The first commercial dating platforms were launched in the 1990s as a virtual version of the ‘lonely hearts’ columns that regularly appeared in magazines.
In the space of a few decades, these outlets have expanded beyond all recognition, with thousands of websites catering to myriad tastes, and commanding global memberships of millions. If you’ve been tempted to sign up for a dating site, here are some of the many ways technology has transformed online dating into a phenomenon.
The sheer variety of outlets
The key to success in what is a competitive environment for every demographic is to ensure your profile stands out from the crowd, so when you’re looking for mature relationships and expecting to interact with older singles, your profile should seek to reflect more maturity and focus. Where mature dating is concerned, you should always aim for a more meaningful connection. As the technology behind producing websites has moved on, this has had a knock-on effect regarding the sheer number of dating resources available. Website development has evolved considerably. Not so long ago, creating any sort of web platform was almost like a dark art to the uninitiated, requiring a great degree of technical expertise, and knowledge of computer coding, particularly HTML or java programs. But the advent of bespoke website-building platforms such as WordPress and many others has meant you don’t need to be an expert coder to build a site. A far more important skill to possess is a creative mind. It is so much easier to launch dating sites based on templates that can be downloaded and fairly easily customized. Because dating is such a potentially lucrative topic, new exciting and interesting sites are being launched regularly.
Advances in communication
A couple of decades ago, dating websites would follow the traditional web communication paths, offering members access to standard messaging services. They would send texts, then await replies popping into their inbox. Nowadays, people can touch base with prospective partners in so many different ways. They can stick to the traditional texting and emailing, or join WhatsApp groups along with other site members. They can phone singles they are interested in, or arrange video chats, allowing sincere and often intimate exchanges to take place.
Algorithms to assist your task
Signing up to a dating site involves so much more than simply getting your name added to a list of candidates for a relationship. When you input various details into the fields of your application form, these will be collated by in-built software – algorithms – that will store this information, and then compare the data with similar responses from other site members. When there are specific matches – your location being a common trigger – the website will flag this up, steering you towards this person in case they might be of interest to you.
Downloadable apps – romance in your pocket
Desktop computer interaction in the dating sector is one thing, but apps versions of these sites have become the most popular method for connecting. Many dating apps are free to download, typically from Google or Apple stores, allowing users to flirt with other site users and access their inboxes when they are on the go. You can program your smartphone to alert you when flirty new messages are received.
What’s around the corner for online dating?
Technology is advancing at a dizzying rate. The advent of virtual reality (VR) software and hardware have introduced a whole new dimension of realism to the communications that can proceed between dating site members. By donning VR headsets, users can ‘meet’ people they are interested in, interacting with their ‘avatars,’ in ways that were previously only imagined in science fiction movies. With the appliance of sensory software that can allow people to stimulate each other from opposite ends of a computer connection, the possibilities for seamless ‘virtual interaction’ become practically unlimited. Singles can arrange to meet in fabulous locations, such as tropical rainforests, or lunar landscapes while traveling no further than their respective bedrooms.