As one who has studied and coached singles on the intersection of love and technology for 20 years, it was an honor to be called upon by behavior and relationship reporter Sharon Jayson for her in-depth story in Love 2.0: The Tech Effect on Romance.
Appearing as the cover story of the USA Today Weekend edition, Jayson wrote about a recent study conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle in which 1500 singles aged 21-50 shared their thoughts on how mobile phone technology and texting when it comes to matters of the heart.
The USA Today article makes a bold statement. Jayson reports that “Cellphones and texting have blown up the dating culture.”
With the growth of smartphones, popularity of unlimited texting and data plans, it’s no wonder that singles are relying on their mobile phones to set up a date, cancel a date, make dinner reservations, order theater tickets, and yes, unfortunately break up.
In my conversation with Jayson, she asked me how long I believed a person should wait to return a text message. In my expert opinion, I thought 1-4 hours is polite.
The survey showed a surprising amount of singles (25%) believed that a text from a potential date or romantic partner should be returned within one hour. One hour? Think about it. If you’re in a meeting, on a conference call, on an airplane, or your phone is charging, does that mean you’re not interested? My big concern is the growing anxiety associated with response time for text messages, which appears to be shrinking. Another 25% thought 1-3 hours would be appropriate, followed by 12% who believed 4-6 hours would be fine. Responding immediately came in fourth place at 10%.
Does this mean your significant should go into the digital doghouse if you don’t hear from him or her in 1-6 hours?
When I was asked about my thoughts on breaking up in a text message, I was completely against it. However, the survey found that 59% might break up via text and even 24% had no problem breaking up with someone they were exclusively involved with.
Tone doesn’t come through in a text, and that can lead to misunderstandings, especially when a comment gets misconstrued and “your text may not get returned,” suggests cyber-relations and netiquette expert Julie Spira of Los Angeles. She’s author of the 2009 book The Perils of Cyber-Dating, which includes a chapter on netiquette.
The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships.
“There’s so little you know at that point,” Spira says. “You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all — and it’s not.”
Sure, many celebrities have done so, including Russell Brand who notified Katy Perry of their divorce in a text message, but is it right?
Would you break up with someone in a text message? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She writes about the marriage of love and technology and coaches singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
With Tinder becoming the fastest growing mobile dating app since its launch last October, it’s no wonder that everyone is checking out this fun and flirty free dating app.
When New York Magazine’s The Cut reported that 2012’s Miss USA, the gorgeous Nana Meriwether, had a profile on Tinder, people started to wonder why such a beauty needed to resort to creating an online dating profile. Most of the media joined in and the story became viral.
This actually bothered me a lot. It gave the impression that online dating and mobile dating apps are just for those who can’t find a date on their own. I couldn’t disagree more.
Meriwether shared with The Cut, that she’s been a member of Tinder since April, but she doesn’t take online dating very seriously, and only browses Tinder while hanging out with her girlfriends.
In the article, Meriwether what many singles in New York are frustrated with, that dating is just hard, even in a big city with so many options.
“Here’s the thing about dating in New York: It doesn’t exist,” she tells NY Magazine. “There’s so much going on in the city, there are so many distractions that people just forget to go on a second date.”
Tinder makes online dating more fun and more of a social experience. Like many others, Meriwether isn’t actually dating on Tinder, but she’s looking at men and even checking off a few that she liked.
Meriwether told The Cut, “I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course.’ Even pageant-title-holders get lonely.” Even though she’s approved a few profiles, she hasn’t actually gone on an online date.
During my most recently held Mobile Dating BootCamp, four out of six singles used the Tinder mobile dating app to find a date or love, but mostly out of curiosity to find out what the rage was all about. One of the daters actually did meet someone from Tinder. Others felt it was more for hooking up and deciding if someone was attractive or not.
Are you one of the millions of people using Tinder? Do you find it to be a fun game or do you think you can meet someone from the app.
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and was a very early adopter of Internet dating. She’s the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and Online Dating BootCamp. Julie creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. For more online dating advice, sign up for the free Weekly Flirt and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.
With online dating, we’ve been told it’s all about the photo, as both men and women are visual.
Today, our friends at OkCupid have launched their Crazy Blind Date mobile app, where you go back to the basics of when your grandmother fixed you up, along with a technology twist.
In honor of the launch, you’ll feel a bit naked when you log on to OkCupid today, as the site celebrates “Love is Blind Day.” OkCupid has removed all ten million photos on their members’ profiles to create awareness of their new app.
Sam Yagan, OkCupid founder and Cyber-Dating Expert friend says, “People will say that Crazy Blind Date is too crazy.” He adds, “But for a whole generation of young singles, it’s going to be a great adventure, and a great compliment to online dating.”
One thing we know for sure, is that mobile dating does speed up the process to meet someone IRL. In our recent Mobile Dating BootCamp, several of the participants used OkCupid’s mobile app and other mobile dating apps to try to find love from the convenience of their mobile phones. This app could help you if you’re looking for a last minute date or don’t want to be dateless on Valentine’s Day.
OkCupid says that Crazy Blind Date takes less than a minute of work:
- Download the Crazy Blind Date app for iPhone or Android
- Choose which nights this week you want to go on dates.
- Pick your favorite bar or coffee shop.
- Go on with your day; Crazy Blind Date does the rest.
Users are encouraged to share their dates on Twitter with the hashtag of #CrazyBlindDate and fees for the dates will apply.
Are you ready to go back to blind dating?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She’s the host of Online Dating BootCamp and Mobile Dating BootCamp. Julie creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, follow @Juliespira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
The 2012 list of the 10 Best Dating Apps selected by CyberDatingExpert.com now includes social discovery apps, which are becoming the new trend for dating and social networking. With the release of the iPhone 5, more singles than ever can have the opportunity to meet more quickly and on-the-fly. GPS or location-based dating apps are no longer for just hookups anymore.
According to Juniper Research, the mobile dating market is expected to be worth $2.3 billion by 2016. Earlier this year, online dating expert Julie Spira held the first-ever Mobile Dating Bootcamp to help singles find love more quickly and from the convenience of their mobile phones.
Since last year, the popularity of social discovery apps are taking center stage and most apps let you sign up directly from their Facebook page, so without further digital adieu, here’s our list of the best mobile dating apps for 2012.
The 2012 List
1. Badoo - Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phones
Badoo has a community of over 150 million people worldwide using their mobile app. In March of 2012, they officially launched in the U.S. Free users can contact up to 10 people a day. Premium users can use “Superpower” features including Spotlight, where you can be featured more prominently, and “Spotlight”, which enables you to rise to the top of a search listing.
2. MeetMoi – Android and iOS
MeetMoi’s mobile app was first launched in 2010. Over three million users of this popular app can use their free services, including creating a profile, sending winks, and replying to messages. Users receive a push notification when there’ s a match nearby. If they choose to accept the match, they can chat for up to 60-minutes before deciding if they want to meet in person. Premium users can chat with all users and see who’s viewed their profile. Facebook Connect allows users to see if they have any Facebook friends in common. Their new “Wingman” feature makes introductions for groups of people, taking advantage of the new trend of group dating.
3. OkCupid – Ok Locals – Android and iOS
OkCupid’s Locals launched in 2011 to help singles meet in-real-life. Their location-based app combines a Twitter-like broadcast feature with a FourSquare type location database. Users can broadcast their intentions, such as meeting at a bar or a sporting event, which will appear on the mobile phones of singles near by with like-minded interests. Singles can meet people near by and receive suggestions from their database. It’s flirting on-the-fly. Although two-thirds of their mobile users activate the GPS-positioning feature, users do have the ability to turn off the GPS functionality.
4. Grindr – Android, BlackBerry, iOS
Grindr is the #1 location-based mobile only app for gay, bi and curious guys with over four million users in 192 countries around the world. Over 1.1 million users log on to the Grindr app on a daily basis. Free members can view 100 guys in their area. Grindr Xtra, the premium paid version features a push notification even if the app is closed, has an online only view to see who’s currently online and does not include banner ads. Other premium features include “Profile Swipe,” where you use your left finger to display the next guy or right finger to view the previous profile, and the ability to view 300 profiles in the area.
5. Zoosk – Android, iOS, and web-based app
Zoosk is the top grossing social networking app in Apple’s iTunes store. Their service is available in 25 languages with members in over 70 countries. Since last year, Zoosk’s mobile traffic on HTML5 and mobile apps has increased by 148%, with 15% of their users engaging through their mobile apps. More members (55%) are using the Android app as compared to iOS (45%).
6. Plenty of Fish – Android, iOS, Windows
Plenty of Fish launched their mobile app in 2012. To date, over 900,000 people use POF apps each day in the United States. POF generates over 5 billion pageviews/month and 70% of their members who accessed POF.com did so from a mobile device. The app is completely free and is available in five languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. POF has jumped on the local events bandwagon and sends push notifications of events in their members’ local area. Their Android app has a “Places” feature to provides users with a list of potential date hot spots.
7. Match Mobile – Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows 7, Palm, Web-based app
Match mobile was launched in 2007 as a mobile web feature. They’re available on a wide variety of platforms, as well as an HTML5 site to provide access to iOS devices. Free features allow members to wink, create and view profiles, and add users to their “Favorites.” In September of 2012, they created their Stir events mobile site for premium users. Other Premium features include reading and writing emails, and the “Who’s Viewed Me” feature. Users can sign up on Facebook and Android users can say “No Thanks” as well as view an enhanced photo gallery.
8. eHarmony - Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and iPad
The eHarmony iPhone app was launched in August, 2010, but what makes them stand out on the list is their stunning eHarmony HD iPad app. In May of 2012, eHarmony added retina support for their iPad app. An average of 471, 338 mobile sessions take place among their apps every day, a significant growth since 2011. Free service included the ability to sign up and complete their relationship questionnaire, as well as receive daily matches. Premium members can view their matches’ photos, send and receive email, and see when a match last logged on. In October, they will be launching a new enhanced look and feel for their mobile apps.
9. MeetMe – Android and iOS (Social Discovery App)
MeetMe is a leading social network and social discovery app for meeting new people. Although not entirely a dating app, it’s the #1 top grossing Android app with over 40 million members worldwide and one-million daily active users in the U.S. MeetMe reports that 60% of their traffic comes from mobile with an even distribution of men and women. The app is free to use with features including “Locals” to find singles close by and “Ask Me.” Premium services include the ability to purchase credits to supercharge the social discovery experience, including featuring a photo in a spotlight bar. Users can sign up on Facebook. The app is now available in Spanish and Portuguese.
10. Tagged – Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows mobile (Social Discovery App)
Tagged is a social network and social discovery app to meet new people, make new friends and even find love. Their mobile app has been downloaded over six million times with over 300 million profiles to browse. Free membership allows for unlimited messaging, chatting, winking, and advanced people browsing, both worldwide and locally.Premium members can buy gold, send gifts and play in-app games. Users can login on Facebook and play an online game or share their interests. Tagged was listed in the Forbes “Top-100 Up-and-Coming Companies” in 2011.
Honorable mentions – Social Discovery honorable mentions this year go to Singles Around Me and Are You Interested. Singles Around Me differentiates itself from other mobile apps because they are geo-location centric and use maps in addition to distance. They’ve had over 1 million downloads and we give them a thumbs up for addressing privacy issues. With their “Approximate Location” singles can opt to find out where other members are in a 3-6 mile radius of their location, hide their location entirely, or show their exact location. Are You Interested rebranded their mobile dating app to a social discovery app in August of 2012. They have over 6 million mobile app users and are focusing on friendship and dating based on users with similar interests
Is your favorite mobile dating app on the list? If not, feel free to add it to the comments.
CyberDatingExpert.com is a leading online dating advice site created by mobile dating and online dating expert Julie Spira. Spira was an early adopter of the Internet and has been an expert in the dating and social networking field from dial-up to mobile. She’s the host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and and creates irresistible online dating profiles for singles on the dating scene. Spira reports on the latest trends in the online dating, mobile dating and the social media industry.
Photo credit: © style-photography.de – Fotolia.com
Is it possible to find love from your mobile phone?
Within 24 hours after we completed the first season of Mobile Dating Bootcamp, I was contacted by the Washington Post as an expert in mobile dating for a featured story they were writing on the subject. With the rapid growth and popularity of mobile dating apps, their in-depth piece on the subject entitled, “Love on the run: the fast rise of mobile dating apps” appeared on the cover of the business section of the Sunday paper on August 19, 2012.
Franklin, one of our contestants, was more than happy to share his experience with the Washington Post. After all, he’s truly looking for his wife and is hoping that by using mobile dating apps, it will speed up his search.
Full story @Washington Post by Amrita Jayakumar
At a swanky Los Angeles hotel in June, six single people sat before a roomful of industry executives to discuss that issue.
This annual conference is a gathering of the biggest players in the dating app business. The six participants had signed up for a first-of-its-kind mobile dating boot camp, organized by Julie Spira, an author and cyber-dating expert.
Their mandate was simple: Try out two apps for two weeks and provide honest feedback.
While developers collect their own statistics and user responses, this was the first time this sort of focus group was organized, she said.
Franklin Horn had never tried mobile dating before.
“I don’t think I would have started it on my own, and I’m in the software industry,” said Horn, 27, who works at a tech startup in Santa Monica. “It’s a hard thing to put yourself out there.”
He used three apps: eHarmony, Skout and MeetMoi. While he didn’t go on any dates, Horn said he exchanged about 150 casual messages with a few women.
“Since I’m single and busy, I wanted to use it as a way to practice flirting and see the technology behind the apps,” he said.
Another participant, Joe, 30, from Chicago, described his experience in a blog.“With these apps it feels like, ‘Hey, I’m in the area, I’m looking to hang out,’ he wrote. “You know what somebody’s intention is. It’s a little more explicit up front.”
Spira says that just like online dating, people should apply common sense with an app.
“You have to use intuition and act the way you would in real life,” she said. “Like meeting in a public place.”
All the dating app users were clear that they’d prefer meeting someone the old-fashioned way, without technology. Even if they did use an app, they wanted to take the relationship from online to offline as soon as possible, said Spira, the cyber dating expert.
“I’m sure Mrs. Horn is out there somewhere,” Horn, the boot camp participant, said. “The app is just a way to meet her.”
The next season of Mobile Dating Bootcamp will take place in January, 2013 in Las Vegas at the Internet Dating Conference. We’ll be casting contestants in October, 2012.
Julie Spira is an online dating and mobile dating expert and host of Mobile Dating BootCamp. She’s the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and was an early adopter of online dating from dial-up to mobile. Julie creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene to shorten their search while looking for love online. For more dating advice, sign up for the Weekly Flirt and follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
What do you get when you match up 8 single daters and 8 mobile dating apps?
Hi, this is Julie Spira and I’ve created Mobile Dating Bootcamp, a social dating experience to help singles find love from the convenience of their mobile phones.
With over 14 million singles using mobile dating apps, we decided to put mobile to the test. Let’s see what the daters had to say.
It’s time to take a moment and share some of our favorite articles about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World that we shared on Twitter and thank those for including Cyber-Dating Expert’s advice in their stories.
A huge thank you to our friends at Mashable who posted two stories, How Social Media Helps Romantic Relationships Thrive and 10 Dating Apps To Help You Find True Love. Both were tweeted over 1300 times each. Thank you from the bottom of my digital heart for including our Mobile Dating BootCamp in the story.
On Twitter, Kathleen Miles from Huffington Post alerted me to the new risque billboard on Sunset Boulevard for dating site Cougar Life, so I shared it on the LA Dating Advice column on Examiner in, Is Sunset Boulevard the New Home for Cougars? I’ll let you decide.
Thank you to Online Personals Watch for sharing and contributing to Dating in a Mobile World. Mobile Dating BootCamp contestant videos should be posted shortly and we’ll start casting for Season 2, to be held in Las Vegas. Best Background Checks posted Experts Reveal 7 Tips for Safer Online Dating,
If you missed the Magnetizing Love Telesummit, you can catch our 25 Twitter Secrets to Finding Love Online and catch up in a few minutes. Our friends at GalTime posted a great article, Getting Rid of Past Loves, which we had to share on Twitter. Sometimes it takes awhile to knock your ex of his or her pedestal. This article should help. We tweeted The Phoenix New Times article, The Seven Strangest Online Dating Sites and was surprised to see sites for dating with food allergies and dating a redhead.
You can share your dating stories in our Peril of the Week and remember our friends at Bad Online Dates and ABC’s 20/20 are looking for your videos on dating disasters, so keep your iPhone handy and start shooting away.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira and the Cyber-Dating Expert Team.
As we get ready for the Mobile Dating Conference, I spoke with NBC News in Miami about how to find love from your mobile phone. It’s becoming the most popular way for singles to find finding love in a Web 2.0 World.
“They’re not just using them for phone calls,” author and online dating expert Julie Spira said. “They’re making dates, reservations, buying shoes, buying books … and dating fits into that as well.”
Many traditional online dating sites are now launching their own apps. Spira said some offer instant gratification.
“We call it location-based service dating, so if you’re at a Starbucks and there’s somebody down the street at a sandwich shop and you’re on the same mobile app, maybe you can meet for dessert,” Spira said.
Many thanks to everyone at NBC 6 in Miami for featuring CyberDatingExpert.com in your story.
For more about mobile dating, visit our Mobile Dating BootCamp site, where 8 contestants are using 8 mobile apps and will be talking about their findings at the Mobile Dating Conference in Beverly Hills in a focus group, moderated by Julie Spira.
Julie Spira is an online dating, cyber-relations, and mobile dating expert. She creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more dating advice, sign up for our Weekly Flirt newsletter, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter, and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert
Nine single daters are using 6 mobile dating apps, as online dating and mobile dating expert Julie Spira helps them find love from their mobile phone. Meet our contestants and cheer them on.
We’ve all heard that online dating is a numbers game. 122 million worldwide to be exact according to ComScore’s research.
When we created Jerry’s irresistible profile, [winks, emails, and IMs, oh my!] his response was “OMG, this stuff is like crack!” While we want you to fall in love and give you many tools to do so, we certainly don’t want to create a universe of online dating addicts.
Having too many conversations at once or viewing too many profiles doesn’t mean you’re going to be successful with the process. As a matter of fact, it could actually backfire on you.
The first week your profile is active is always the busiest time. It then settles down to a more manageable pace. Those who winked at you or flirted with you without a profile are probably not paying members or are not serious about the process, so unless you like their profile, you can just ignore them. If you like the profile, don’t wink or flirt back. Be bold and send an email saying hello. You can even thank them for the wink to let them know you’ve noticed.
I recommended to Jerry that he shouldn’t communicate with more than 5 people at a time. Limiting the ongoing communication will give you the opportunity to get to know someone. If the online conversation goes well, then schedule a phone date. If you feel like you’re at the dentist’s office where someone is pulling teeth, don’t schedule a date.
I shared my thoughts in the ask the dating experts column on Sparkology on how to politely say you’re not interested.
More often-than-not, online messages are ignored. Don’t start humming to the Nick Lowe song, “You’ve Got to be Cruel to be Kind” if you decide to respond. Say thank you, but add that you don’t feel you have enough in common to pursue a relationship, or let them know if they’re out of your geographic location or age range.
Wishing you much joy and love in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and cyber-relations expert. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Like us at Facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert for more dating advice.