Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Dating App Logic and Geo-enabled Mobile Socialities

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Deborah ChambersORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by Routledge, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


By asking how geolocational dating is algorithmically steered, this chapter explains how dating app practices signal a new kind of mobile sociality. With an accent on dating app platform infrastructures and on women and LGBTQ+ users, it considers whether dating apps empower mobility practices, and if so, in what ways. Mobile dating apps comprise a synthesis of technical, bodily and symbolic attributes. First, they encompass temporal features by imparting a sense of speed and immediacy in selecting matches. second, the GPS location capabilities of dating apps involve spatial and temporal tracing, mapping and tracking of nearby strangers to coordinate physical co-presence. Third, observing and connecting with strangers requires dating app users to navigate transformed public-private boundaries. These attributes involve critical decisions about self-presentation and the competences to gauge strangers' identities and motives in co-situated virtual and physical spaces. The concept of 'hybrid space' (de Souza e Silva, 2006) enables us to approach these digital, temporal and geographical elements of the dating app ecology as hybridised features of online-offline connectedness. Within a process of physical and digital hybridisation (de Souza e Silva and Frith 2012), these techno-social dating app qualities entail situated, bodily and emotional qualities, confirming that material and virtual space are no longer separate. As such, they suggest a dramatic reorganisation of social connectedness described here as geo-enabled mobile sociality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chambers D

Editor(s): Annette Hill, Maren Hartmann, Magnus Andersson

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The Routledge Handbook of Mobile Socialities

Year: 2021

Pages: 101 - 114

Print publication date: 07/05/2021

Online publication date: 07/05/2021

Acceptance date: 08/09/2020

Edition: 1

Series Title: Routledge Handbook, Society and culture; media studies; cultural studies; politics, society and education

Number of Volumes: 1

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: Oxford


DOI: 10.4324/9781003089872

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780367543976