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60% of mobile dating app users protect their location privacy – bad news for mobile advertising?

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SinglesAroundMe (SAM), one of the world’s leading social discovery dating apps has seen strong adoption of its Position-Shift technology, with 60%. of iPhone users of SinglesAroundMe choosing the location “Shift” option to move their real location by a few miles. But does this bode ill for all location based services?

SinglesAroundMe, launched in April 2010, was the first true location based dating app that brought discovering nearby singles into a real life experience. Rather than hiding behind a computer screen like traditional Internet dating, SinglesAroundMe allowed singles to meet while mobile. The benefits of seeing ones location appealed to a new generation of singles that are comfortable with location. It created an opportunity for singles to meet one another locally for the first time, like never before.

To appeal to those less comfortable with displaying their location – and perhaps going very much against the whole purpose of the app in the first place, one could argue – SinglesAroundMe invented patent pending Position-Shift technology as a third location privacy option where users can choose to Show, Hide and now Shift their shown location by few miles.

People can now remain visible within a general area, while not showing their exact location, when using the app. There are now 200,000 singles that download the app every four weeks.

“These numbers show what we suspected, that the ability to be visible but not precisely located is clearly attractive as it offers users the benefits of location services while allowing them to control how they wish to be seen within the social network,” said company CEO Christopher Klotz.

But this could have worrying overtones for the nascent mobile ad industry. Tech that allow users to shift their location is a great way to stop ads hitting you where you are or indeed for anyone to know your location. While this gives power to the people, it could well be a huge set back for mobile marketing. We wait to see how the tech pan out.

In the meantime ponder this: according to SinglesAroundMe’s data, 20% of female users choose to show their exact location, while only 20% elected to hide their location. Its not all bad news then.

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