BLOOMBERG - May 4 - Meetic is joining start-ups including MeetMoi in offering location-based dating services. Meetic will introduce features this year that let handset users find out real-time who’s around them and interested in meeting, and match potential soulmates who, for example, frequent the same gym, Managing Director Philippe Chainieux said in an interview.The number of European Web users visiting a dating site “almost every day” through their mobile rose 49% between February 2010 and 2011 to 2.8M, according to comScore. The number doing so at least once a week climbed 44%. Convenient mobile services will give dating sites a chance to boost their “conversion rate". Location-based iPhone and Android app FlirtMaps topped 500K downloads last month, with that figure expected to double by the end of the year. Grindr, an app for gays boasts 62K users in London alone. Still, safety concerns may slow the adoption of location- based dating. To ease some of those concerns, FlirtMaps limits geo- localization to a one-kilometer radius. Meetic is considering making only men visible on its pending real-time “flirting” service, keeping women’s locations at a given moment mostly off the map.
by Matthew Campbell
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