In the age of apps and smartphones, companies have been trying to figure out how to help move Internet dating beyond the desktop and onto smartphones and tablets.
One of those companies is MeetMoi. MeetMoi is a location-based dating app that started in 2007. Today, the company has finally crossed three million users. To coincide with this achievement, MeetMoi has a big app update coming today with iPhone 5 compatibility and Facebook Connect.
"MeetMoi is revolutionizing mobile dating based on two specific aspects: location discovery and push notifications," MeetMoi's CEO, Alex Harrington said in an interview. "Those are two things you just don't get from your laptop but are excellent ways that technology can help you with your love live."
MeetMoi's goal is to make it easier to meet people in the physical world by facilitating connections. The app learns a little bit about you, your interests, education, what you do, etc. But after the formalities are out of the way, MeetMoi works to bridge connections as instantly as possible.
The following is a lightly edited interview with Alex Harrington, MeetMoi's CEO:
Business Insider: What would you say the success rate of finding someone, connecting, and going on a date is?
Alex Harrington: We have a really high response rate from our introductions, I think what we're seeing is that people are really using the service and taking to it pretty well.
Every introduction we make is a live connection. Our response rate is currently at 70%.
It's hard to figure out exactly how many physical real world dates are actually occurring, but people are responding well to the interactions we are making.
BI: Last week we spoke with the eHarmony CEO, Dr. Neil Warren, and he commented that, "a lot of other dating services aren't research based," dubbing them online bars, how do you feel about this? Do you think MeetMoi is an exception to that rule?
AH: I don't take that as a negative. If an online service is a place that people can mingle and meet each other in a low-pressure way then I'm ok with the term online bar.
I think eHarmony has a great product but it's not for everyone, a lot of people don't want to invest hours and hours in filling out the questions. A lot of people also aren't necessarily looking for their soul mate right then and there. Instead certain users are interested in meeting lots of people. Our service was made to get people out and meeting new people.
I like going out, I don't want to be down in front of a computer. A particular feature of MeetMoi that I wanted to highlight is called wingman. Wingman makes it so that you can actually include your friends in on the dating process. You can invite a friend out with you to meet other people who have compatible preferences among you all.
BI: Are people using MeetMoi to date, hook up, or find relationships?
AH: I think it's really the whole gamut. We think of ourselves as a dating service and many people are using it as a dating service. People use MeetMoi for any reason someone might want to meet someone else but by in large its for dating.
BI: Because MeetMoi is a location based dating app, what do you all do to protect users privacy?
AH: We never share a user's location with any other user or any third party under any circumstances. Users permission us to use their location data to find location based relevant matches, but we don't place them on a map and we don't disclose their exact location.
What we'll do is share a relatively low resolution "sense of proximity" for example, half a mile away. We'll also show if a person is less than .3 miles away. We don't spot you on a map.
The other thing that we do besides not declaring your location, is give users the control of weather or not they're interested in connecting with another person. Both parties have to opt-in.
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