Dating apps with a difference

Last year the dating scene was dominated by mobile apps that could dismiss a potential suitor solely on the basis of appearance by a mere swipe of the finger. Will 2015 see the arrival of a less-superficial piece of dating technology?

In 2014, over 50 million users swiped left or right to find a match on Tinder. Along with dating apps such as Grindr and Cuddlr, 2014 marked a breakthrough year in online dating.

A little over one in 10 Americans have admitted to using online or mobile dating, with 25-34-year-olds the most likely to find a partner on (22 percent), according to Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan research firm.

Not a fan of being judged purely on your appearance? Loveflutter doesn't either.

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Not just looks that count

Loveflutter prides itself on "discovering quirky people". The dating app works on a personality basis. Almost the exact same structure as Tinder, Loveflutter asks customers to upload a picture of themselves and 140 characters worth of information, only for the image to appear blurred to other users.

In order to unlock a person's appearance, a user first looks through the profile information and interesting facts about the possible match, and then decide whether to click like or not.

The co- founder of Loveflutter, Daigo Smith told CNBC late last month that Tinder had "shaken up the dating market." But while "looks-based dating is great initially but when you actually start to chat to someone… we're offering that insight into their personality."

"We're on track for a million users next year" Smith confirmed in the interview in December 2014, whilst their demographic is more aimed towards 25 to 35 year olds. "We're slightly older than Tinder but I think that reflects people's objectives for going on our app," Smith added.

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Fancy a bit of bristle?

Charity based events Movember and Decembeard have not only generated funds to both prostate cancer and bowel cancer, but have also shown the world the attraction of the facial fuzz.

UK-based 'Bristlr' takes this attraction to a whole new level. A networking site that focuses on "connecting those with beards to those who want to stroke beards."

Whilst it is still in its prototype stages, Bristlr announced in December that they had managed to generate more than 75,000 matches in the bearded community.

Bristlr may have be dubbed "Tinder for Beards" however the dating app network hopes people will look for more than a casual hook-up: "Most dating apps are pretty heavy going.

Instead of expecting to go home with someone, we hope to have a nice chat and share a mutual admiration of a beard or two" the company states on its website.

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Not your cup of tea?

The release of "Coffee Meets Bagel" on Android in the U.S. only this week marks another shift toward a more meaningful approach in online dating. The iOS application was released in August 2013.

Founded by three sisters in April 2012, social dating site, Coffee Meets Bagel limits its U.S. users to only one match – or one bagel as they label it -- a day at around midday.

The match given is based on the user's social profile details and shows mutual friends. If both participants like each other, the app will help the possible date along with a "private chat room". If the "bagel" is not to the user's taste. then they'll have to wait until the next day for a lucky match.

Online dating services don't always get the best reputation for encouraging monogamy, so Coffee Meets Bagel investigated how serious their users are into having serious relationships.

From interviewing more than 500 of its users, the app discovered that almost 65 percent of its members were looking for something serious from apps like Coffee Meets Bagel, according to its 2013 survey.

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