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Over 40 and dating online? Your guide to the best apps | BT

Millions of people use dating apps to overcome social barriers, busy schedules and shyness in their hunt for "the one". Many have found themselves empowered but others tell of despair and, in extreme cases, threats of blackmail. With data provided exclusively to the BBC by analytics company App Annie, it is also possible to tell the story of the apps behind the phenomenon.

Looking at 50 of the world's biggest app markets, two names dominated in Nearly a decade after it launched, Badoo had the top dating app in 21 countries. Tinder was the most downloaded dating app in 18 countries and came a close second to Badoo in many others. There is fierce competition between the two biggest apps here. Tinder dominates northern countries; Badoo is top in the east and south. In German-speaking countries, Lovoo - developed in the city of Dresden - is number one. Andy, 45, from Scotland, lives in London and has been married and divorced twice. He has a year-old daughter from his first marriage.

He's been using Tinder for several years. Everyone else on the app is doing exactly the same thing. At the meeting, it's instantly recognisable that neither of you can live up to the expectations and you part company. The fallout is the trip home, where you feel crushed and defeated and you know you're going back to square one to start the whole process again.

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The whole process is very addictive, but it's very soul-destroying. The addictive part tends to come mainly from the loneliness, which is the whole reason that we're on this and we're trying to find someone to keep us company. The dominance of Tinder and Badoo does not extend to East Asia, where each country has a very specific preference. In China, Momo is trying to escape its origins as a dating app and become a social network.


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Shruti, 30, and Nitin, 31, live in Delhi and work in finance. They found each other on TrulyMadly, an Indian-made app, which came second to Tinder in terms of downloads in They got married in November. Egypt and Saudi Arabia use apps that have little popularity beyond their borders.

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Apart from Egypt, the only other country where Frim has a foothold is Russia. Aisha, whose name has been changed, is 42 and lives with her parents in Kuwait. Spending your first date explaining your online fibs is not the way to put your best foot forward. The same goes for photos.

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Ms Yorston advises keeping your photos casual. In addition, when it comes to describing yourself, be aware of hidden online dating codes. And always remember to be mindful of safety. All fees accurate at time of publication but may be subject to change. The information shown on this site is general information only, it does not constitute any recommendation or advice and is not substitute for health or medical advice; it has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it.


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