Meeting your match in real life or online is so 2012. If you’re not addicted to Tinder, Fancied or soon-to-launch in Australia, Grouper, chances are you’re not Gen X & Y, single or looking to become so. Hailed as the ‘straight’ Grindr – are Tinder, Fancied and Grouper all about one night stands or long-term love?
Dating through apps is just the thing for those with short attention spans, very short attention spans.
If hanging out with friends in bars or at parties or combing through online profiles is just all too tedious for you – a tap or a swipe of your phone could be just the thing between you and meeting your one, true love. Or, at least, your one ‘you-look-pretty-alright-for-tonight’ hook-up scenario.
What’s it all about? Tinder links to your Facebook page and notifies you, via profile shots, based on your Facebook mutual friends and interests, who is single and looking for love nearby. You like what you see? Swipe right to the green heart to register your interest. Not floating your boat? Swipe left to the red cross to say ‘not in this lifetime.’ If you both give each other a ‘green heart’ light, a conversation via the app can begin.
Tinder is the fastest growing dating app. The company is reluctant to release figures but since Tinder launched in September last year, Forbes says users have rated each other’s profiles 3.5 billion times and have been matched up 35 million times.
According to Tinder’s Australian brand manager, Joshua Metz, the app is downloaded more than 1000 times a day in Australia alone.
Pros: The app saves you from potential romantic humiliation by letting you anonymously ‘like’ or ‘reject’ your nearby suiters/users. Only if they ‘like’ you too will Tinder make an introduction and you can start communicating via the app. You can’t be randomly messaged by people you don’t know or don’t want to know.
Got some down time waiting for the bus to arrive to meet up with friends? You could potentially line up a date (or several) for that night.
Cons: By trawling through your Facebook to look for folk nearby with mutual friends and interests, the chances of stumbling across your ex; your best friend’s ex or even your second cousin is more than likely.
Your picture – and their picture – is your only chance to make an impression. Dangerous territory for folk clinging desperately to a flattering snap taken 5 years ago, especially if you actually plan to meet up in real life, at some stage, there’s going to be that awkward 3 minutes of non-recognition.
What if you accidentally swipe ‘no thanks’ when you meant to ‘green heart’ someone? You’ll never get that person back on screen. Imagine, it could’ve been your one true love…
Good for: Wanting to broaden your social circle slightly in a comfortable, non threatening way.
Not so great for: Someone who desperately believes in soulmates and hopes they will magically appear in the palm of their hand via their phone. Whilst some will be more legitimately looking for love than others, the very nature of the app makes random hook-ups and bragging rights very easy. But if that’s what you’re looking for, good luck to you.
What’s it all about? Fancied is an Australian-based dating app launched 4 weeks ago and already boasts thousands of ‘fancies’ nationally. Aimed at the 18-35 demographic, the app is gaining popularity with users sharing the app with friends via Facebook.
Founder and CEO of Fancied, Christie Sharpe explains, “We are thrilled with the results and have 60% engagement on the app, this is mainly because users are getting matched by people they mutually like.
Like Tinder, Fancied links to your Facebook page and offers up profile shots, names and ages of potential matches who are nearby and looking for love. You can either play the ‘fancy’ game and search profiles nearby or check into a venue listed as a ‘hot spot’ for singles ready to meet.
Again, like Tinder, liking or not liking someone is kept anonymous until two ‘likes’ become one.
Pros: Using the geo-location ‘hot spot’ allows the user to know where all the fun-loving singles are mingling close by and can join accordingly.
Cons: Like Tinder, by trawling mutual friends on Facebook, the chance of your ex, your best friend’s ex or your cousin is again, a dating possibility.
Good for: The ‘push-to-maps’ feature is great for users geographically challenged to find their way to the right bar to meet their match.
Not so great for: Similar to Tinder, those looking to find their soulmate may be in luck but also exposed to some of society’s not so romantic idealists.
What’s it all about? Originally launched in New York as a three-on-three blind dating service, Grouper is a dating app available in 20 cities across the US that will soon launch in Australia.
You sign up for Grouper, pick a specific date and time or choose the on-demand feature, choose two wingmen/besties, pay an up front yet-to-be-determined fee per person for the date and the app automatically sets you up with three others of the opposite sex.
The fee paid pays for the first round of drinks and ensures everyone actually turns up. And then it flows (or not) from there.
Grouper Director of Operations, Kristen Badal, says “We’re launching in Australia in coming months so I encourage single Aussies to sign up at joingrouper.com to find out when and where we will be happening.”
Pros: Grouper sees itself more as an app for meeting people than a dating service. In the US, it is more popular with women and has a roughly 60/40 split between women and men members.
Expanding your social circle and going on a ‘blind date’ with two of your besties takes the intimidation and safety issues out of the blind date equation.
Cons: What’s the etiquette? Do the six of you interact as a group or do you make a beeline for your favourite and start to pair off?
What if no one wants to talk to you or you get left with the third party that wasn’t really ‘into’ the blind date in the first place?
Good for: Folk who need a concierge for their social life. Can’t think of a new bar to visit? Grouper can sort that, and the company you keep, out for you.
Not so great for: If you go on the ‘blind date’ with three friends with similar tastes in the opposite sex. Bestie biffo over a bloke at the end of the night is never a good look. It gets worse if only one of you gets an SMS asking for a second date. Oh dear.
Have you tried mobile phone dating? What are your favourite dating websites or apps?
Monique Butterworth is an Australian journalist specialising in news, entertainment, celebrity and lifestyle. With 25 years experience in the media, Monique’s career started at News Limited in Sydney, working on The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Daily Mirror newspapers before moving into magazines including New Weekly (now NW magazine), New Idea and Woman’s Day. Monique has worked as a freelance journalist for publications such as NW, OK!, TV Week, Wish (The Australian) and Good Living (Sydney Morning Herald). Monique lives in Sydney with her partner James, their 1-year-old daughter Matilda, James’ teen children Monty, 16 & Ella, 14, their dog Rob Roy, cat Oreo and horse Marty.