But while its tried and tested formula seems to work, a burgeoning app suggests that people are less shy and are willing to check for singles in their vicinity wherever they go, with the hope of a spontaneous date.Using GPS technology to link singles near each other together, the service aims to bridge the gap between dating sites and real-life chance meetings, bringing back the face-to-face spontaneity of dating.The app has rocketed in popularity, joining others in the booming and highly lucrative online dating market, which has an estimated value of billion.Found Chris Klotz told Mail Online: 'Shortly we expect to hit one million downloads, and things are accelerating as word spreads.'Launched by the Canadian in 2010, 550,000 messages were sent between singles all over the world last year alone.A Google map plots current locations and flags up users within 100 miles; after viewing a profile, winks and messages can be sent.Most of Singles Around Me's users are between the ages of 25 and 50, with the USA home to nearly a quarter of a million downloaders - and the site is keen to tout that most cities worldwide host its users.While an initial judgement of the service may be to compare it to something of a heterosexual Grindr - the tool that geographically links gay users, often for casual sex - Mr Klotz has found that his app has 'become much more main stream'.
As a single lady with little time or inclination to go on traditional dates, I’ll admit it: I’ve long been jealous of my gay friends' access to Grindr, the location-based casual-hookup app. Indeed, a piece on online dating earlier this year pinpointed the biggest hurdle in transitioning hookup apps from the gay to the straight world: “making it work for straight women, who may not need an app to know that they are surrounded by willing straight men." This is an outmoded view of the sexual economy.
For almost as long, I've been telling just about anyone who will listen to me that we need a heterosexual version of this technology. Data from online dating websites actually shows the opposite: Men are picky, and women are far more forgiving and flexible when it comes to seeking a partner.
For this reason, there is a standard refrain I hear when I express the need for a hetero Grindr: It won’t work because women won’t use it.
But even if you believe that ladies can have their choice of partners, knowledge and access are not the same thing.
Hence, the demand for a location-based app to broadcast who's single and looking.