Tinder, Locals and Other Apps Give Online Dating a Makeover

By ABC News

Feb 14, 2013 5:11pm

ABC News’ Paula Faris reports:

In 2013, blind dates are getting a serious makeover.

Alex Pavlenko is one of the millions of Americans looking for love at any time of day. She went on a blind date during her lunch hour.

Pavlenko met her blind date, Ed Stern, on a brand-new mobile app from dating website OK Cupid called Crazy Blind Date, which matched them based on their personality profiles. Two days after they were connected, they met for a blind lunch date.

Two days is a lifetime for today’s app, which helps happy singles looking for Mr. Right, right now.

abc dating mi 130214 wblog Tinder, Locals and Other Apps Give Online Dating a Makeover

ABC News

While online dating sites are seeing fewer visitors – ComScore says 22.9 million visitors ventured to online sites in January 2012 compared to 29.3 million in 2011 – apps like Locals and Singles Around Me are making instant love connections with people nearby who want to meet up immediately.

The number of app-happy singles looking for love on their smartphones is booming, according to Nielsen. In November 2012, there were 13.7 million – double the rate from the previous year.

These apps can show you all of the potential dates that are within walking distance of your exact location. Love can be found literally right across the street with these new apps.

The fastest growing app is Tinder, which instantly introduces you to your friends’ friends. It’s so popular, it grew 750 percent just last month. The app has made more than 15 million matches with  1.5 billion profile ratings and more than 60 percent of their users logging in every day.

Sam Yagan, the CEO of dating website OK Cupid designs apps that deliver romance at warp speed.

“You can be dating all the time, from wherever you are. And that’s really the key,” he said.

Yagan’s apps can schedule dates in just 30 seconds. You don’t even have to do the asking because the app does it for you.

These apps are leading many to wonder, can instant connections lead to lasting love?

For Pavlenko, her instant date went “pretty well.” But with 100 dates in the palm of her hand, she’s already looking for the next one.

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