SMS dating combines the popularity of communicating by text message with the online dating format. According to the Juniper study, the mobile dating industry will be worth $1.4 billion by 2013. SMS dating is expected to become more popular with single people in their 20s and 30s. SMS dating services add flexibility, mobility and immediacy to dating services while keeping your contact information safe.
SMS dating works along the same concept as online dating. But because you search and connect with other users by cell phone, the profiles on mobile dating sites are often shorter and the searches and ways to connect are streamlined. Matching services for heterosexual, gay and lesbian users are offered by most sites. Sign up online through your cell phone or computer. To protect the identity and phone numbers of members the first messages between users are sent via the dating service. After the initial exchange users can communicate through the site or directly. Stopping mobile dating services is simple. Sending a request, by SMS, to the company, immediately stops the service.
SMS dating allows users to search a more specific area than online dating sites. If your cell phone has a GPS locator, you can search for eligible singles in a small area, like a bar or park.
Some services go beyond the browse and connect model. Ilovetexting.com and Match.com send profiles matching your criteria directly to your cell phone. Crush or Flush allows users to browse through profiles and only when two people are interested or "crush" each other can they connect.
Mobile dating services charge monthly subscription fees or for each message sent and optional extras. Subscription packages include registration and unlimited text messages. On average, subscriptions range from $5 to $20 per month. Availability of the services depends on your cell phone provider. All charges are in addition to the cell phone providers' fees for text messages and voice calls.
Using SMS dating means you don't need to stay home, at your computer, while browsing and connecting with potential dates. Using your cell phone to meet people means you can use the services anywhere or anytime. If you choose a service that offers GPS search capabilities, opportunities to spontaneously meet open up.
The thumbnail pictures and shorter profiles can make it harder to evaluate potential dates. Some users might have concerns about using a dating service that reveals their exact location to strangers.
The options and popularity of SMS dating will grow as accessing the Internet from cell phones increases. Greg Blatt, CEO of Match.com said the industry is currently debating if SMS dating should follow a similar experience to online dating or include specific choices only available to people using cell phones and SMS to date.