Love Online – Mobile vs Desktop Dating Apps

With so much communication and general business being done on our phones these days, it only makes sense that our dating efforts would end up there too. But in an environment already so rife with challenges, how do the strictly mobile apps fair against the more traditional desktop style?

Currently the most popular mobile only apps are Tinder and Bumble. It comes as no surprise that they are very similar as they were created by two halves of a once dating couple. If you are not familiar with how they work here is the quick run down:

Your initial profile is created when you login using your Facebook account (at least with Tinder, I can’t remember with Bumble). In doing so the app pulls pictures and employment data at the least to create your profile. All of this is editable although you are held to a very small number of pictures and profile text characters. You can set your matching preferences too, but mostly only in so much as male or female and search radius in miles.

Then when photos of your available choices come up, you swipe left or right on your phone to indicate your willingness to “match” and learn more about this person. However, once you have swiped nothing more happens unless or until the person on the other side positively swipes your image also. Now this is where Tinder and Bumble have their rather minor divergence in philosophy. In Tinder if two people match based on their mutual swiping either party can make the first introduction. However, with Bumble it is necessary for the woman to make the first move. The other difference between the two is that Tinder allows indefinite time to pass between matching and communication. Bumble on the other hand gives first the woman 24 hours to initiate a conversation and then an additional 24 hours for the man to respond. If one or the other does not “consummate” the conversation in time the match is removed. After those initial dialogue restrictions are met all goes back to business as usual.

Unfortunately when I began considering the pros and cons of these two applications I could fill the latter column easily but could only find two tenable arguments in favor. The first one is that they are simply entertaining. Depending on how wide your search radius is you can swipe through literally hundreds of potential matches in very short order. The other positive which for me is actually a pretty big one is that you never have to worry about an inbox full of “hey”, “wanna f$*#” or clearly copy and pasted messages from knuckleheads just trolling for anyone who will respond. If you can learn other ways of quickly recognizing and culling out the chaff this element alone might make the apps worth the effort. That and the fact that they are free to join and you can do plenty of matching without ever spending a dime.

As for the things I don’t like I will stick to the most significant. First the limited profile information and rapid fire nature of the decision making only adds to the dehumanizing of participants and lends to decisions made on almost completely superficial elements such as appearance or job title. Furthermore the time limit imposed by Bumble while understandably intended to help, for me only adds an additional layer of unwanted pressure. I don’t want an app attempting to dictate how or when I do my communication. Furthermore, the Bumble creator’s assertion that requiring women to make the first move means a better class of men “who respect women” is complete hogwash. There are nearly as many trolls, hook-up only and scam artists on that app as the others and the longer it is around the more that will be true. As an example someone I know personally is on both Tinder and Bumble as well as Adult Friend Finder (and those are just the ones I know of). The difference is on the first two he is clothed and professional looking on the third he leaves nothing to the imagination. And while my friend is a nice enough person, and honest enough to tell you if you ask, despite what the mobile apps might lead you to believe he is absolutely not looking for anything more than sex. I’m not saying he can’t be respectful what I’m saying is you might be mislead if you only saw him on the Bumble app.

My assessment of desktop programs for online dating is fairly straightforward too. I like the fact that you are able and likely to spend more time considering your potential choices since there is potentially much more data. I also like the fact that there are generally far more sophisticated matching algorithms built in often times leading to a percentage of compatibility rating. However, that may be at least partially overshadowed if you get bombarded with the aforementioned trolling messages. A great number of the desktop sites also require you to plunk down significant amounts of money before you can do anything significant. And they toy with you by allowing you to see just enough to get frustrated into paying the money.

Ultimately, regardless of what method of online-dating you choose, or if you hedge your bets by having a couple of each, you really need to learn the ins and outs of the environment such that your chances of success are greater. For tips on how to do that or just to get increased support through our online Facebook community, please consider joining our dating webinar course, or downloading our free pdf with some simple and actionable steps to help you avoid some of the drama.

Do you have thoughts or input on this subject? Please let me know what you think by leaving your comments below.


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