Is mass dating the way forward? New app matches whole groups of friends, not just couples

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Amy Swales
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New dating apps seem to spring up daily, each promising new and better ways to meet the love of your life/the one for the night.

But while many seem to be about narrowing options, bringing together ardent Disney fans or enthusiastic dog parents for example, one new app is widening the net somewhat by matching whole groups of friends – potentially taking that awkward sting out of the first date.

Instnt users take a picture of themselves and the friends they're out with, tagging their single pals and their location. Other groups within a pre-set range can then swipe right to match, much like Tinder, and meet in person.

The app, which is free to download, encourages dates that day or night rather than idle swiping and messaging of an evening, as of course you have to actually be with the friends you're tagging.

Not everyone tagged in the group shot has to be an Instnt user (though those who aren't will receive an invite to join and can then take part in any group chats) and there's no limit on the amount of friends in the picture, other than the length of your selfie stick.

So, is there strength in numbers? Primarily intended to help daters get over the common awkwardness of one-to-one meets, group dating removes that pressure and also might allay some people's worries about safety when meeting strangers, plus it increases the chances of an interesting night out or new friendships even if sparks don't fly.

On the flip side, such a concept means there is a danger that a mass first date ends up in clashes over who is attracted to who and someone left feeling like the last kid to be picked for the netball team, though that's arguably a hazard of offline meets in pubs and clubs anyway. Group dating: the way forward?

The app is available on the Instnt website and iTunes.



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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.