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It is estimated that the first personal ad was placed around the end of the 17th century and its popularity really took off in the early 18th century.
However this does not mean it was a socially acceptable way of looking for a spouse.
Despite the popularity, or because of, there also remained critics, who often worried about the morality of such ads (Cocks, 2009).
It is said homosexual men and women used code words to place personal advertisements looking for likeminded people, but also for unhappily married people for whom divorce was impossible, the personal ads were a much desired way out, and of course, much like in online dating nowadays, there were people who posed as someone else, in an attempt to scam or rob people, or use them in other ways.
With the introduction of smartphones and their applications (apps) online dating became even easier, and more importantly, more socially accepted.
Just a little search on the internet will give you many different kinds of dating apps, such as dating apps for dog-owners, for beard-owners and beard lovers, and apps created by existing organizations, such as a meat company launching a dating app for meat lovers.
With the introduction of the internet in the 1990’s more and more people started placing their personal ads on websites instead of in newspapers and magazines.
Dating agencies created websites to which people could subscribe (usually for a membership fee) to get suggestions on possible partners based on certain algorithms and the extensive questionnaires they had to fill in.
I will now discuss a few different dating apps in a more detailed way to see what their aim is, who they’re aimed at and how they use specific values or interest to attract people from the same community.
I start with Tinder, the most popular app in western countries, and then move on to three dating apps that are more at the margins, The Leage, Ayo Poligami and Truly Madly.