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Sara Salas, 21, shows her fiancee Travis Sapp, 25, his photo in her mobile phone at their home in Anderson, Calif. The couple met through Zogo, a mobile dating service, in March 2006 and are now engaged.
AP photo by Michael Burke
Sara Salas, 21, shows her fiancee Travis Sapp, 25, his photo in her mobile phone at their home in Anderson, Calif. The couple met through Zogo, a mobile dating service, in March 2006 and are now engaged.

Love may be only a cell phone call away
Do you text here often?

By Nick Divito
For The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Get the weather. Get a picture. Get a date — this instant.

To add to the growing list of things you can do with your cell phone, now hear this: If you are feeling a little lonely or at loose ends, a growing number of cell phone services offer a chance to see if true love is just around the corner. Yes, sometimes the very one on which you are standing.

Here's how it can work, as told through the experience of 27-year-old Juston Payne:

Headed to a bar in Manhattan recently, he was in the mood to get to know someone new. So he logged on to Meetmoi, a mobile dating service.

He then scrolled through a list of profiles on his mobile phone and found a like-minded stranger in the area. The two swapped text-messages and soon met up for a drink and a game of Skee-Ball.

"It's simple and it's immediate," said Payne, 27, who checks in with Meetmoi, once a week. He's already been on two casual, on-the-go dates in the city.

"It just takes away the whole kabuki dance that goes on with Internet dating," he said.

Of the nation's estimated 213 million mobile phone users, 3.6 million used a mobile dating service in May 2007, according to M:Metrics, a Seattle-based mobile research firm. Mostly used by men ages 18 to 34, use of such services has grown with the services themselves.

"For younger folks, the phone plays a very different role in their life than it does for older Americans," said Mark Donovan, an m:Metrics analyst. "To them, it's a tool to entertain, to connect with their friends, to flirt and meet new people."

Some "traditional" — meaning Internet — dating Web sites like Webdate and Match.com are rolling out mobile services, and there are a handful of stand-alone ventures such as Meetmoi, Zogo and Jumbuck Entertainment's Fast Flirting, as well.

All work similarly, allowing users to scan profile and contact potential dates, using various screens to protect identities. (Geography is not necessarily always a factor.)

Most are free to register. Meetmoi charges 99 cents for 10 back-and-forth messages. Though now free, Zogo may soon be starting a monthly subscription. And for about $3 per month, users can chat on the Fast Flirting service for up to 10 minutes.

Users beware: some cell phone providers charge per text message, sent and received.

Safety is always key. All connections are made anonymously, and only users can reveal their true

By Nick Divito
For The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Get the weather. Get a picture. Get a date — this instant.

To add to the growing list of things you can do with your cell phone, now hear this: If you are feeling a little lonely or at loose ends, a growing number of cell phone services offer a chance to see if true love is just around the corner. Yes, sometimes the very one on which you are standing.

Here's how it can work, as told through the experience of 27-year-old Juston Payne:

Headed to a bar in Manhattan recently, he was in the mood to get to know someone new. So he logged on to Meetmoi, a mobile dating service.

He then scrolled through a list of profiles on his mobile phone and found a like-minded stranger in the area. The two swapped text-messages and soon met up for a drink and a game of Skee-Ball.

"It's simple and it's immediate," said Payne, 27, who checks in with Meetmoi, once a week. He's already been on two casual, on-the-go dates in the city.

"It just takes away the whole kabuki dance that goes on with Internet dating," he said.

Of the nation's estimated 213 million mobile phone users, 3.6 million used a mobile dating service in May 2007, according to M:Metrics, a Seattle-based mobile research firm. Mostly used by men ages 18 to 34, use of such services has grown with the services themselves.

"For younger folks, the phone plays a very different role in their life than it does for older Americans," said Mark Donovan, an m:Metrics analyst. "To them, it's a tool to entertain, to connect with their friends, to flirt and meet new people."

Some "traditional" — meaning Internet — dating Web sites like Webdate and Match.com are rolling out mobile services, and there are a handful of stand-alone ventures such as Meetmoi, Zogo and Jumbuck Entertainment's Fast Flirting, as well.

All work similarly, allowing users to scan profile and contact potential dates, using various screens to protect identities. (Geography is not necessarily always a factor.)

Most are free to register. Meetmoi charges 99 cents for 10 back-and-forth messages. Though now free, Zogo may soon be starting a monthly subscription. And for about $3 per month, users can chat on the Fast Flirting service for up to 10 minutes.

Users beware: some cell phone providers charge per text message, sent and received.

Safety is always key. All connections are made anonymously, and only users can reveal their true

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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