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24-Jun-2016 09:15

All of the location-based dating apps serve as "icebreakers" for conversations that might not happen otherwise, said Wiklund, Skout's founder."I don't know if it's 'lazy,' per se, but when we designed Skout we really wanted it to be similar to how you meet people in the real world," he said.(CNN) -- There are many reasons people fall for each other: Personality, looks, humor -- sax-playing ability.But a new class of GPS-enabled smartphone apps is trying to bring dating back to the pure, data-driven basics. In this new era of app-driven love, location is most important.Apps like Skout, Grindr and Street Spark let people sort through lists of potential daters based on where they are located at any given moment.All three services list the distance between the person using the app and other member users in feet.

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"It takes a lot of the guesswork out of it," said Zachary Rosenkoetter, a 22-year-old from Tallahassee, Florida, who met his boyfriend on the app.

Take, for example, the story of Scott Kutcher and Amanda Segal.

They started dating in March when, during a Jay-Z concert at Madison Square Garden, Scott pulled out his i Phone, opened an app called Skout and scanned a list of near-by women.

The idea that single people would need ways to identify themselves as approachable has an analog precedent, Malov said.

In the 1970s, he said, single people wore bracelets to indicate that they were single and open to being approached romantically.

Skout, which has become one of the leaders in the space, boasts more than 1 million users, and the average age is somewhere between 24 and 25, said Christian Wiklund, Skout's founder and CEO.