fifteen minutes to re-connect via dial-up, you were apt to find a nasty little virus had crippled your 64kb of RAM via a pop-up ad, thus requiring a trip to PC World and praying that the ‘tech-guys’ didn’t check your cache and discover what you’d been up to.

By the frosty reception when you returned, some seven days later, you knew that you’d been sussed.

Thankfully, looking for love on line no longer has this stigma attached and is, like bingo, one of the en vogue ways to spend your browsing time.  In fact, if you have not frequented at least one free online dating agency, your peers will probably emphatically encourage you to do so.

Yeah, Bingo – what next?  Cougar dating sites?  Enough said…

So, what has happened to bring online personal sites out of the gutter, well, into your gutter, technically speaking?

A recent report dispels some of the myths that diehards still see haunting the world of online matchmaking and offers some explanation as to how finding your perfect partner on line is suddenly the fashionable thing to do.

In a nutshell, social media has broke down many of the barriers inherent to meeting people on line.  A friend may have recommended you join them on their site; before you know it, you’re conversing with their friends, either ‘following’ them, actually ‘liking’ them or joining ‘circles’ of other online users with similar interests to yours, including dating forums and chat rooms.

It seems only natural, then, that this online relationship is taken a stage further.  Whereas, previously, you may be talking very much on a one to one basis, there is definitely more of a community feel nowadays, offering a greater sense of protection, than in years gone by.

Especially with greater verification methods, such as tru.ly’s new app, currently in beta in the US, which draws on government records to avoid any falsification of dating profile information.

Expectations are also different; even though online dating accounts for a larger proportion of marriages than ever, such sites are often used for casual relationships, too.

So, what’s stopping you?  Join the e-love-ution evolution – before all the good ones become extinct!

Dating sites to benefit from new app

Social media continually improves the methods in which we can promote ourselves across a whole host of platforms to the World Wide Web in an instant. Gone are the days spent filling in your online dating profile every single time you joined a new dating community.In the past, when looking to explore new adult networking or personals sites, disinterest could soon supersede anticipation if the plethora of information required at sign-up was unequivocally long in relation to the benefits offered.Whilst the thrill of exploring pastures new remained, the repetitiveness of entering your dating profile soon became a chore.

That changed markedly with ‘autofill’: theoretically, complete your details once, and then every time your personals were requested by the next site, your browser did the rest.  However, not all forms were designed equally; my age is not as long as my mobile number, although, nowadays it sometimes feels that way.

We now have ‘OpenID’; once you sign in to your new dating site and subsequently confirm these details by clicking an auto-responsive e-mail – bang – all of your information is instantly stored on their server.  Job done.

Even blogs offer the facility, once registered, to join with your Google, facebook or Twitter log-in; you can start finding your online matches immediately, without the headache of having to provide everything from the colour of your eyes to the size of your…
…feet.

How easy is it to join a new dating site, now?  Simples – literally one click and you’re verified!

Now here comes the crunch: How is your information verified?

Just because some time in the distant past you’ve filled in a form and validated it by confirming the e-mail?  Not exactly passport-secure, is it?

After waiting years for technology to facilitate instant, lovable online profile creation, these methods may be whipped from beneath our feet.

Tr.uly, based in Boston, US, have developed a sign-in application that, not only requires the information we are used to providing, but also requests data which aligns with US government information records.

If you have signed up to your current online dating service with false information (including your age), start worrying now.  They’ll be on to you!

However, there is a positive side.

If your relationships site adopts this application, and many free dating sites in the US have expressed more than a passive interest, you can rest easy in the knowledge that Joanne from Stafford will not suddenly become Duncan the dustman from Wolverhampton on your first date.

You’re also provided with your own mobile QR code, for on-the-spot verification for added security.

Furthermore, if you want to display your credulity online, there’s an option to give your profile its own stand-alone URL (website), which you can link to any manner of online dating agency profile, although this does attract an annual fee, currently $4.95.

So, next time that drop-down menu appears, if you are thirty-something, be sure to click that “30-39” option; there’s tru.ly no rolling back the years with this new app.