High stakes for lonely hearts

Home Technologist 04 High stakes for lonely hearts

Since its online debut in 2012, Tinder has dominated the world of online dating. But the competition is hot on its heels, with some new and interesting offers.

Diagram depicting online dating

TINDER: matchmaker monolith

US, 2012
How it works: Using GPS technology, users can see the profiles of other users within a defined radius. If two people are interested in each other, they can connect and eventually meet in person.
Number of users: Unknown (15 million “sparks” a day).
Cost: Free

HINGE: friends of friends

US, 2011
How it works: The app suggests profiles based on shared interests. Your profession, education, activities and network of friends are used to find a soul mate. So far the app is available only in a few U.S. cities.
Number of users: 60,000
Cost: Free

ANTIDATE: women on top

UK, 2014
How it works: Only women have the ability to consult the profiles and locations of male users. If they find a potential match, they can initiate a conversation. Romantic overtures made by women on love apps apparently have a five times greater chance of leading to an actual date than those initiated by men.
Number of users: A few hundred
Cost: £0.69

HAPPN: chance encounters

FRANCE, 2013
How it works: The app detects other users that you pass on the street in real time and displays their profiles. You can then indicate your interest anonymously. If two people are mutually interested, the system puts them in touch with each other.
Number of users: more than 50 million
Cost: Installation is free. Contacting a user that you have not encountered costs €0.20

PEPPR: pimp my phone

GERMANY, 2014
How it works: Users can consult the profiles of sex workers and reserve their services by smartphone. Available only in Germany.
Number of users: Unknown
Cost: Installation is free. Reservations are €5-€10 each.

More on apps: HEAPS – the new TINDER or HAPPN for groups?

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