Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

According to the article “New Apps to Help You Get a Date for Valentine’s Day,” new apps are creating online networks of possible romantic interests. Apps such as Tinder, which was released in September, allow users to flip through photos of other participants in nearby locations. Let’s Date, a similar app, goes even further by allowing users to see not only photos but the Facebook interests of others in their area who use the app.

Apps such as Tinder and Let’s Date are essentially creating networks of people looking for dates based on geographic location. Not only that, but they are creating directed networks. When using Tinder, a user can “express interest” in another user within a certain distance from him or her. By doing this, a person extends a directed edge from him/herself to the person they are interested in. The directed edge will remain anonymous unless the other person expresses interest as well, therefore sending his or her own directed edge to the other person. Once the edge is directed both ways, the mutual attraction is made known and the pair are connected for a conversation.

Tinder states that it has matched over ten million couples since it was launched, and that the general age range for its users is between eighteen and twenty years of age.

The apps also make use of the preexisting social network Facebook in order to ensure that people use their real identity. In fact, Let’s Date requires that their members have a Facebook account that has been active for over a year and at least fifty Facebook friends in order to ensure legitimacy.

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One thought on “Just in Time for Valentine’s Day”

  1. The success of dating sites must be an indication of how our natural networking behavior is slowly being transformed by the internet. What is more striking to me is how these sites are becoming more mainstream. I had always thought that there was something unnatural about internet dating. It struck me as a kind of perverse tactic that stripped courtship of it’s mystery and romance. My perception has definitely begun to evolve more recently.

    I think that my new perspective is much more accepting of the virtue of online dating. The more I have thought about it, the more I see my definition of dating to encompass any strategy to make a connection to another person. I think that anyone who has either been on a blind date or had someone make a sleazy pass at them at a bar would agree that sometimes the “traditional” dating strategies can cause strife. What is important is that connections are made and that people ultimately find mutual interest in each other. it doesn’t matter how the connections come about, but rather what the connections become.

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