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But much like dating, finding just the right match is no easy task, according to industry experts.At a swanky Los Angeles hotel in June, six single people sat before a roomful of industry executives to discuss that issue.Americans now use dating apps more than online dating sites, according to a 2011 report by Flurry Analytics.“The number of people using dating apps is growing faster than the number using all apps,” it said.They have 24 hours to ‘like’ or ‘pass’ over the person.If both users choose ‘like,’ they are connected through a private number. “We’re trying to use mobile technology to make people take an active stance in dating,” said co-founder Arum Kang, a former product manager at Amazon.A new wave of apps such as Coffee Meets Bagel and Yoke focus on common friends and use Facebook profile information to match people.“You can judge a person by the company that they keep,” said Mark Brooks, analyst and consultant to the Internet dating industry.
But it could also spontaneously put you in front of the someone who likes your favorite food, books and music and might just like you, too. It’s been around since the invention of mobile phones.Match, e Harmony, Skout, Grindr, Ok Cupid, Meet Moi, Plenty Of Fish and Badoo each boast a distinct personality and millions of user profiles, messages, chats, winks, flirts or other measures of dating app success.The i Tunes store has countless dating apps under its social networking category.“Since I’m single and busy, I wanted to use it as a way to practice flirting and see the technology behind the apps,” he said.Another participant, Joe, 30, from Chicago, described his experience in a blog.“With these apps it feels like, ‘Hey, I’m in the area, I’m looking to hang out,’ he wrote. It’s a little more explicit up front.” The perception about mobile apps, which is not totally inaccurate, is that they’re meant for casual dating.
Coffee Meets Bagel, a four-month-old New York startup, found that users were 37.2 percent more likely to want to date a person if they had mutual Facebook friends.