With Tinder recently closing down its service for under-18s, younger teens must now turn to other apps to find similar connections online.
And one app that is proving popular with the under-18 market is Spotafriend – a friend-finding app that lets teens swipe through other users in a Tinder-style fashion.
Speaking about the app, which has over 1m users, founder Benoit Tessier said: “It’s a social media solution that works for both parents and teens. There’s a lot less anxiety about predators.
“Teenagers are increasingly aware of the dangers of the Internet Age, so a lot of them are happy about the extra security.”
The only major difference between the core of the two apps are their age ranges, and that Spotafriend says “You’ve Made A New Friend,” rather than, “It’s A Match” when two users connect.
Tinder announced in June it had decided to shut its service for under-18s, saying it was “the right thing to do”, despite the fact that it was losing 3% of its global user base.
The service was closed down after years of concerns that users under the age of 18 were being contacted by adults, even though Tinder’s 13-17 service was only supposed to allow under-18s to connect with each other.
This was highlighted in an investigation by Good Morning Britain released just before Tinder’s decision, where a producer posed as a 13-year-old on the site and received inappropriate messages from older men.
The founder of Spotafriend, Benoit Tessier said: “Allowing teens to use a dating app with a largely adult population is simply a bad idea: it invites danger.
“We’re happy to see that Tinder is drawing this line, and we believe it will make younger users much safer.”
And to ensure that only under-18s are using Spotafriend, Tessier and his team built a security system that he says has proved 99% accurate so far.
The security process shows users a picture of someone holding up a certain number of fingers, then asks them to take a selfie doing the same.
Dating app giant Badoo recently introduced a similar verification system on its platform to help keep scammers and fraudsters at bay.
Sportafriend is available for iOS and Android here.