New Singapore dating app weeds out married people
A new local mobile dating app that has just been launched promises to keep out ill-intentioned married people.
The reputation of dating apps has always been mired in stories of them being used as a means for extra-marital affairs, or of disturbing conversations with, quite often, men being sexually forward.
Of course, there are also dating sites that are blatant in their purpose.
In 2013, Ashley Madison – a dating site specifically created for people looking to have affairs – was blocked from operating in Singapore.
LunchClick, which is the brainchild of Ms Violet Lim, CEO of local dating agency Lunch Actually, was created with features skewed towards protecting women's welfare.
For example, users must register with their NRIC numbers and go through stringent checks that will confirm that their details, including marital status, matches the information submitted.
Should any information not check out, access to the app is denied.
Said Ms Lim: "Female friends would send screenshots of conversations they had with creepy guys that they encountered. They were really frustrated with some of the men they were meeting.
"For example, they would get messages from men declaring upfront that they were married and looking for a little discreet action on the side. Hence, we decided that this was something that we could look into (preventing)."
Ms Lim's hope is that singles who are looking for a soul mate will have a safe space to meet on her app.
There are many contenders on the dating app scene.
On the LunchClick website, its tagline appears to take a swipe at Tinder. "Stop swiping, Start meeting up."
Tinder just launched an upgrade that links user profiles to their Instagram accounts and in January hit 5 billion matches.
Daily Mail reported that nearly two thirds of dating app users are men. The study by London-based research firm GlobalWebIndex also revealed that 16 to 34 year-olds make up the majority of mobile dating app users, accounting for 70 per cent of the total user base.
Here are other dating apps:
1. Tinder - for those who want quick, fuss-free dating
It says it all in the tagline: Any swipe can change your life.
It shows a user pictures of other people within the same vicinity and then matches only people who picked each other as people that they liked.
A chat is started between these successful pairs. Non-mutual matches are sent on their merry way. Easy does it.
Tinder is backed by IAC, the parent company of Match and OKCupid. It is said to have over 50 million active users.
2. LOLA (Love Out Loud Asia) - for those who prefer quality and not quantity
The goal is to attract people who are looking for a long term relationship and who are adverse to the meat market experience.
One match a day, that's what LOLA users get.
To move away from the idea of casually swiping through a list of potentials, LOLA users are meant to focus on their one match.
The app also encourages the couple to spend time coming up with their dream date activities.
Founded in 2013, it claims to have matched more than 10,000 singles to date.
3. Mat & Minah - for Muslims looking for serious relationships
The name of the app is slang for Malay men and women. It was launched by local company Skimly last year for around $20,000.
With more than 200 active users, it is Tinder-like in application but with colloquial headings for some sections such as Pasar Malam and Makan.
Users can sync it to their Facebook profile and can like or dislike a profile by swiping the screen left or right.