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.