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This searchable spectrum of sexual diversity is a boon: more people can find the intimacy they seek.
There are problems with the modern way of love, however.
The domination of online dating by a handful of firms and their algorithms is another source of worry.
Dating apps do not benefit from exactly the same sort of network effects as other tech platforms: a person’s friends do not need to be on a specific dating site, for example.
Globally, at least 200m people use digital dating services every month.
In America more than a third of marriages now start with an online match-up.
Its effects are only just starting to become visible (see Briefing).
Meeting a mate over the internet is fundamentally different from meeting one offline.
It is not hard to imagine dating services of the future matching people by preferred traits, as determined by uploaded genomes.
Dating firms also suffer from an inherent conflict of interest.
Perfect matching would leave them bereft of paying customers.
Research has found that marriages in America between people who meet online are likely to last longer; such couples profess to be happier than those who met offline.
The whiff of moral panic surrounding dating apps is vastly overblown.