London: A mobile app links single men and women within 100 miles and helps them to get together.
SinglesAroundMe is assisting more face-to-face meetings, replacing chat-up lines in bars with messages from the GPS-enabled app.
Its founder calls it a ‘new frontier’ of finding friends and dating, using portable technology to immediately connect amorous or lonely men and women.
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 4 billion dollars.
“Shortly we expect to hit one million downloads, and things are accelerating as word spreads,” the Daily Mail quoted the app’s founder Chris Klotz as saying.
Launched 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 SinglesAroundMe’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.
“We meet people when we’re out and about, not when we’re stuck at home behind a computer.
“It is used to meet people not for a quickie, although I’m sure there might be those ambitions for some,” Klotz said on his website.
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 - Klotz has found that his app has ‘become much more main stream’.
The potential of the gay market is not lost on the founder, and two months ago he launched GaysAroundMe - more squarely aligned to compete with the likes of Grindr.