Online dating applications
Online dating through applications are location based mobile applications created to make communication easier for people who want to meet, flirt, chat, and potentially get romantically involved. This is a form of mobile dating or online dating specifically for smartphone users. Since the first app launch, Tinder, in 2012, various variations of the application have been created. The most popular being Tinder, OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, Candidate, Tastebuds, Match.com, and Bumble.
Tinder was the application that led the surge in mobile dating applications. Tinder was released in September 12, 2012 by founders Sean Ra, Jonathan Badeen, Justin Mateen, Joe Munoz, Dinesh Moorjani, Chris Gylczynski, and Whitney Wolfe. Although, other sources state that the founders are Mateen, Rad, and Badeen only. The application won TechCrunchs' Crunchie Award for “Best New Startup” in 2013. They now have a website that users can access: gotinder.com.
Usage by demographic group
Online dating applications target a young demographic group. Whereas before, people had very little exposure to online dating, today almost 50% of people know of someone who use the services or has met their loved one through the service. After the iPhone launch in 2007, online dating data has only increased as application usage increased. In 2005, only 10% of 18-24 year olds reported to have used online dating services; this number increased to over 27% of this population. Making this target demographic the largest number of users for most applications. When Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2016, they found that 59% of U.S. adults agreed that online dating is a good way to meet people compared to 44% in 2005. This increase in usage by this target group can be justified by their increased use of smartphones which lead them to use these smartphone dating apps. About 1 in 5 18-24-year-old (22%) reported using dating applications in 2016, whereas only 5% did so in 2003.
Tinder is a location-based application that filters the matches according to the location of the user; users are able to choose the maximum distance they want to focus their search on. They are also able to filter down matches by age and gender. Tinder is known for its unique swiping feature. If user's find a potential match, users swipe right. If user's do not like the candidate, users swipe left. Tinder is used more as a “hook up/no string sex” application in many college campuses. Since its release, Tinder has been processing more than one billion swipes and 12 million matches a day. It has 50 million active users who check their account 11 times a day and spend an average of 90 minutes on the app per day.
Other popular applications
After Tinder's clear success, many others tried creating their own dating applications and dating websites such as Match.Com created applications for convenience. ARC from Applause, a research group who specializes in gathering insights on app economy, conducted a research study on how 1.5 million U.S. consumers rated 97 of the most popular dating apps. The research results indicated that only 11 apps scored 50 or greater (out of 100) with more than 10,000 reviews from the app store. These include: Jaumo, OKCupid, happn, SCRUFF by Perry Street, Moco by JNJ Mobile, GROWL by Initech, Skout, Qeep by Blue Lion mobile, MeetMe, Badoo, and Hornet. An app with a 50+ score was considered successful. Other popular applications like Bumble, Grindr, eHarmony, and Match scored 40 or less.
Effects on dating
The new surge of online dating through applications has both pros and cons for users.
Many of the applications provide personality tests for matching or use algorithms to match users. These factors enhance the possibility of users getting matched with a compatible candidate. Users are in control; they are provided with many options so there are enough matches that fit their particular type. Users can simply choose to not match the candidates that they know they are not interested in. Narrowing down options is easy. Once users think they are interested, they are able to chat and get to know the potential candidate. This type of communication saves the time, money, and risk users would not avoid if they were dating the traditional way. Online dating offers convenience; people want dating to work around their schedules. Online dating can also increase self-confidence; even if users get rejected, they know there are hundreds of other candidates that will want to match with them so they can simply move on to the next option. In fact, 60% of U.S. adults agree that online dating is a good way to meet people and 66% say they have gone on a real date with someone they met through an application. Today, 5% of married Americans or Americans in serious relationships said they met their significant other online
Sometimes having too many options can be overwhelming. With so many options available, users can get lost in their choices and end up spending too much time in just looking for the “perfect” candidate instead of using that time to start a real relationship. In addition, the algorithms and matching systems put in place may not always be as accurate as users think. There is no perfect system that can match two people’s personalities perfectly every time. Communication online also lacks the physical attraction aspect that is essential for choosing a potential partner. Much is lost in translation through texting. Online dating has made dating very superficial; the picture on users’ profile may cause someone to match or not match before even getting to know their personalities. Researchers after analysing a significant number of diverse mobile dating applications, have concluded that most of the major dating applications are vulnerable to simple sniffing attacks, which could reveal very sensitive personal information such as sexual orientation, preferences, e-mails, degree of interaction between users, etc. people should understand the importance of the site they are visiting and the credibility of that site as well. If the site is not providing the right partner then one must leave that site and go to another one. Furthermore, online dating platforms are also becoming breading grounds for honeypots wherein attackers create fake profile to steal user's private information, one such work studies and evaluates user's vulnerabilities of disclosing personally identifiable information (PII) in Tinder, a mobile dating app.
- "Start dating more efficiently with one of these 7 apps". Digital Trends. 2016-07-12. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Wood, Molly (2015-02-04). "Led by Tinder, a Surge in Mobile Dating Apps". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Witt, Emily (2014-02-11). "How the Tinder App Became a Success". GQ. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "Tinder - meet interesting people nearby". Tinder. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "Online dating usage by demographic group". Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. 2016-02-10. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "5 facts about online dating". Pew Research Center. 2016-02-29. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "Tinder: The Online Dating App Everyone's Talking About". Marie Claire. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "The Best Dating Apps For 2018". ARC. 2018-04-15. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
- "Free Online Dating | OkCupid". OkCupid | Free Online Dating. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "Pros and Cons of Online Dating". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- "How Technology is Changing Dating - PsychAlive". www.psychalive.org. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Dewey, Caitlin (2015-11-11). "The one thing about 'matching' algorithms that dating sites don't want you to know". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Expert, Mara Opperman Relationship Etiquette; IDoNowIDont.com, Co-Founder of; GATTO, Director of Communications at DEL (2015-02-20). "The Superficiality of Online Dating Apps". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-26.
- Patsakis, Constantinos; Zigomitros, Athanasios; Solanas, Agusti (15 June 2015). Analysis of privacy and security exposure in mobile dating applications. International Conference on Mobile, Secure and Programmable Networking. Paris. pp. 151–162.
- Nandawani, Mona; Kaushal, Rishabh (5 July 2017). Evaluating User Vulnerability to Privacy Disclosures over Online Dating Platforms. International Conference on Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing. Italy. pp. 342–353.