The future of dating is depressing.
We are entering an age of data-driven dating, where our phone will be our wingman when we are roaming about.
While Internet dating used to conjure up images of geeks sitting at home scrolling through hundreds of profiles, the latest slew of mobile apps allows us to check-in and pick-up from wherever we are.
We got a taste of the different flavours in mobile dating at AOL’s Mobile Monday session. At times during the panel, the future of dating sounded more like a transaction — sucking every bit of sexiness out of the room.
The popularity of Grindr, an app that helps gay men find nearby lovers, shows the power of combining location-based apps and dating.
So far, there have been 3 million downloads in 192 countries — making it the largest all male location-based social network, according to the Grindr blog. (The company came out with Blendr for the rest of us.)
Grindr is just one of the many dating apps echoing Pandora’s music recommendation platform, suggesting there is an algorithm for love.
One of the panelists, Sophie-Charlotte Moatti, co-founder and CEO RndVoo, showed me her app after the discussion. It is a matchmaking service that matches friends of friends and gives personalised date ideas to try in the real world. Using artificial intelligence and computer vision, the dating app wants to help you find and build a meaningful relationship.
Moatti said RndVoo can connect with Facebook and reach 86 per cent of the single population.
We also talked to Steve Paddon of Trilibis Mobile after the talk. Trilibis Mobile powers mobile web tech (and runs Match.com’s mobile web presence).
“Mobile devices are much more personal in nature, and have access to more personal data – both passively and actively. Mobile dating products that will be successful moving forward must find the right balance between utilising this information to bring additional convenience and value to their customers — without sacrificing privacy,” Paddon said.
That last point about privacy shouldn’t be taken lightly. “Combining mobile dating with broadcasted locations may be suitable for some specific demographics, but won’t get mass appeal anytime soon – and is a concept fraught with liability,” Paddon added.
Is mobile dating something we should wholeheartedly embrace, or is it a cause for concern?
OkCupid cofounder Sam Yagan wrote in an email to us: “Mobile dating is the future of dating. Period. Think about it. Dating is one of the few applications of technology that pretty much requires an in-person meeting for success. Amazon can send your item from a warehouse in the middle of nowhere, but your date sure as heck better be close to you. And not just close to you sometimes, close to you…now.”
But what if you’re just not in the mood for that? I guess you can always just turn off your phone.