Online Dating Trends: Mobile Dating Comes Of Age

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While Justin Bieber is trending on Twitter, what's trending in the world of online dating?

According to the Google Barometer Blog, mobile dating is the newest trend sweeping the U.K. Bickey Russell and Elizabeth Song, Senior Industry Analyst and Analyst Intern, respectively, for Google UK, studied the rising popularity of mobile dating and found that "the volume of Google searches on mobile devices related to dating grew by 215% YoY ['Year Over Year'] since 2008" in the UK alone. And, in an even more remarkable turn, "the volume of dating queries on mobile phones shot up ten fold in just three years' time."

As smartphone usage has become increasingly prevalent, the usage of mobile devices - and the constant Internet connectivity they provide - to access dating websites to search for potential matches and answer messages from interested members has become more and more popular. The market is so large, in fact, that Juniper, a market research firm, has estimated that "the overall mobile dating sector will grow to $1.4 billion worldwide by 2013." That's right - $1.4 billion in just three years. Google research has also found that searches from laptops and desktop computers for "mobile dating" and "text dating" have grown over 72% YoY in the UK.

So what can on-the-go online dating do for you? New interactive features are being invented constantly, allowing you to take advantage of countless new online dating opportunities like proximity dating, which uses GPS or Bluetooth technology to alert users when other singles are nearby. Mobile and location dating also introduce a real-life context into the online dating scene, "making the process less detached from users' everyday lives, social networks, and gathering places."

If you're interested in trying mobile dating, you don't have to venture far outside your comfort zone - many major dating sites, like Match, eHarmony, and JDate, have mobile apps available for download. If you're ready for something new, however, check out these popular apps:

1. Meet Moi: Meet Moi is a location-based mobile dating app that updates your location in real-time and alerts you when a match is nearby. Their basic service is free.

2. SpeedDate.com: Members can search through millions of profiles and start conversations via email with prospective matches. SpeedDate provides an advanced set of filters that allows users to search based on specific criteria, as well as a tagging feature that ensures that favorite profiles are saved.

3. Grindr: Grindr is the largest location-based dating app for gay, bi, and curious men. Grindr is free, and has about 600,000 users per month (about 250,000 users per day, who log on approximately eight times within a 24 hour period!).

4. Zoosk: Zoosk won the award for Best Mobile Dating Site at the Internet Dating Conference this year, and is consistently a #1 dating app in the iTunes Store. The app has all of the functionality of the website, with a GPS location tagging feature.

For more information on the service which won the award Best Mobile Dating Site, please read our Zoosk review. For other dating sites which also offer their services over a phone, check out our Mobile Phone Dating category.