AreYouInterested sells virtual gifts via mobile to engage social networkers

In addition, the number of user sessions is up 56 percent in the last two months with visitors spending an average of 23 minutes on the mobile application per day. The AreYouInterested.com iPhone mobile dating application features a complete integration of Web and mobile activity.

“We aren’t selling ad space within the application yet because right now we are just really focused on being best in class,” said Cliff Lerner, CEO of Snap Interactive Inc., makers of AreYouInterested.com, New York.

“We think there will be a huge monetization opportunity later down the road,” he said. “We are selling virtual gifts to users and users just simply charge it to their iTunes account as if they were buying a song.

“We are selling a few thousand dollars worth of gifts each day and are doing very well.”

With the AreYouInterested application, users can contact each other by sending messages, with conversations transferred between each platform, as well as via the new live chat feature that lets singles communicate in real time with others who are online.

Also, within seconds, users can see a complete rundown of singles in order of how close they are geographically, which is a unique feature made possible by GPS technology.

Snap claims that the virtual gifts and other unique features on its site have driven viral growth thus far.

The company has not done a mobile ad campaign to drive downloads of the application.

The increase in activity on the mobile front demonstrates the natural synergy between social media and the mobile platform.

“The activity we are seeing points to mobile as the next generation of online dating,” Mr. Lerner said.

The AreYouInterested.com iPhone application lets users browse photos of singles in their area and tap “Yes” on people they like, view their “Matches” and find out who likes them.

Users can also check out the “Buzz” and meet singles in their area who are currently online, and contact people to send and receive winks and messages.

“Dating has finally arrived in mobile and what makes it unique when compared to traditional, online dating is that singles get immediate results and don’t need to wait,” Mr. Lerner said. “With mobile you can sign in at any time and see who is around you and that’s fun and interesting.

“Mobile provides instant gratification and its practical,” he said.