Mobile Site or App? Which should you use?

Many people ask us if using the mobile site of a dating service is better than using the app of that same dating service? or vice versa? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think though. We usually reply that you should use what works for you. However, there’s a lot of stagnation in that answer, and here we will try to explain more about the differences between a mobile dating site and a dating app, because there are differences which our users should be aware of in order to make the best decision on which option to use.

Features and Usage Comparison

When it comes to dating features available on a mobile site there is usually not much of a difference between the app. Many online dating services offer a mobile site (such as OkCupid Mobile, POF Mobile, eHarmony Mobile) and do a pretty good job at keeping it as good as the app. It is the dating service prerogative to allow mobile site users the same features as the app.

However, sometimes there are differences. Differences occur usually based on marketing and development changes.

  • An example for a marketing difference might be a tailored functionality which is available on the app and not on the mobile site tailored according to the app user base profiling.
  • A development difference might be a new design that has launched on the mobile site, but did not follow with a new design for the app.

So difference is dependent (when occurs) on development and marketing of the two different products. This leads to a small change in usage also, as with the design change mentioned (navigation might be different, buttons might be situated differently etc…).

Users should always remember that the core of the app and the mobile site will stay the same.

Is it all about Your preference or Digital Media?

Arguably, if there aren’t that many differences between a mobile dating site and a dating app than is it just a question of preference?


Your preference as much as we would like to advocate for its corner isn’t the only player on the court. The majority of digital media users prefer apps. And that puts the online dating sites at a slight uncomfortable position. If the numbers show that over the next few years more and more of their customers will use their dating app, then it’s not really profitable to keep a mobile site going.

Over the years the majority of online dating services have had to adjust their websites to the growing user base coming from mobile devices. At first they made mobile sites, then apps, now responsive sites, and still the trend is that more and more people prefer to use apps instead of a mobile site. So if you like the mobile version of your dating site better, you’re at a disadvantage.

Let’s face it, progress in the online world is happening and fast and older versions of the internet are becoming obsolete. Here are just a few of the changes in mobile usage which are leading this change:

  • Since 2014 the number of mobile users has surpassed the number of desktop users.
  • Over 50% of time spent on the internet today is via mobile devices.
  • While the most popular devices on the net are still a pc or laptop over 80% of users use their mobile devices to surf the internet.
  • 89% spend their time on apps while 11% on the mobile web.

The above stats were taken from this amazing article about mobile usage by Dave Chaffey (highly recommended!).

So Which is better?

We need to face a new reality – apps are becoming the new websites of the internet. Although you might think that mobile websites for dating are here to stay, we believe that technological advancements + marketing insights will gradually push them away.

The conclusion that must be made is that an app, whether it is for dating or anything else, is a better choice for a user in today’s world.

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