Dating Sites & Apps: The New Old and the New New

blog new old andnew new

Some days it’s hard not to be discouraged by online dating. It helps when the old dating sites and apps offer new tweaks to their services – or new products are launched.

Join me in some bone-building rainbow trout with garlicky yogurt and kale while I review the latest updates and inventions.

Match didn’t send me a heads up about their latest App improvement (not available on the computer version). I discovered this refinement accidentally when viewing a profile on my phone.

At the top of the screen, under my match’s picture, was an “activity meter” and message to “View MatchIQ.”

Match activity meter front page

When I clicked on it, I was presented with the percentage match of my target and the age of my competition. Sample: “You’re the same age as the girls he usually talks to.” I like having this information and it gives me incentive to proactively message someone.MATCH ACTIV meter you're same age

The next screen provides additional information on the matches your fellow responds to. See below.

Match activ meter interests of matches

I like this feature as well and I can imagine that if I really liked someone, I might update my profile to include additional interests (as long as they really are my interests).

The activity meter shows how active a match is:

Match how active is he

And how often he responds:

 

Match activ meter response level

The update also suggests ice-breakers (mostly lame: e.g., how do you feel about decaf coffee drinkers?) and tips and tricks to help you.

I’ll share an observation based on my viewing of one man’s activity meter. Mr. M is 60 years old and, according to his activity meter, talks to women in their early 60s. Yet, his profile says he is seeking women age 29 to 45. I don’t know if this means he’s happy to email “boomer age” women but will not consider meeting women in this age group. Perhaps I should write to him and see what happens. I share many of his interests and don’t need to revise my profile. Stay tuned for any worthwhile updates.

Tinder’s latest wrinkle is a feature called Tinder Social. Once you “unlock” Tinder Social, you’ll see Facebook friends who have also unlocked it and they will see you. You can then invite 1, 2, or 3 friends to go out. Your group will then appear as a choice when men are swiping in search of dates. One person from each “going out” group has to say yes to the other multi-person match. Then you can message each other and make plans.

When you unlock the feature, you will see groups even if you haven’t yet formed one yourself. I guess there’s no reason you couldn’t say “yes” to a group and then invite some other non-Tinder friends along.

To date, I have been presented with several groups of friends – some mixed sex and some mixed ages. This reminds me of group dates in high school. Perhaps Tinder management hopes Tinder Social will help to change public perception of the app as a hook-up vehicle. As the Tinder blog says, ”Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way a good night out with your friends becomes something better.”

Coffeemeetsbagel has a new ladies choice way of operating. Women used to receive a “bagel” at noon (provided the CMB gods found you a bagel). You and your bagel then indicated whether you liked each other. If there was a mutual like, you were “connected” and could chat. With ladies choice, women are presented with bagels who already liked them. So, there’s no waiting and wondering. CMB wrote me about the new feature: “This is #LadiesChoice. You’ll only see a curated list of Bagels who already liked you. No more endless swiping. No more dating games. You have the final say on who gets to start a conversation with you.”   Highly doubtful this will be the end of dating games. On a positive note, CMB is morphing into a Bumble-like app where it’s up to women to initiate the conversation.

And now for something completely new: Lovenotes and Bernie A.I.

Lovenotes matches you with people who share similar music preferences and vocal characteristics. As a music lover, I like the idea of a music-themed dating app. I’m on Tastebuds but it’s not just for dating and hasn’t brought me much luck.

Love notes

I decided to sign up for Lovenotes since this blog encourages me to be an early adopter. Like many of the dating apps, Lovenotes draws your basic public information and photos from Facebook. I was asked to pick a song that best describes me and to select 5 other “favorite” songs. My next task was to record several voice notes with my phone. In addition to recording some random phrases, there is a free choice recording. I found the recording process easy technically but otherwise challenging. I felt like I sounded forced and stupid but it’s an awkward situation. Fortunately, you can delete and re-record ad infinitum.

You also write a very short bio and set the usual age and distance filters. Once all this is done, Lovenotes provides a “science-y” algorithm based on musical preferences and vocal characteristics. When you get your matches, it’s up to you to say yes or no. If someone likes you back, then there’s a “connection” and you can start talking.

I’ve been on Lovenotes 24 hours and received one match who is 32 years old. That’s likely a function of the app being new with few members in my age category.

Lovenotes, like Bernie A.I. (see next), is proud of its science base and for the edification of its users, the website offers links to 19 studies on various aspects of voice, music, and attraction.

Bernie A.I. for artificial intelligence is still in a public beta testing mode. Billed by its developers as “your personal matchmaking assistant,” Bernie learns your type and does the work for you. It finds your matches on dating sites and apps you belong to, swipes for you, and even messages your matches with customizable introductions that you write. Once you sign up through Facebook, you make 60 yes/no choices to photos to teach Bernie who you find attractive. There’s also an anti-spam feature, per the Bernie A.I. website, that detects spammers and automatically reports them.

I didn’t sign up for Bernie A.I. yet. I have to think about whether I want big brother Bernie sending introductions for me (even if they’re based on what I write). I know some dating coaches do this but where does the farming out end? I’m certainly not going to farm out the cuddling.

Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia

Serendipity, Tiny Things, and Facebook

blog post facebook

I’m a big believer in serendipity — something good like a meet-cute happening by chance. It comes with the hopeless romantic territory of my mind. I love every movie that explores the issue of serendipity, including its namesake film.

Serendipity relates to my theory of tiny things making big differences. Am I confusing you? Eat something before you faint and all will become clear.

Here’s what got me thinking about this issue. In my quest to say yes to fun and to “get out there,” I recently went to a jazz concert with a gal pal. We learned about this concert from a DC jazz events newsletter.

After the concert, we approached the newsletter writer (let’s call him Mr. B) and had a nice chat. He introduced us to the singer and star of the show. Mr. B’s love of the genre makes him a one-man jazz PR machine and he seems to know everyone connected with music in the DC metropolitan area.

When it was time to leave, Mr. B suggested I friend him on Facebook.   (No, he’s married; this is not where I’m going with this.)

It’s time to think of Facebook in a new way. Many dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel use Facebook friends and the connections of Facebook friends as the fodder for your potential matches. These Facebook connections make up a good number of the guys or gals you will be asked to swipe or select.

A new Facebook friend becomes not only a social media connection but also the possible entrée to the love of your life. When I was married and later when I was newly single, I didn’t devote much time or energy to Facebook. Now, not only do I care about this blog’s Facebook page but I also care about my personal Facebook page. The reasons are two-fold – to stay in touch with real life and potential real life friends AND to open the door to more matches.

After I got home from the concert, I sent a friend request to Mr. B. He accepted a couple of hours later. The next day, when I went on Tinder, Bumble, and Coffee Meets Bagel, I was pleased to see a bigger than usual crop of matches (many with a connection to Mr. B.)

I matched on Tinder with the head of a high school music program. We haven’t messaged each other yet…but that’s par for the course.

The key take away from this post is that a new Facebook friend can indirectly –through dating apps — open up your dating possibilities. Facebook can also be a direct link to love. You may have heard about people who have connected on Facebook and found new or renewed romance.

No, Mark Zuckerberg did not pay me to write this blog post. But if you are on Facebook-based dating apps, be more proactive about acquiring new Facebook friends (reach out to your real life friends) – even if you never post updates or look at your newsfeed. It’s a tiny thing but it could make a big difference in your dating life.

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Until next week, happy dating or not dating.

XXXOOO

Nadia