Cell phone companies jump at any chance to sell you more stuff. Holidays are the worst — ‘it’s Valentines Day, don’t you want to buy your date a pink phone!!?’ (Right, and why not add a fat contract to that too). Maybe skip electronics and stick to flowers. Nevertheless if you are feeling blue during this single-awareness day, then there are quite a few startups that are willing to play cupid, thanks to their ‘mobile dating’ offerings.
The line between mobile dating and ‘mobile social networking’ is pretty blurry, and mostly based on marketing. But mobile sites built for the purpose of straight-up dating are actually more common than you might think. Mobile users are using cell phones to check the profiles of potential dates and send them messages, or chat (anonymously or not). Startups are building mobile dating sites, and Internet dating sites are adding mobile components. Here’s a few we’ve checked out.
Jumbuck’s Fast Flirting: Users can choose to chat with anyone based on their profile, and users can send each other drinks and winks. I’ve tested it out and you should be ready for some hardcore attention, given there are a lot of people using this service at any one time. The company says on any given day there are more than 40,000 unique users logging in and says its community is over 4 million. The company also said this week it has upgraded the service.
MeetMoi: Is a recently launched site created by SixDegrees founder Andrew Weinreich. Users sign up for the service and text their location to the company’s short code ’94810.’ The service sends your profile to matches close by. Sounds like Dodgeball, though the purpose is to meet new people and chat with them, not keep in touch with a group of friends. The service is free to sign up, but charges for chatting.
Webdate Mobile: This mobile site is powered by Trilibis Mobile, which said this week that it has brought in 91,000 members that are either paying a per message/gift fee or a monthly subscription for the mobile dating service — 90% pay a subscription. On Sprint and Cingular it’s $3.99 and $4.99 a month respectively. Cingular’s subscription service is based on WAP, while Sprint’s is a downloadable java application.
Match.com Mobile: The online dating biggie has a mobile site that lets you search for matches and chat anonymously.
Those that are dateless on Valentine’s Day are you ready to give your cell phone a try?