January 29, 2016 08:18
The proliferation of dating apps naturally appeal mostly to young people, but now they increasingly target a more mature demographic too.
Manayou Company aims exclusively at working singles, and subscribers are required to submit a certificate of employment.
There are also apps for divorcees who are looking for a new love in their life, and only people who have previously been married can join. If there are any signs of suspicious intent, the person has to submit family register or divorce certificate.
"Divorcees also wish to meet a new love in their life, but it is difficult to do it actively because of prejudice," said Cho Won-sun of divorcee dating app Ullim said. "It seems users feel more at ease because they can arrange a blind date online and don't have to worry what other people might think."
Blind date app Ium carried out a poll of 4,806 single men and women last year and found that 70 percent of men and 74 percent of women use such apps looking for a serious relationship.
Most people said they do it because they do not know enough members of the opposite sex around them, or are shy to put pressure on acquaintances to find them blind dates.
According to a 2015 trend survey by App Annie, a global company specializing in analyzing app data, apps related to setting up blind dates ranked fifth, sixth, and eighth among the top 10 apps with the highest sales.
There are of course voices of concern. According to the Korea Consumer Agency, 49.8 percent out of 500 users of relevant apps said they experienced a varying degree of trouble, such as getting unwanted messages, lewd messages, and leaks of personal information.
Ahn Jeong-mi (27) is one such disaffected subscriber. "There is danger of deception as anyone can fabricate their profile if they wish," she says.
Now more and more apps require stricter identity verification. Certificates of school enrollment or graduation, employment, credit checks, or verification via mobile phone are some of the means of checking the identity of subscribers.
Apps also provide disguised mobile phone numbers for their users when a contact is established so that potential hook-ups are only conducted through them, and users can be monitored and suspicious behavior reported.
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