In the News

Online Dating Minute – Social Dating and All That Jazzed

The secret to a successful online dating site is a combination of social dating, mobile dating, matching, and a critical mass of members. Jazzed, created by eHarmony appears to be successful at combining all four.

The social dating site announced their official launch today with over 500,000 members and more than 250,000 mobile downloads of their iOS and Android apps.

In an exclusive video interview for the Online Dating Minute, I spoke with Grant Hosford, Senior Director at Jazzed, who shared a behind the scenes look at the dating site, including what inspired eHarmony to create a social dating site, as well as describing some of their features.

In addition, you can connect with Jazzed_Kate, their official Twitter account with over 16,000 followers who provides dating advice and customer service.

Are you ready to start adding your social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix on your profiles? Are you interested in joining a site to expand your social network and meet more friends?  Your comments and thoughts are welcome.

Julie Spira is known worldwide as the leading online dating expert. She provides dating and relationship advice on CyberDatingExpert.com, where singles and couples share their online dating stories. Connect with Julie on Twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Cyber Love Story of the Week – Tammye and Scott

CLSTammyeandScottThis week’s Cyber Love Story of the Week is one where I’m proud to share, as I’ve known Tammye for over a year. Find out how an online flirt, initiated by Tammye, followed by her cancelling the date, eventually led to a marriage proposal. Here’s the story of Tammye and Scott.

He Said:

I had been dating online for about a year. If there was no connection, I just moved on. Most profiles and pictures were a lie and I was ready to give up on the entire process. I have never been one to go to bars, so dating online was my only real option. I had put a 25 mile limit on my search radius. Somehow Tammye came up within that search. She sent me a flirt. Tammye was 25.9 miles away, although she was just outside my criteria, I was impressed by her profile. She was articulate and I liked that. I answered the flirt. We set up plans to meet for coffee. Tammye cancelled [I still swear that she said due to a spider bite on her face]. That was my final straw … I was done. I was frustrated with the whole online dating thing, but Tammye and I remained Facebook friends. I watched her posts and the events she attended, she captured my attention. In one of her posts, she mentioned Italian food, I told her about a great spot for real Sicilian lasagna, and Tammye said “All you have to do is ask”. The date was set, June 15th at 6:30pm. She was late, one of my pet peeves. I ordered for her.  She texted me when she arrived in the parking lot and I went out to meet her. As I waited to greet her, in my mind I saw her float above the ground, wearing a long white dress [come to find out it was a short black & white polka dot one] it was as if I had known her all my life.

I knew the moment I saw her I had found the one, I proposed on December 30, 2010. She said ‘Yes’ ~ three times. I never want to be without her. We have everything in common. She is my life mate.

She Said:

In December of 2009, out of sheer frustration, I joined an online dating site. I had just set up my Facebook account and one of their sister sites was Zoosk. I was dutiful and filled out the questionnaire, trying to be thorough yet interesting. Just let me say, you have to go through a lot of frogs before you find you find your prince. Having deleted my way through a few dozen or so gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, there was only one man that stood out, Scott. I was very hesitant, but we made plans to meet for coffee. Call it a mid-life crisis, but at the time I was determined to experience all those things that I didn’t have time for or money for in the past. I had recently taken up Kick boxing lessons, and a few days prior to our meeting, I took a punch to the eye. A swollen, black-purple-and-blue eyeball never makes a good first impression, so I cancelled. Scott and I never rescheduled the coffee meet up, however we remained Facebook friends for 6 months. In May of 2010, having found out it was my birthday, Scott invited me to dinner. We made plans to meet once again. This time the date was kept. We have been inseparable ever since. He means absolutely everything to me.

Scott and I just celebrated our one year anniversary; we are engaged and will be wed in March 2012. You really can find love online!

Congratulations to Tammye and Scott, our Cyber Love Story of the Week.

Do you have an online dating story to share?

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Julie Spira is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit CyberDatingExpert.com for online dating advice and to share your online dating stories. Follow Julie on twitter @JulieSpira and at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert

Mobile Phone Etiquette for National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

cellphoneheart 150x150You may have a high IQ and a smile that makes guys hearts melt, but what happens when your attachment to your mobile phone ranks higher on the totem pole than your date? As July marks National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, it’s time to pause and take notice on how discourteous we’ve become as we continue to spend the majority of our time attached to our smart phones.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, there are an estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and the number is growing. In addition, 6.1 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2010. It’s no wonder with these numbers that cell phone etiquette, or in reality netiquette is on the decline.

So how does this enormous mobile phone usage affect matters of the heart?

In a recent survey on the relationship between cell phones and dating, social dating community Zoosk found out their members were extremely frustrated as they constantly competed with cell phones on a date. In short, daters are regularly breaking the rules of netiquette in a variety of ways with glancing at their cell phones during a date leading the list.

Alex Mehr, co-founder and co-CEO of Zoosk said,  “We are surprised to hear that flagrantly reckless cell phone behavior has driven one third of singles to actually get up and excuse themselves from a date altogether. It’s our hope that singles follow proper cell phone etiquette to ensure that a mobile faux pas doesn’t ‘cell’ their date short.”

I’m personally not surprised in the least by their findings, as I’ve gone on record as saying, “Your mobile phone isn’t an accessory.” I believe that unless you’re expecting a call from the President of the United States or a kidney transplant, your should leave it in your purse or pocket while on a date.

So without further digital adieu, here are some of the results of Zoosk survey.

  • 1/3 of singles say they left a date early, because the other person was too absorbed with their cell phone
  • 86% of singles say, constantly glancing at a cell phone is the  most offensive mobile-related  behavior, worse than sending a text
  • 51% of singles think taking a call on a date is offensive
  • 25% of female Zooskers have dumped their guy in a text message, as compared to 15% of the men
  • Only 25% of singles didn’t mind when their date was distracted by their cell phone
  • 73% of singles do like hearing their date’s voice on their voicemail

At the end of the digital day, leave a voicemail message for your sweetheart and make sure they remain higher on the totem pole than your mobile device.

Do you have any mobile dating pet peeves? Comments and thoughts are welcome

Julie Spira is an online dating expert and coach and creates irresistible profiles for singles on the dating scene. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com, like her at facebook.com/cyberdatingexpert and follow her on twitter @JulieSpira

 

How to Pimp Your Online Dating Profile

If you missed my Pimp Your Online Dating Profile Seminar in Los Angeles, there’s no need to fret. My friends at Cupid’s Pulse asked me to help singles create an irresistible online dating profile just for Valentine’s Day, so I came up with a list of 5 Must-Do tasks that you can start doing today.

From wearing red to attract love,  to creating a catchy screen name and changing your visibility settings, it’s still time to find a Valentine.

Click here for full article @Cupid’s Pulse
1. Be the Lady in Red: Everyone knows that red is synonymous with love and passion.  We’re reminded about Valentine’s Day as soon as New Year’s is over.  I always say the color red will attract a man.  Grab a friend and your digital camera and start snapping some photos wearing your favorite red dress or sweater to grab his attention.  Post three to five photos: one full-length shot, one close up and an activity or vacation shot.  Not sure what to use?  Check out your own Facebook profile and scan through your photos.  There might be one on your favorite social networking site to post on your online dating profile.

2. Create a Catchy Screen Name: When I create irresistible online dating profiles for singles, I’m always amazed at how many singles just use the screen name assigned by Match.com, eHarmony, or on the free online dating site.  There’s nothing catchy about it at all.  Think about a newspaper with a great headline and an interesting photo.  If it captures your attention, you’re more than likely to skim or read through the article.  The same theory holds true for online dating.  It’s a competitive digital landscape out there – Suzy115279 isn’t going to impress him, but ArtLover4U or HikingGal will show him what your interests are.  This will make it easier for him to approach you.

3. Change your Settings: Typically, women like it when a man does the pursuing, but February is already here.  You need to let him know you’re available and ready to meet.  How do you do this?  Change your privacy settings to show you’re online and open up your live chat or instant messaging service.  Online dating is a numbers game and men are rejected all too often.  Make it easy for him to find you.  It’s a crowded digital landscape and the squeaky wheel does get the deal.

4. Shorten your Profile: There’s so much to say and so little time, but time is your friend.  Don’t tell your entire life story in your profile, or there’s no reason for him to contact you.  Shorten your profile to a simple paragraph with enough information to pique his curiosity.

5. Cast a Wide Net: So what if he doesn’t look like your dream guy?  If you have enough common interests, take a chance and accept a date.  You never know if a great friendship will develop or if he’ll have a friend to introduce you to, even if it’s not a love connection.  Women do fall in love with their best friends, so don’t be too quick to judge the book by it’s digital cover.

For the full article, Visit Cupid’s Pulse.

Getting Social at the Internet Dating Conference

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Matchmaker of the Year Julie Ferman and Julie Spira

It was a pleasure attending the 8th Annual Internet Dating Conference in Miami again, where I had the honor to speak on Web Dating 2.0: Using Social Media to Create Brand Loyalty on January 20, 2011.

Several hundred people attended the session on day 2 of the 3-day conference.

Going Mobile

In my presentation, I shared the exciting news that both Zoosk Mobile and SpeedDate Mobile apps have each had more than 2 million downloads.  OkCupid’s mobile app has over 1 million mobile users. eHarmony says their mobile apps account for approximately 20% of global site visits. Consumers now look at eHarmony profiles more than 16,000 times per hour while using mobile devices.  Their mobile app was launched in August, 2009 in conjunction with their 10th anniversary. Match says mobile users are twice as engaged as those who log onto the site on their desktop, so we are definitely going mobile.

Record Highs

We learned from Online Personals Watch Publisher Mark Brooks that online dating hit a record high in December 2010 with 116 million members worldwide visiting online dating sites. Over 20 million visits were from U.S. members. The folks from Google shared that 35 hours of video content is uploaded on YouTube every minute of the day. Online dating is a 1.3 billion dollar industry now according to Jupiter Research.

iDate Awards

One of the highlights of the conference was the 2nd annual iDate Awards. This year OkCupid won 4 iDate Awards including Best Dating Site, Best Dating Site Design, Most Innovative Company, and Best Up and Coming Dating Site. Congratulations to OkCupid for winning in every category that they were nominated in and matching the number of Golden Globe Awards received as The Social Network film. My friend Julie Ferman won the Best Matchmaker Award for the second year in a row and it was certainly well deserved.

Getting Social

It was terrific spending time with Sherri Langburt from Single Edition, Ravit Abelman from Omnidate,  Julie Ferman from Cupid’s Coach, and eLove’s Paul Falzone while catching up with Sam Yagan from OkCupid and Kate Billenki from Plenty of Fish. All have been featured guests on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show. Dating blogger Simone Grant came to iDate for her first time and we brainstormed about dating, blogging, and social media.

The Final Debate

The conference ended with the Final Panel Debate curated by Marc Lesnick, Conference Organizer and included Mark McMaster from Google, Mark Brooks from Online Personals Watch, Michael McQuown from Thunder Road, Jonathan Crutchley from Manhunt, Mark Harrison from Dating Factory, Joel Simkhal from Grindr, Markus Frind from Plenty of Fish, Sam Yagan from OkCupid, Ty from Elite Global Dating and Dan Winchester from FreeDating.co.uk. At the end of the annual end of conference panel, the majority of the panelists felt that online dating would continue to grow in 2011.

Free Versus Paid

The hot topic this year was Free versus Paid online dating sites. Free sites have been rising in popularity and have made a small dent in the paid online dating services. Compared to the cost of high-end matchmakers, paid online dating sites are still a bargain.

To view my presentation, visit SocialMediaMore.com/idate

Is Texting the New Calling for Scheduling Dates?

zoosklogo2We’ve become so attached to our SmartPhones, but has text messaging actually replaced calling and hearing the human voice? According to a Zoosk Holiday poll of 1000 singles in the U.S., the answer is yes.

43%  say that text messaging indeed has become their preferred form of communication. 27% of Singles polled said they still prefer the more traditional phone call, while 14% of singles prefer to communicate via Facebook. Twitter got a thumbs down with 0% preferring to communicate in 140 characters or less.

As Zooskers looked ahead to 2011, the good news is that love will be very much in style. 77% of the singles polled said they had a good feeling they would meet that someone special in the coming year. Chances are they will meet while looking for love online.

What’s the sexiest gadget to catch up on your reading? I was pleased to see the answer was a traditionally published book. Over half of the singles polled preferred an actual book over the Kindle, iPad, Nook, or Sony Reader.

How sexy is your Smartphone? 34% of those polled said the iPhone still ranks as number one, but Android is close behind. Blackberry came in at number 3.

Visit social dating site Zoosk for complete results of their survey with the best and worst trends during 2010. As always we wish you lots of love and happiness this holiday season. If you need some handholding with your dating, we help singles create their Irresistible online dating profiles.

Breaking Up on Facebook

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The subject of breaking up on Facebook is a hot topic these days. Earlier this month, David McCandless published his now-famous Facebook Breakup Chart which spread like wildfire on the Web. We now know what we already realized. Holiday heartbreak is heading into its busy season.

A month before the chart appeared online, I discussed my Rules of Netiquette for Facebook relationships and breakups with Michelle Yarn at GalTime.com

With over 500 million members on Facebook, relationship status changes have become the darling of the Internet. One can’t help but notice the red heart appear and disappear on the profiles of our  friends and our new friends, better known as the friends-of-friends.

Read excerpts from It’s Complicated: Breaking Up in a Facebook World

Breakups used to be so simple. You get dumped. You cry about it. You get advice from close friends and family. They tell you how much better off you are without him. You cut all ties from your ex. Then, eventually you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the game.

Yep, those were the good ole days. Those were the days before social networking sites like Facebook splattered your love life across the web like a tabloid. Now, as the Facebook gods have so conveniently pointed out, “It’s Complicated.”

I have a friend (a real life one) who was recently dumped by her boyfriend of three and a half years. When she came to me for advice it started out as your typical breakup pep talk.

While the situation will vary depending on the severity of the split, there are some basic guidelines to help you handle a breakup in the age of Facebook.

According to Julie Spira, social media/relationship expert and author of The Perils of Cyber Dating , one of the most important steps to consider is how to update your status.  She says, “I don’t believe singles should constantly change their status from “single” to “in a relationship” to “it’s complicated” and back to “single” for everyone to see. Unless both parties agree on changing their status to “in a relationship” and it’s a serious relationship, no one wants to see the drama. However, it’s the most commented on update you will see on Facebook. People are just curious and want to know the juicy details. If you’re hurt, just delete your status completely to avoid the comments.”

And while many couples will decide to remain friends in real life, the same decision in the world of Facebook can be hell.  “When most couples break up, it’s not usually a happy time. More often that not, one has moved on already.” Spira adds, “If you’re still hurting from the split, I suggest de-friending him or her so you don’t have the opportunity to stare at their wall. We can’t help ourselves sometimes due to the curiosity, but it delays the healing process from the one left behind.”

Kelly Spann, a marketing and publicity manager in Virginia, learned this lesson the hard way.

“First off, right after we broke up I totally put him on blast in my status. I was angry, but that definitely wasn’t a classy move. Then I didn’t de-friend him and he didn’t de-friend me. Having to see his status updates, pictures and the various other girls writing things on his wall didn’t help me get over the break up at all.”

What if you’re the one that did the dumping? Have a heart! You may be ready to move on, but the rules of netiquette say there’s no need to rub your ex’s face in it. If you remain Facebook friends, Spira suggests at least changing your privacy settings to prevent your ex from seeing your activity with your new love interest. Otherwise, your ex may find some pretty creative ways to make your single life miserable.

Facebook user Josh Gilbert says his ex knew exactly how to use the social networking site to get back at him after their nasty breakup.

“I had made plans to attend Lollapalooza with a girlfriend, but then we broke up. She went anyway, and only posted pictures of two of my favorite bands – saying to ‘no one in particular’ – ‘Live from Lollapalooza – jealous?’ I can’t prove this was an intentional dig, but I’m convinced it was.”

Even if you delete your ex, there’s still the issue of mutual friends. This one’s hard enough to handle in your day to day life, but Facebook is a whole different beast.

Spira says, “There’s no need to delete the entire world because your relationship has ended, but I do recommend changing your privacy settings in Facebook to ‘friends only.’ You can also select the privacy settings individually for each status update if you prefer, where you have the option to select ‘everyone’,  ‘friends,’  or ‘friends of friends.’

Once the drama has subsided and you find yourself ready to get back into the dating scene, Spira says to proceed with caution.

“Unless you are actively ready to date again and would like to meet someone on Facebook, take a break from the status relationship change and just don’t post any relationship status at all. If you’re ready to date, go ahead and list yourself as “single” but be prepared to be hit on. It just happens.”

To read the entire post, click here>>>

Harvard’s Michael I. Norton on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show

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Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert

Have you ever tried virtual dating?

In this episode of Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show, host Julie Spira spoke with Michael I. Norton, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School about research that shows that going on a virtual date increases your chance for success when you meet in real life.

So what exactly is a virtual date?

Learn how you can go on a simulated date with avatars to benefit and help improve your online dating search. You’ll also hear about how social networking sites can improve your chances of finding love online.

Listen  for dating advice and to hear more about dating, love and romance in a Web 2.0 World.

Listen to internet radio with CyberDating Expert on Blog Talk Radio

Zoosk Creates Scientific Matching System

Our friends at social dating site Zoosk have created a new scientific matching system called, ZSMS.

If you’re already a member of Zoosk, you’ve probably noticed they are sending Scientific Matches already to your InBox. It’s a great way for your to see who you might have romantic chemistry with, but you need to respond quickly as your ZSMS match will expire in 24-hours.

I encourage you to follow up with these leads and see what the possibilities are. Who knows? You might end up featured in our Cyber Love Story of the Week.

For details on how ZSMS and scientific matching works, check out their video below.

The CyberDating Expert Top 10 Mobile Dating Apps

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Cyber-Dating Expert

Just in time for Social Media Week we are proud to present our Top Ten favorite mobile dating applications at CyberDatingExpert.com

The year 2010 will go down in history for mobile dating becoming mainstream with many of the traditional online dating sites launching their apps.  A Juniper research study estimates that mobile dating will be a 1.4 billion dollar industry by 2014.  According to a Ground Truth report, the number of visitors to mobile dating sites increased this past summer by 92 percent from the first week in June to the last week in July. Here’s our list of some of the best mobile dating apps worth downloading.

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1.  Meet Moi - Meet Moi is a location-based mobile dating company which was formed in 2007. In August of 2010, they launched Meet Moi Now, their Android mobile app and became the first matchmaking service to integrate with Facebook. You can sign up for their basic service for free to create your profile, browse profiles, send winks, respond to received messages, and receive unlimited SMS alerts. They update your location in real-time. When a match is nearby, you get an alert on your phone.

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2.  Match Mobile - Match.com, who celebrated their 15th anniversary this year,  launched Match Mobile in 2007. They added their iPhone app in 2009, and their mobile dating service is now also available on the Android, Blackberry and Palm platforms. Users can download Match.com apps to access the Match.com service. Match claims that close to 10% of their users access their site solely from a mobile device. Their mobile users are twice as engaged versus those who use Match on their desktop computers. Members can browse singles, send winks, and upload photos directly from their mobile phone to their profile. A subscription is required to send and receive emails.

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3.  Speed Date - SpeedDate.com launched their mobile app this year and has over 1.5 million unique iPhone installs. Over half of them join their service after their installation. Singles can finger-swipe through millions of profiles, choose who they would like to meet and then start conversations via email.  Advanced filters allow users to narrow searches based on various criteria such as age and location. In addition, a unique tagging feature ensures all favorite member profiles are stored and easily accessible.

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4.  Zoosk  - Zoosk’s iPhone dating application is the largest dating app in the U.S. It’s also popular in other countries such as Australia, France, Italy and Spain. Users are awarded coins when they download the iPhone app. Their service allows you to chat and flirt wherever you go and you’ll receive a mobile alert when someone flirts with you.  Zoosk won the award for the best Mobile Dating Site at the Internet Dating Conference this year and has consistently been a #1 dating app in the iPhone Store with over 1 million downloads. All of the  functionalities from their website are available on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Their GPS location tagging capabilities are a feature you’ll want to try out. They will be launching an Android app in the near future.

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5. SKOUT - I’ve been following Skout since they laaunched the first-ever dating app for the iPhone in 2008.  In July, 2010,  they hit one million users. They have one of the most popular iPhone apps and operate like a flirting and hook-up GPS. Their iPhone app identifies singles in your immediate vicinity and gives you the opportunity to flirt and meet up with them. Though the app is free to use, members have the option of purchasing virtual gifts, premium memberships, or sending “wink bombs” which reach up to 500 potential sweethearts in your area at once.

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6.  eHarmony – Just in time for their 10th anniversary celebration, eHarmony recently launched their iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch service this summer. The app was listed in the Top Ten Free Apps in the App Store and they’ve had over 100,000 downloads.  Members can view matches, receive match updates, upload photos from their iPhone, and communicate with their matches.

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7. Are You Interested – AreYouInterested.com from Snap Interactive is an online dating site, mobile dating application, and Facebook app for single men and women with over 13 million members. Their service integrates their iPhone and Facebook applications together so you can browse photos of singles in your area and click on who you like. Their buzz feed shows you what people are up to in real time.

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8. Grindr – Just this week, Grindr, the world’s largest all-male mobile location-based networking service, announced that it has reached more than one million subscribers. On a daily basis, Grindr has about 250,000 active users who log on approximately eight times per day. The average Grindr user spends an average of 1.3 hours each day using the app.  These numbers are huge. On a weekly basis, they have about 400,000 users. This amounts to about 600,000 users per month.  Grindr is available on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. They have plans to expand their service on the Blackberry in the near future.

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9. Flirtomatic – Mobile social network Flirtomatic is known as the world’s number one flirting company. Based in the UK, they have over 3 million global members. The good news for U.S. mobile daters, is their membership in the states recently surpassed 1 million users.  You can set up your profile in about 20 seconds. Their service allows members to search, chat, send rapid messages, rate members and find user generated content about flirting and dating. Flirtomatic has its own virtual currency called “Flirt Points” that members can use to buy premium services, such as virtual goods.  Their service is available on the iPhone and Android platforms.

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10. Four Square – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention location based social networking site Four Square. They aren’t a dating app, but we love them anyway and it’s surely fun to check in.  You’ll need to be friends with other members on the service to see who’s around when you check in. If you’ve had a crush for a while on someone and you see they’re at the local coffee shop or at the same venue, you can use this as a chance to say hello and get to them better in real life. Available on the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Palm.

Honorable Mentions

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JDate Mobile - Launched this year, JDate Mobile allows their members to receive real-time mobile alerts notifying them when they receive new messages, when another member views their profile, adds them to their hot list and more for free. JDate Mobile features are 100% available for free to their subscribers. Available on the iPhone and Android. Non-paying members of JDate can download the app for free, but  have limited access to JDate Mobile.

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Christian Cafe - With over 400 new sign ups daily, Christian Cafe is now available for iPhone users. Their iPhone mobile dating app is fully integrated with their website and singles can sign up for a free trial, create a basic dating profile, search, see who is online in your area and communicate via email and winks. They are presently in development with their Android app.

Do you have a favorite mobile dating app that you’d like to share with us? We’d like to hear from you.

For a printable version, please click here>>>

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