Dating apps for mobile devices — your modern-day whozits and whatzits galore — are replicating faster than that super alpha bird flu from Contagion, which means that news outlets have a journalistic obligation to chronicle the latest dating trend, as well as tiptoe around the apparently indelicate issue of casual sex.
The Washington Post chronicles the rise of the dating app, which provides all hermetic information-gathering of regular social media with the added convenience of GPS tracking so users can go on spontaneous picnics in the park with strangers who also enjoy Coldplay and cold cuts. The mobile dating market is expected to be worth some $2.3 billion by 2016, which is up from $1 billion in 2011. Platforms like Grindr, Match, Skout, MeetMoi, Plenty Of Fish and Badoo are all jostling to refine their various concoctions of profile-creating and GPS tracking to convince potential users that they possess the best method locating suitable mates for them.
WaPo mentions that there's a certain stigma attached to such dating apps, which is that they're really only used for finding casual sex partners, er, casual dates. Most companies advertise their mobile apps innocuously as ways for users to "meet new friends," but apps like Grindr or MeetMoi are most convenient at helping users triangulate the location of other users who are down for sex. Since the dating app industry is expected to grow by more than a billion dollars over the next four years, we might as well get comfortable with at least mentioning the word "sex" when we talk about the burgeoning business of turning mobile phones into hookup metal detectors.