This is already a significant increase from 2011 (6.3 million).
This increase is allegedly caused by Mobile Dating due to current social dating services like Tinder or Badoo, which allow people to quickly make new contacts on the go.
According to The San Francisco Chronicle in 2005, "Mobile dating is the next big leap in online socializing." with most users falling in the under 35 age range.
Some experts believe that the rise in mobile dating is due to the growing popularity of online dating.
Others believe it is all about choice, as Joe Brennan Jr., vice president of Webdate says, "It's about giving people a choice. They can date on their handset, it's all about letting people decide what path is best for them." A recently published study shows that currently 7.8 million singles in the UK search for a partner online every month.
Mobile dating services, also known as cell dating, cellular dating, or cell phone dating, allow individuals to chat, flirt, meet, and possibly become romantically involved by means of text messaging, mobile chatting, and the mobile web.
These services allow their users to provide information about themselves in a short profile which is either stored in their phones as a dating ID or as a username on the mobile dating site.
They can then search for other IDs online or by calling a certain phone number dictated by the service.
The criteria include age, gender and sexual preference.
Usually these sites are free to use but standard text messaging fees may still apply as well as a small fee the dating service charges per message.
Mobile dating websites, in order to increase the opportunities for meeting, focus attention on users that share the same social network and proximity.
Some companies even offer services such as homing devices to alert users when another user is within thirty feet of one another.
Some systems involve bluetooth technology to connect users in locations such as bars and clubs. These systems are actually more popular in some countries in Europe and Asia than online dating.