Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Smartphone dating apps link users by proximity - latimes.com

Smartphone dating apps link users by proximity - latimes.com

Sitting in the stands at Dodger Stadium, Steve Bergmann began checking out nearby women he might hit on. But his eyes weren't scanning the seats — they were fixed on his smartphone.

Bergmann tapped into an app that uses GPS to locate prospective dates in the vicinity. He scrolled through photos and profiles till one young woman caught his eye, then shot her an instant message. Half an hour later, Bergmann and Meg Riely, both 25, were sipping beers together at a concession stand.

"She was one of the closest girls in my vicinity, and her picture was pretty cute," said Bergmann, a personal wealth manager. "So I sent her a message about the game and basically tried to be as charming as I could."

Forget online dating services and their scientific personality tests. This is courtship in the smartphone era, driven mainly by photos and proximity.

Skout, which is the largest of the location-based dating apps, claims 5 million subscribers and says the average age of users is about 26.

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