Online Dating/Dating Apps

Online Dating/Dating Apps

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch613
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers

Chapter Preview



Over the past several years, online dating services are increasingly becoming popular venues for finding romantic relationships. In 2012, reported that one in six marriages started online (Ramirez, Sumner, Fleuriet & Cole, 2015). In 2013, the online mating services brought $2.1 billion (Ginsberg, 2015) whereas compared to ten years ago, in 2004, the dating industry revenue was only $473 million. Nowadays, there are many online dating sites such as, eHarmony, and, with over 50 million users combined (Consumer Rankings., 2012), and the online dating business keeps growing (Visual Economics Credit Loan blog, 2015). Online dating refers to web sites and apps that facilitate romantic relationships’ initiation by offering users (1) access to the profiles of potential romantic candidates, (2) a communication channel to initiate contact, and (3) a romantic compatibility matching-algorithm to be paired for potential romantic initiation (see Finkel, Eastwick, Karney, Reis & Sprecher, 2012). Indeed, most online dating platforms are similarly structured (Rosen, Cheever, Cummings & Felt, 2008), in general: users post a photograph and answer questions in regards to personal information and other relevant demographics; however, there is considerable variance among online dating forums with regard to users’ level of involvement, interaction, and self-disclosure.

Despite the array of online dating sites and apps, a new online dating app entered to the online dating market, and it is taking over the entire online love business: Tinder. The new app just entered to the market in 2012, and, two years later, it reached approximately 30 million users, almost a third of the total online dating population (e.g., 96 million users) (Forbes, November 2014). Thus, the popularity of the app has rapidly grown. Tinder app innovates the usual online dating service explained above, by providing users a seemingly endless selection of photos of potential mates without the need to answer questionnaires or forms (Bertoni, 2014a); then, the algorithm of the app links users’ contacts from Facebook profiles to provide photographs of potential romantic candidates. After solely looking at photos of potential mates, users swipe right if they like a person and, by the contrary, swipe left if not (Bertoni, 2014a); finally, if both parties like each other, the platform provides a parallel interface to send messages to each other to decide whether or not to meet in person and exchange personal contact information.

Besides the successfulness of online dating market, the online dating service has always been severely criticized for its ‘overemphasis’ on physical appearance. However, disregarding the communication context (i.e., Face-to-Face and Online), physical appearance is the initiator for communication behaviors in most of the cases. The online dating success trend has been widely explained by the new media pervasiveness argument or the idea that this service is prosperous ‘only’ or ‘mostly’ because the access to personal computers and smartphone is wide spread, then focusing only on related phenomena such as self-presentation, self-disclosure, and/or social anxiety. If new media pervasiveness explains this new social trend, why did commercial video-dating not become so popular during the 90s when the access to video cameras was also pervasive in the U.S.? Little attention has been directed to how online dating mirrors human perception of first impression while forming interpersonal relationships.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emoticons: Nonverbal expressions that are expressed via text.

Computer Mediated Communication: The use of computer or computer technology to communicate with other individuals.

Online Dating: CMC technology designed to facilitate romantic relationships initiation by anticipating face-to-face interaction through the access to personal profiles without owners’ awareness.

Away Messages: The messages that one uses to indicate that they are away from the computer or unavailable to communicate online.

Other World: The notion that something is not real.

Internet Affinity: The desire to initiate a romantic relationship via the Internet.

Affordances: “The perceived properties of the things that determine just how they could possibly be used” (Norman 1998 AU49: The in-text citation "Norman 1998" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. ).

Netiquette: The etiquette and manners that individuals use while on the Internet.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: