the Urban Dater had the recent pleasure of speaking with a mover and shaker in the mobile dating app space, Romain David, creator of the Meexo app, and we got some insight into how he views mobile dating and its use for singles today.
Urban Dater: Do you think that mobile dating apps are underserved by the big dating companies?
Romain David: People already spend more time using dating apps than they do using dating websites (source: Flurry). I believe the online dating market will shift almost completely to mobile. The mobile phone is a much more personal device, you always have it with you, and it is a true communication device by design. New platforms create new opportunities, and it is very challenging for any company to dominate on more than one platform. Existing online dating websites see in mobile a way to better engage with their existing users and acquire new users, but ultimately their business model is tight to the web platform. By focusing 100% on smartphones, we don’t have to suffer from any legacy and can build a much better experience for our users. For example, we limit the number of profiles one can create to one per device. If people misbehave, they will not be able to create a new account with their device. We want to favor quality over quantity and focusing on the smartphone platform opens the door to new opportunities.
UD: In an ideal world, how could singles benefit from mobile dating technology?
RD: I believe there is a difference between what technology can do and what makes sense to people. While it is technically possible to share your exact location or show how far you are from another user, it is clear from the interviews we conducted that most women do not feel comfortable with this level of privacy violation. Those who use Foursquare admitted they check-in just before leaving a location in order to avoid stalkers. On Meexo, we only share your city to others so that you can connect with other local users, while still maintaining your privacy. We also learned that sharing phone numbers was a common practice when setting up a first date with someone you meet online. However, women revealed that this is a routine that they find uncomfortable. Because Meexo is mobile only, messaging works like text messaging, with one important difference: you do not have to share your phone number. Finally, we continuously heard that one of the major reasons why singles do not use dating services is the fear of running into someone they already know, such as an ex, classmate or a co-worker. To ensure that the most relevant and desired connections are available to you, we make sure none of your direct connections from Facebook can see your profile.
You can get the iPhone app here