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The potential here is obvious and you might be pleasantly surprised to find out a secret crush feels the same way, but as there's a certain...directness to Down, it's wise to use it with caution.

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It's a sound approach, especially for online dating newbies: meeting someone is less intimidating and feels more organic this way, but you can still get to know people you otherwise might not have met.

Plus, there's a bit of extra security knowing you're talking to a 'real person': Hinge gives you plenty of details about your potential date in advance (full name, work, education, mutual friends), profiles are validated, and you could even contact your mutual acquaintance to get the lowdown on someone.

We probably don't need to say much more than that it's the spiritual successor to Bang With Friends for you to get the idea.

Like Hinge, you identify potential matches through your extended Facebook network, but Down does away with any subtlety - swipe one way to ask for a date, the other for a casual hookup.

It's a bit of a pain getting signed up (you have to jump through a few hoops to get it to recognise non-US locations) and ultimately operates a paid membership programme, but in the world of happy swiping, it's antiquated feel is quite refreshing.

There's also Android and i OS apps to complement the web platform.

Unlike most technologies that are gushed about, Tinder can genuinely lay claim to having had a disruptive impact and its popularity is easy to understand (despite what we now think of it).

Free to use and with a UI that's simple to the point of remedial, its rapid-fire approach to matchmaking has since been aped by numerous developers, while online dating's gentrification has continued apace. Whether you're looking for love or just a casual fling, there's plenty of competition around.

The free version gives you the basic ability to batch like, but to use the app more than once, you'll have to give it a five star review or share your dirty little secret on social media - a complete con, obviously, but probably worth the hassle as its ads are less intrusive than other add-ons. Alternatives with similar functionality that won't strong-arm you into giving it a positive review include Tinderly, which is available on i OS and Android (where it goes by Swiper Liker), and Bonfire.

, Tinder is the harbinger of today's hookup-fuelled "dating apocalypse." But the truth of the matter is, hooking up isn't anything new (and may in fact be hardwired into our genetics).

Vetting profiles to no avail can be disheartening, especially if you're new to the game, and that's where Tinder 'Liker' apps come in handy.

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