Research predicts that dating will go mobile

Over a quarter of a billion people will be using mobile dating and chatroom services by 2012, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

The U.K. research firm said revenues from the two sectors will pass US$1 billion by 2010, while strong growth from India will contribute to 260 million users globally by 2012.

"Major brands such as Match.com and Webdate have recognized that customers are willing to pay a mobility premium for 24/7 access to these services and are increasing deploying mobile applications to complement and enhance their existing offerings," said the report author, Dr Windsor Holden.

Holden added that the sector was also becoming increasingly attractive to start-ups seeking to launch cross-platform services from the outset.

"The increasing proliferation of 3G handsets mean that companies are increasingly confident of introducing converged services at the outset. Furthermore, those companies which embrace such a strategy -- such as Flirtomatic -- are experiencing significantly higher levels of traffic from their WAP users than from their users on the fixed internet."

Juniper said Japan and India are currently the largest mobile dating markets.

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