Lusty lovelorn loners looking for love are likely to push revenues from mobile dating and chatroom services past the $1bn mark by 2010, according to a new report by Juniper Research.
The research firm estimates that users of such services are set to soar to 260m in 2012, substantially up from the current tally of 40m.The report points to strong demand in both developed and emerging markets, including more than 60m users in the Indian sub-continent, with the largest mobile dating markets being Japan and India.
Report author, Dr Windsor Holden, commented, “Major brands such as Match.com and Webdate have recognised that customers are willing to pay a mobility premium for 24/7 access to these services and are increasing deploying mobile applications to complement and enhance their existing offerings.”Holden added that the sector was becoming increasingly attractive to start-ups looking to launch cross-platform services, with the increasing proliferation of 3G handsets allowing companies to offer converged services at the outset. “Companies which embrace such a strategy - such as Flirtomatic - are experiencing significantly higher levels of traffic from their WAP users than from their users on the fixed internet,” Holden noted.
Despite the huge rise in traffic, the report cautions that usage was being held back by pricey and often confusing data pricing, with prepaid customers being put off by high data charges
Mobile dating services, also known as cell dating, cellular dating,or cell phone dating, allow individuals to chat, meet, and possibly become romantically involved by means of text messaging, mobile chatting, and the web.
These services allow their users to provide information about themselves in a short profile which is stored in their phones as a dating ID. They can then search for other IDs online or by calling a certain phone number dictated by the service. The criteria include age, gender and sexual preference. Usually these sites are free to use but standard text messaging fees may still apply as well as a small fee the dating service charges per message.
Mobile dating websites, in order to increase the opportunities for meeting, focus attention on users that share the same social network and proximity. Some companies even offer services such as homing devices to alert users when another user is within thirty feet of one another. Some systems involve bluetooth technology to connect users in locations such as bars and clubs. This is known as proximity dating. These systems are actually more popular in some countries in Europe and Asia than online dating. With the advent of GPS Phones and GSM localization the proximity dating will rise sharply.According to The San Francisco Chronicle in 2005, "Mobile dating is the next big leap in online socializing." More than 3.6 million cell phone users logged into mobile dating sites in March 2007, with most users falling in the under 35 age range.
Some experts believe that the rise in mobile dating is due to the growing popularity of online dating. Analyst Brent Iadarola of Frost & Sullivan said, "I think people are more comfortable with online dating, and it's generally been accepted, the comfort people have with online dating in the wired world is now translating to the mobile world." Others believe it is all about choice, as Joe Brennan Jr., vice president of Webdate says, "It's about giving people a choice. They don't have to date on their computer. They can date on their handset, it's all about letting people decide what path is best for them."
Some avoid these services for fear that the technology could be used to electronically harass users.Another issue is "asymmetry of interests", i.e. attractive member receives excessive attentions and leaves, which may result in deterioration of membership. The pictures are very small and cell phones are still a step behind computers in their ease to use
With the enormous success of online dating systems, it's no surprise that mobile dating suit followed suit. Mobile dating allows you to meet, chat, and create real relationships with others through your mobile phone. This way, you can stay in touch no matter where you are-no need to log on to a website or find a good place to sit and chat. With mobile dating, anyone with a mobile phone can enter the playing field and get a fair chance at finding that perfect date.
How it works
When you sign up for mobile dating, you are allowed to create a short profile known as your Dating ID. The dating ID is stored in your phone and in the provider's mobile dating database. When you search for dating partners, the service will search the database for ideal matches in terms of age, location and other factors you set on the phone. Likewise, anyone who searches the service for someone with your criteria will find your dating ID in the list. These services are usually free, although you may have to pay standard messaging fees depending on your provider.
Mobile dating websites
Most mobile dating services are available in an online (PC) version, where you can create an extended profile and do a more thorough search. This puts you in touch with a wider selection of dating IDs and increases your chances of finding a good match. You can usually use your dating ID profile to sign in to the online service.
If your dating service is too expensive, you can try Bluetooth mobile dating instead. In this setup, your phone basically works as a homing device, telling others within your range that you're present and available. Other's phones do the same thing, alerting you of their presence and even letting you access their dating IDs.
Setting it up
Not all networks support mobile dating, so ask your network about it if you want to sign up. You may have to get your connection reconfigured or pay an additional service fee. Once it's all set, you can simply make an account online or through your phone's WAP connection, and start searching for that dream date!
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