Technology

iOS vs. Android Users: With Dating, It Makes a Difference

Technology
  • Tuesday, May 27 2014 @ 07:07 am
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Do you have an iPhone or Android phone? Chances are, you didn’t purchase one or the other by chance: you had a definite preference.

Are You Interested, a dating app for singles, decided to test out its own user base and how their dating preferences correlated to the type of phone they used. We know that things like ethnicity, income, and height play a major role in how much success a dater has online. But could your phone have an influence too, considering how much time, money and effort we put into them? In some cases, yes.

AYI found that iOS users were contacted 17% more often than Android users. Turns out, those who prefer Apple products are more desirable dates. I looked into Cupidtino, the dating site dedicated to lovers of all products Apple, to see some profiles of the most desirable users, but found that it is now defunct. I guess more options are better, even for those dedicated to Apple lovers.

Android users seem to be the ones doing the pursuing, while Apple users tend to wait to be contacted. According to the study, Android users were 12% more likely than iOS users to contact someone on AYI.

The dating app company was able to examine 20 million interactions between their users, pulling from a portion of the 2.4 million mobile downloads of the app. Since other online daters can’t see what phone the other person has, AYI looked at what type of dater owned which type of phone. Interestingly, both groups skewed male, but Android users tend to be slightly older, with 42% between 45 and 60 compared to only 29% of iPhone users. Sixty-seven percent of iPhone users were under 45.

In addition, income seems to be a factor. Android users were 30% more likely to make under $60,000 than those with iPhones. Also, 83% of singles making over $150,000 owned an iOS device.

Marital status is another factor, with Android users being 20% more likely than iOS users to be divorced. Another interesting finding from the study: iOS users tend to drink 50% more often and take drugs twice as often as the Android users. On the flip side, they were also 18% more likely to work out every day compared to Android users.

In terms of education, iOS users were twice as likely to have a Master’s degree and 55% more likely to have a Bachelor’s degree. A whopping 72% of Android users had not completed college.

AYI studied profile information from 13,690 of its mobile app users in the United States for the study. For more information on this dating site please read our review of Are You Interested.

CreepShield Will Tell You If Your Latest Online Crush Is A Creep

Technology
  • Monday, May 19 2014 @ 10:35 am
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  • Views: 1,166

What’s one of the biggest reasons online dating detractors say the Internet is no way to meet a decent date?

The high creep factor, of course. And to be honest, anyone who has tried online dating for more than a day would probably find it difficult to totally disagree. Online dating is an incredible innovation, but there’s no denying it comes with its fair share of strangeness.

A little weirdness is either entertaining or mildly irritating, but what if it goes beyond “a little?” That’s where CreepShield comes in, a new service that helps users avoid the creeps and the crazies online using facial recognition technology .

"Criminals often hide behind aliases online, but CreepShield uses facial recognition software to check for facial similarities and brings up potential matches from a database of over 475,000 registered sex offenders," explained CreepShield's creator Kevin Alan Tussy. "We see facial recognition as a tool that can definitely help make online dating safer. While this technology can't identify everyone out there with bad intentions, it's a huge step in the right direction."

To use the service, simply copy the URL of any headshot and paste it into the CreepShield search engine. The photo is instantly scanned against images in a database of convicted sex offenders, looking for a match. In addition to CreepShield.com, there is also a CreepShield Chrome extension if you prefer to research dates on the fly. Once installed, the extension allows users to right click on any jpg, png or gif displayed in the browser and select "Scan with CreepShield" from the dropdown menu.

CreepShield was developed by the team responsible for the extremely controversial Google Glass app "NameTag." The app and its powerful facial recognition technology were big news earlier this year when Senator Al Franken publicly requested that its release be delayed. With that project put on the backburner, CreepShield came to the forefront.

It’s an intriguing idea, and it’s hard to argue with something that could make online dating safer, but the service still has a few kinks to work out. The site’s FAQ stresses that, due to the way facial recognition technology works, CreepShield can’t guarantee its matches. “It is always up to the user to decide whether or not a searched photo contains the same individual as the results presented,” the site reads. And indeed, when put to the test, it seems the searching method leaves something to be desired.

What do you think? Would you use CreepShield to get the deets on a date?

New Truth App let Users Anonymously Flirt with Phone Contacts

Technology
  • Friday, May 09 2014 @ 07:10 am
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  • Views: 1,660

Dating and communication between two potential romantic partners has reached a whole new level thanks to the growing popularity of apps. If you’re nervous or shy, you can approach a woman or man through an app and never experience firsthand rejection. You can swipe left or right, without having that uncomfortable conversation if one of you isn’t interested.

Tinder is an app where users interact with each other through profiles and information pulled from Facebook. You can see, at least through photos, who is messaging you. But other apps are surfacing to channel all of that flirting through a new, underground form of communication.

Truth is the latest in a series of anonymous messaging apps that sends private flirtations or missives to people on your contacts list. It's undercover one-on-one messaging between friends.

So, if you like a guy but aren’t sure if he likes you, you can hide behind an avatar and anonymous username with Truth to message him and see if he might be interested. If he doesn’t have Truth on his phone, he can download it to read your message, making him another user. This is a cool and exciting feature for shy types.

On the other hand, if you want to slam your friend without her knowing who did it, you can do that, too.

Truth is different from popular apps like Secret and Whisper because it utilizes your own contacts list instead of broadcasting through a feed like Twitter. So, the focus of communication is between friends. But all of these apps share one thing in common – they allow you to be anonymous. Which means in the online world – you can say or do whatever you want with no accountability.

One of the objectives for the app is to allow people who are uncomfortable flirting or asking someone out face-to-face a means to do it without having to feel the sting of rejection. On the other hand, it’s a perfect platform for bullying.

Truth’s co-founder Ali Saheli tells website Mashable that, “We try to keep it light and playful,” but acknowledges that from day one they have seen the potential for abuse. He estimates content reported as abusive represents less than 5% of all messages. "The most common usage is flirting with classmates. And obviously we've seen a range of uses, like people giving feedback in workplaces.”

The app has taken off among the most vulnerable age groups – specifically high school and college-aged people. But is it making dating any easier or a better experience? As one young woman told Mashable, “You're just playing a game to figure things out."

If you would like to try the Truth app you can visit their site called Use Truth.

Live Video Chats Gaining Popularity among Online Daters

Technology
  • Friday, March 21 2014 @ 07:15 am
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  • Views: 858

Users of online dating sites sometimes get frustrated and overwhelmed with all the lengthy profiles and messaging back and forth before they ever get to a date with a potential match. A simple solution: why not test the chemistry first by video chatting with each other before meeting for drinks or coffee?

Enter a new crop of online dating apps focused on video interaction. Among those making headlines in this growing field are Date.fm, Flikdate, Video Date and two new apps launched last fall -- View N Me and Instamour.

Developers of these apps saw an opportunity when they noticed how Skype and Facetime are fast becoming typical platforms for people to communicate. They figured singles would want to see if there's chemistry before spending the time and money and effort to meet a date in person. And why not do that from your laptop or mobile phone?

While it sounds great to meet a potential date through a video chat, some people aren't so convinced. Not everyone is a movie director or cinematographer who can figure out good lighting to highlight someone's most attractive features. All too often, poor lighting and strange camera angles can interfere with making a good first impression. View N Me offers tips for looking your best on video to address this problem.

Safety is another concern, and different app developers deal with it in different ways. For example, Video Date does not use phone numbers or e-mails for people to communicate through the service, and messages delete after 24 hours. View N Me offers a strict no tolerance policy for any type of inappropriate behavior on its site. Once someone is reported they conduct a review and terminate the subscription if the user's behavior is deemed inappropriate.

But the most important question for daters is: how easy is the service to use?

Date.fm works a bit like a video-enabled Tinder app. It is simple to use - the service provides general information like age and location along with photos of matches, and you can like or dislike them. If you both like each other, you are sent a notification and then can start video chatting from within the app. FlikDate touts itself as "the fastest date in the world." You simply connect with your Facebook account and play a type of video roulette, where you can chat with someone instantly, see if you click, and accept or reject your match on the spot.

It's no surprise that video dating is becoming more and more popular. People are looking for quick ways to get to know each other. But the real test for love still takes time and effort.

POF Betting it Knows What Online Daters Want

Technology
  • Friday, March 07 2014 @ 07:03 am
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  • Views: 1,286
While POF has garnered a lot of attention over the years for its free online dating service and hook-up potential, its founder wants to get back to basics and is focused on the goal – finding people matches for the long-term.

POF does have an advantage over other dating sites: namely, its user base. With 70 million registered users all over the world, it can rightly call itself the largest online dating site. Three and a half million people log on to the site every day to look for matches and communicate with others. The company also estimates that over one million relationships a year begin on its website.

What does this mean for daters? For one thing, the sheer numbers POF draws from memberships means the company can determine how people date from country to country, including their cultural preferences and overall approach to dating. They’ve found that while daters in the U.K. largely embrace online dating, the rest of Europe is a bit behind. They can focus on areas of growth and potential.

POF began in Canada, but the U.S. is by far its biggest market, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and Australia.

“People in the United Kingdom will wear turtlenecks in the photos they send,” POF founder Markus Frind told The Provence, commenting on the cultural differences of dating he’s witnessed through the POF user base. “Women are way more aggressive in Brazil. They initiate as much as men.”

POF was started in 2003 when Frind was working for another technology company, and created the dating site in his spare time. He ran the company out of his apartment for five years until it reached ten million in annual revenue. Today he employs about 75 people in a large office space in Vancouver, and since POF remains a free service for daters, most of the revenue generated is from advertising.

Though Frind won’t disclose how much revenue his private company makes, he has put aside $30 million for acquisitions and intends to keep growing. In September of last year, he bought speed dating company Fast Life, hoping to add value to his online dating service by getting into singles events.

And as for success stories? Frind met his own partner through work, not over an online dating site. But he has gathered some success stories resulting from POF matches, including a young married couple who met each other five years ago on the site.

With its popularity unwavering, POF is focusing its efforts on technology and growth. The goal according to Frind is still to help people find long-term relationships.

This Is What Happens When A Math Genius Hacks OkCupid

Technology
  • Monday, March 03 2014 @ 06:57 am
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  • Views: 2,139

What if you could meet, woo, and win your fiancé in just 90 days?

That's exactly what Chris McKinlay, a Boston mathematician, did in June 2012. McKinlay was good at math, but not so good where his love life was concerned. So he did what any enterprising mathematician would do: developed complex algorithms and used robot profiles to systematically sift through thousands of profiles on OkCupid to find his perfect match.

McKinlay was working on his PhD at UCLA in June 2012 when he first joined OkCupid. After answering 350 questions from the thousands available on the site, he discovered that he only had a compatibility rating of over 90% with fewer than 100 women. Six disappointing dates later, and McKinlay realized that something needed to change. He decided to apply his data skills to his dating life.

He began by creating 12 robot profiles that answered all of the questions randomly and used them to mine the survey answers of all women on the site. Then, armed with 6 million answers from 20,000 prospective mates, he used an algorithm to analyze the women he would like to meet. He limited his search to LA or San Francisco based partners who had logged on within the last month and clustered their personalities into two types that appealed to him most: "indie" women in their mid-20s and slightly older creative-types. After creating two different profiles for himself designed to target each cluster, he then answered the top 500 survey questions for each group.

The hack worked. McKinlay suddenly found himself with a 90%-plus compatibility rating with more than 10,000 women. Because OkCupid notifies users when someone looks at their profile, McKinlay designed software that would automatically view as many profiles as possible, prompting curious matches to initiate conversation with him. He received about 20 messages per day and went on 87 dates, but just one - the 88th - was special.

28-year-old Christine Tien Wang, an artist pursuing a master's in fine arts at UCLA, caught his attention and the two hit it off. They've been together ever since, surviving through Wang's one-year art fellowship in Qatar and McKinlay's admission that he'd used rather unconventional means to meet the woman of his dreams. "I thought it was dark and cynical," Wang told Wired. "I liked it."

McKinlay maintains that he was just doing "a large-scale and machine-learning version of what everyone does on the site," and unusual though his approach may sound, it's hard to argue with success. McKinlay and Wang are now engaged, and he has written a book to help others find spouses through online dating...it doesn't get much more successful than that.

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