In the digital age, push notifications are the first thing many people look at when they wake up. It makes sense, then, for some people to make friends and find love ones through apps. The Facebook-based online dating app “pairs” from Tokyo (available in iOS and Android) just announced that it has hit 740,000 registered users in Japan and more than 300,000 from Taiwan, despite the fact that online dating is controversial in Japan (Japan Times).

pairs has a number of tools to get around the stigma attached to online dating in Japan. Only users with “Single” relationship status on Facebook can join. The app also has an age restriction and outsourced web monitoring vendor to ensure safety. Perhaps most intriguingly, it has a female-dominated team to “give a sense of security for female users” and to create a “pure” image of online dating, according to Takeru Kawashita from pairs. To help find the right partner, “pairs” has a “community” feature that allows users to meet based on interests.

Given Japan’s demographic crisis, dating is okay as long as it leads to marriage. According to pairs, it has 3.2 million matches and 6,500 users reported that they have moved onto serious dating and marriage, although many cases might go unreported. It’s unsurprising that online dating is gradually becoming acceptable to Japanese. As “pairs” discloses to Technode, it will “devote to spread the concept of ‘online dating’, a much easier way to find and meet compatible partner.”

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.