let your fingers find your date
Match.com and AT&T Wireless launch mobile dating service
LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Just in time for Valentine's Day: a chance to find the date of your dreams, discreetly and via your cell phone.
A new service to be launched on Wednesday by Match.com and AT&T Wireless, Match Mobile, provides dating and matching for AT&T Wireless customers via their mobile phones.
"Wireless will be a hugely important technology for the future for our industry, which is to connect people for the purpose of dating," said Tim Sullivan, president, Match.com, a unit of USA Interactive and the No. 1 online dating site in the United States.
Sullivan said one of the benefits of going mobile for Match is that the new service will have the ability to match members based on location.
Initially, matches will be made based on zip codes but in coming months, the service will be enhanced with technology so users can locate matches within an approximate geographical location by using their wireless phones.
The search engine will never reveal actual physical locations, but simply allow users to chat only with matches within a specified radius.
Online dating's popularity has soared as more and more people embrace it as an acceptable, not desperate, way to find a partner, analysts have said.
Research firm ComScore Networks found that U.S. visitors to online personal sites grew 31 percent last year to 26.6 million visitors in December 2002 from 20.3 million a year earlier.
ComScore said the most popular sites include Match.com, with 5.7 million users, Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo Personals with 4 million, One2onematch.com with 3.5 million and TerraLycos' Matchmaker with 3.2 million.
Another interesting detail uncovered by ComScore was the fact that a lot of people are looking for love while at work, but not necessarily in the office.
On-the-job Web surfing accounted for more than one third of the time spent at online personals, it found. ComScore found that 7.9 million at-work Web surfers visited personals Web sites in December, accounting for 35 percent of all time spent at these sites.
"We continue to think there is strong growth in our core business in the United States by increasing consumer awareness and changing attitudes about online dating," Sullivan said.
RE: let your fingers be your date
haven't people been doing that for years?
Cool, Dial-a-Date. I'd give it a try. Well, as long as she has one of those camera phones.