Online Dating on the Move - A call for high standards in the dating apps worldOnline dating is part of everyday life for millions. And “online dating” today happens across every mobile, PC, tablet and digital platform. Services are there whenever, wherever and however people want them.
Dating services account for least a quarter of all new relationships. They cover the whole country, spanning every age and social, faith and interest group.
Dating on the move, particularly dating using mobile phones and tablets adds further to this mix of ages and interests. It brings in younger users. It makes meeting easier and it blurs the boundary between what people think of a social networking or dating. It is about getting to know people, making new friendships and forming new relationships.
Dating companies have always worked to make online dating a great and safe experience. The ODA is proof of their commitment to standards as an industry and to giving the advice and guidance to keep things safe as well as enjoyable. That same assurance should be there regardless of how services are accessed.
Following the launch of its report, Dating on the Move, George Kidd Chief Executive of the ODA said “This reports tells us that the important issues online – protecting data, being straight on the terms for using a service, blocking scammers and those intent on mischief and helping users get the most from services and stay safe are every bit as important in the mobile environment. We encourage App companies to understand their significance and the responsibilities that come with this, to rise to these challenges and to join and strengthen the ODA and build a safe healthy market. It’s also a challenge to the ODA and the established sector to embrace new platforms, new services and new providers. By working together across all platforms and making best use of new technologies we can make dating a great experience for all our users.”
Elena Magrina, Policy Analyst at Inline, said: “The online dating industry has taken the lead in setting and maintaining standards and the ODA, in partnership with its members, regularly educates users so that they can enjoy dating safely. However, the report has shown that the shift from desktop to mobile dating brings new internal and external challenges. It is vital for the industry to proactively address them as this will help maintain consumer confidence and safety.”
In this report the ODA commits to adding to its Date Safe guidance dealing specifically with mobile users. It promises to look at how mobile and new device technologies might help industry validate the age and identity of users and it is to look afresh at the criteria for expanding membership to app providers and what this means in terms of its Code rules.
- The Online Dating Association (ODA) was set up in 2013 by a number of industry players who saw the need for the sector to take shared responsibility for setting and maintaining standards.
- Inline Policy is a pioneering political consultancy that helps innovative organisations with regulatory issues in the UK and across Europe.
- The purpose of the report, Dating on the Move, is to explain how the online dating industry is evolving and how consumers are benefitting from the shift to mobile dating: to explore the benefits and challenges that have arisen for the sector as a result of this shift; and to outline what the ODA is currently doing to address these challenges, and what it intends to do in the future.
- The ODA has its own Code of Practice which is binding on members of the Association. It sets out what is expected of members under a series of key headings.
- ODA members have a responsibility to check profiles, to use specialised software and skilled staff to monitor activities and to give users advice, guidance and help. The ODA’s Date Safe information provides users with helpful guidance on how to make online dating an enjoyable, safe and fun experience.
- A searchable list of sites covered by ODA membership can be found here: http://www.onlinedatingassociation.org.uk/consumers/check-a-site.html.
For more information please contact:
Ann Austin – ODA Secretary