Features

Published: Thursday January 2, 2014 MYT 10:35:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday April 15, 2014 MYT 8:03:49 PM

Grouper dating app heads to London

More and more people signing up for popular US group dating service.

A US-based dating service, or “social club”, takes Internet dating and adds friends, matching up two groups of pals for a night out together. Already up and running in 20 US cities, the service launches in London in January.

Consider it Internet dating, but without the need to sift through hundreds of profiles, or even create your own, much less endure the interview pressure of the first date, or disappointment when your date’s photo doesn’t live up to expectations (or when it’s clear that yours doesn’t either). Rather, Grouper focuses on low-pressure group dating, in which users sign up via Facebook, invite two “wingmen”, pay a fee of US$20 for each person, and then answer some questions. Grouper then matches the trio with another trio of potential mates – each group can’t have mutual Facebook friends – and then sets the date, telling them where to meet.

“If Facebook is about stalking photos from that party last weekend, Grouper is the party,” the site reads.

In April, the New York-based company launched a smartphone app to pair with its web service. Users can select preferences as to time or if they’d rather go to a dive bar or a club. Grouper also pays for the first round of drinks as part of the fee.

Launching internationally for the first time, Grouper is expanding to London on Jan 16, with its sights set on other major cities if all goes well. So far, the company says that 96% of people who go on a Grouper date want to do it again, and members have shared hundreds of thousands of drinks via the service.

Other apps taking off around the globe include the massively popular Los Angeles-based dating/hook-up app Tinder, which is reportedly already a hit in Brazil and Britain, with the company adding more than a million users in these markets in the last two months. How Tinder works is this: users swipe their phone right to approve the profile photo of a potential date. To reject, swipe to the left. If both parties approve, the app matches people and encourages a connection. And according to the company, there is a lot of swiping going on: users swipe some 350 million times a day, with the company matching some four million users.

Another US-based app making some ground is Hinge, which wants to be Match.com for your mobile. The app uses a “romance graph” to match you with people who share your lifestyle – but like Tinder, you’ll need to swipe yes or no to a potential mate. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle, Internet dating, Grouper

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