London Dating: StreetSpark Tested

By Lindsey Last edited 159 months ago
London Dating: StreetSpark Tested

While it pays to be cautious, online dating is ubiquitous with a dating site to suit all tastes. If you want toy boys, cougars, sugar daddies, uniforms or people in walking boots you can find them. But whatever your preference, convenience matters when you're juggling a busy London lifestyle. We tried out StreetSpark, a dating app that matches you to people based on proximity as well as personality.

By Gary Kinsman via the Londonist Flickrpool
Initially we wondered whether a location based dating app would mean instant 'hot lunch' dates, Grindr style. Don't panic though, StreetSpark isn't that steamy. Neatly themed around sparks flying between random strangers it aims to deconstruct dating by virtually replicating the chance-encounter-in-the-street flirt.

The information it requests for registration is minimal. Plug in gender, age and what you're seeking, complete a set of tick box questions indicative of likes, interests and personality and you're set. There's no 'personal statement' box to agonise over so if you like narrative you'll be better off elsewhere. You will need a photo though. This is very important.

Your personal 'matchbox' populates with potential matches selected by location and likes, telling you how many kilometres away each prospect is. This is an action based app. If you like the look of someone hit 'ignite'. If you are 'ignited' back you are privy to some profile information. If you like what you see, start to chat. If they're close enough you could be having coffee in 20 minutes. If you get to mutual ignition and feel tepid, just extinguish and allow new faces to appear. To reward your choices each is accompanied either by a satisfying whoosh of a match striking or the sad fizzle of a damp squib.

The app itself is simple and push notifications can liven up your day. Chat works well but if you're moving into more involved messaging go to the website rather than risk the app crashing out or sending your missive precipitously. As for the calibre of candidates, our researchers testify they had decent 'chat' with a number of people. One bagged a smoking hot date within a few days and not - as it happens - particularly based on proximity. But as in all dating, it's largely about luck. The key is to get igniting and extinguishing and make sure you have a friendly photo. StreetSpark can be fun. What's more, it's free.

Have you got a London dating story or know of an interesting singles event? Are you app dating? Tip us off

Last Updated 28 September 2010