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The 18 to 24 crowd has warmed to smartphone apps like Tinder that help them spot a match among a crowd of strangers.

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Some 27 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 reported using online dating, up from just 10 percent in 2013, Pew found.

Much of that growth comes from the use of mobile applications like Tinder, which has gained a reputation as a "hookup" app.

Pew researcher Aaron Smith smartphone dating apps—in the vein of Tinder which lets users see in real time who is available, and "swipe" if they wish to meet someone—have a particular appeal for younger adults.

"These dating apps hit young people in the way they live," Smith said.

The growth "speaks to the growing cultural acceptance of online dating," Smith said.

"Five years ago, many of these people who have viewed online dating as weird or desperate.But now a lot of people know someone who has met someone online." Better pool, more dangerous Those who have tried online dating offer a generally positive view of the experience, but also recognize that dangers exist, the survey found."They speak to way young people are engaging in content," he added."They are location-focused, they are real-time, they include social networking and game play, so it's a natural fit for them.".At the other end of the age spectrum Pew found that 12 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds reported going online to find a partner, double the number in 2013.Most in this age category visit dating websites like e Harmony or rather than use smartphone apps.

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  1. 5, men and women visited online dating Web sites in nearly equal numbers, according to Hitwise, which measures online traffic.

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