NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online dating service Match.com is launching a new application for cell phones, allowing subscribers to keep track of their paramours while on the go.
MatchMobile will first be made available in the United States, UK and Canadian markets, with plans to extend the service to nine more countries by the end of the year.
The service provides subscribers with text messages to their phones when they have an e-mail from another Match.com subscriber and allows them to search for potential matches from their cell phones.
For an extra fee of about $5 per month, MatchMobile subscribers can receive and answer e-mails from suitors on their mobile phones.
This is a big step for one of the online-dating leaders. You can meet up with other MatchHeads on the move. Out and about and need a lunch date? Holler at someone. Shopping and need an expert opinion (or a romp in the dressing room)? Holler at someone. The needs for mobile dating apps are many. No one ‘has the time’ these days to wait for a response and so forth. We want to meet (or hook up) now. To underscore this point, the Entourage gang had a contest last episode (July 29th) to see which of the two most diminutive members of the gang could land some emotionally unattached strange first. Not their best episode, but it probably clued in a number of people to the ‘romantic’ possibilities of Craig’s List. We wonder how well mobile dating is going to do. Most mobile phones have a text message character maximum of 160. And a multimedia max of 1,000 characters. How much can transpire in those limited spaces? BlackBerrys have the ability to more or less fully access email, so it’s really only sort of ‘mobile dating.’ And as Internet connectivity speeds up, are devices like the iPhone and its rivals going to make it so people can just use web-based apps anywhere, any time? We would bet that a platform that takes advantage of the iPhone’s capabilities will be the real winner in the ‘mobile dating’ game. It’s all about helping a product find its market.