Dating apps that helped us find love, then died a quiet death

The internet is a big graveyard of abandoned apps and dusty old websites. With the explosion of dating apps over the past decade — and dating sites before them — it’s no surprise that some have died out while others have enjoyed massive success.

Dead apps are a window into our online dating pasts. They show our desire to find like-minded people and our eagerness to connect to find love. This remains true today: the dating app market was valued at around $7 billion in 2020, and that figure is expected to reach $11 billion by 2028.

Only popular contenders like Tinder, however, got significant slices of that pie. With the appearance of new applications to appropriate part of these revenues, will the big players crowd them out? Or will these apps end up in that same graveyard?

Time will tell — but for now, here are nine dating sites and apps that are dead. TEAR.

1. Spark

facebook dating launched in 2019, five years after founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed (in now leaked emails) that Facebook was a better dating site than Tinder. Well, that didn’t exactly happen: Facebook Dating has thousands of active userswhile Tinder has millions.

Facebook tried again with Sparked, a video speed dating app which was launched last year. If “video speed dating” doesn’t sound so appealing to you, don’t worry – it hasn’t for many others either. Meta, formerly known as Facebook, turn off Sparked less than a year after its creation. An email to members said, “Like many good ideas, some take off and others, like Sparked, must come to an end.”

2. Happy

Launch of British reality TV star Ollie Locke Chappy gay dating app in 2018 with the help of Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd. Originally held as “Bumble’s little brother”, Chappy closed and folded into Bumble two years later, like a child absorbing its twin in the womb.

As the queer news site Pink News lamented at the time, “now we will be single for eternity.” At least there’s Grindr.

3. Haters

Hater made waves in 2017 as a send from Tinder and other apps. This app’s niche was to connect people through things they despise. App Founder Brandon Alper launched Hater on shark tank in 2017 and received $200,000 from billionaire Mark Cuban, but the following year Alper said CNBC that Hater wasn’t making any money.

Hater’s Twitter hasn’t been updated since 2018, and at the time of publication, Mashable couldn’t find it in the Apple App Store.

4. What about us

HowAboutWe was an innovative dating app in this case, singles landed dates by suggesting things to do with each other, i.e. “How about we go out for dinner?” HowAboutWe introduced himself as a “offline dating app” for this reason, and has even been boasted “reinventing internet dating” by GQ when it started back in 2010.

As is a common story in this graveyard, HowAboutWe’s demise was due to a buyout. Match Acquired HowAboutWe in 2014, and the site is no more.


Snack is a dating app for the TikTok generation

5. Spoon

While apps like Tinder have gained a reputation for hookups, Spoonr decided to help you find a more PG hug. first called Cuddlr, the application launched in 2014 to help people find platonic cuddly buddies. “Tens of thousands of successful hugs later”, however, Cuddlr closed in 2015 and renamed Spoonr months later.

Yet the general public didn’t see the need for a Snuggle Buddy app, and Spoonr closed in 2017 with a tweet: “It was fun while it lasted! SPOONR is now closed! Hugs.”

6. Mermaid

Mermaid dating app launched in 2015 by two women of color to “fight against the swipe” of dating apps created by men. Instead of swiping, Siren posed daily questions for users to answer and search for potential matches based on the answers they liked.

Mermaid closed in 2017 with a blog post. Co-founders Susie Lee and Katrina Hess claimed investors failed to make their payments and the app ran out of money. In an interview with GeekWire, Lee specifically called out Blackrun Ventures, and Blackrun denied the allegations but “respect[ed] their decision. »

Original farewell blog post now redirects to a local newspaper article Cleveland scene about 14 Best Hookup Appsbut the letter is curated on GeekWire.

7. Missed Connections

Oh, Craigslist Missed Connections. Left too early. What was once a goldmine of documenting passing glances and near-encounters is now, as Mashable’s Chris Taylor observed, a “shadow of itself.”

When Craigslist removed its Personals section in 2018, in a radical response to the FOSTA-SESTA anti-sex trafficking legislation, Missed Connections took over. Unfortunately, by then the section had – and still is – past its prime.

For those who miss your old missed connections and happen to be gay, you can write to your missed connections on the lex dating app (a no-photo dating app inspired by newspaper ads).

8. Yahoo! Met

A site with the same fate as Craigslists personals, Yahoo! Encounters closed in 2010 when it merged with Match. Like its then competitors and more modern applications, Yahoo! Dating required you to create a profile and, after a free trial, cost anywhere from $15 to $30 per month.

Today, Yahoo! The dating site redirects to Match.

9. and

A two for one, GreatBoyfriends and GreatGirlfriends launched in 2002 by then-Elle Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll (who later accused former President Trump of assault) and her sister Cande Carroll. The concept was born from meeting a partner through word of mouth: people would “recommend” their “great” exes to others so far. The Carrolls founded the sites on the basis that everyone knows a “big catch” to approve.

GreatBoyfriends and Girlfriends died after wedding site The Knot acquired them in 2005.

These sites and apps started with the hope of connecting people, and unfortunately they are no longer. While we can’t predict which current apps are doomed to a similar fate, we can mourn the ones that are already here.

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About Jimmie P. Ricks

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