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Europe exports e-flirting op to US

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Smartflirts.com - a European outfit that helps people find "dates on the go" (no, not the fruit) by using text messaging - is to launch in the US later this month.

The service has already gone live in Denmark and the UK and is designed for "independent, active individuals who are looking for a way to safely meet new people". Sheesh.

The service is described as Internet dating on a cell phone. People who've registered can search for - and contact - other users who're logged on to the service at the same time and who are within reach. Well, it's one way of breaking the ice.

Punters can get their initial dating profile for free although additional functions can cost up to $24.95 a month.

Clearly, the online dating game is an interesting proposition. Jupiter Research reckons that in Western Europe, for example, the online dating market is worth €40m this year, rising to a heart-pounding, palm-sweating €117m by 2007.

Earlier this week, Yahoo! launched a dating agency for its punters in the UK and Ireland, France and Germany. Called Yahoo! Personals, subscription is to cost between €15 and €25 per month. But the service is free for the first few months. ®

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