Right now, more than 40 million singles use top online personals platforms such as and as well as dating websites to find love. Online dating, however, is evolving. More and more, connected singles are using dating apps to improve their chances of meeting that special someone.
Singles can connect online and test their web-based love connections in person. In some cases, it's only a few minutes after virtually chatting, thanks to location-based features.
"If you think you’re not tech-savvy enough to download a dating app, think again," Laurie Davis, founder of and author of Love At First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating (releasing in February by Simon & Schuster) tells Mashable. "In today’s apped-up, textaholic society, exploration means downloading apps, not just checking out a new YouTube video."
Enter spur-of-the-moment dating. Busy young adults of the can utilize their free time to the fullest by meeting matches nearby. Some dating apps require less sign-up information than their web counterparts — an added bonus.
"Most mobile apps are good for connecting quickly, so you’ll find more singles looking for casual relationships ready to meet on the fly," , a leading authority in online dating advice, tells Mashable. "However, the traditional online dating sites are doing a good job with mobile."
Most apps are complementary to existing web platforms. The mobile platform encourages users to regularly flirt and keep up with incoming messages. There are also plenty of new apps on the market.
"Perusing new platforms that don’t have a traditional site, like location-based app MeetMoi, means viewing new matches you haven’t seen before who might be your right click," Davis says.
Singles should take the time to see what different dating apps offer, she says. Spira leads a Los Angeles-based , helping singles of all levels use mobile dating apps. She offers the following tips.
"As with any social networking site or dating site, critical mass is important," Spira says. "We also found in the BootCamp that the simpler the features and sign-up process, the happier the singles were with the apps they were using. Too many premium features became confusing. Having an interface that makes it easy to write to someone is important."
Don't be afraid to get the ball rolling on a potential romance. Mobile app users aren't expected to wait and get to know the person before scheduling a meetup. "The initial intention to meet focuses on fun, but that doesn’t mean that things can’t turn serious later as your relationship develops," Davis says.
As much as mobile dating apps are about the now, it's also important to note that if the notifications and constant messaging get overwhelming, it's okay to take a break.
"Don’t forget that most location-based apps have an off button," Davis says. "Typically found in the preferences section, it’s important to only make yourself available when you’re ready to flirt, so you don’t get caught by a cutie when you’re at the grocery store in your PJs."
Dating apps facilitate real-life meetups, so safety is even more important with casual mobile meetups, Davis says.
"Meeting is more spontaneous, so staying in a public place, keeping communication on the app (rather than exchanging numbers) and creating a user name without your real name in it are musts."
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