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Looking For Love In The Right Places

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- St. Valentine's Day could be a lonely and depressing holiday for the more than 105 million people who are technically "single," according to the U.S. Census. But the proliferation of online dating websites, location-based check-in services such as Foursquare and the move to combine those sites with social media tools and mobile platforms may make finding love a bit easier.

Snap Interactive (STVI.OB) is betting on the integration of these social media tools.

The New York-based application provider's dating site, AreYouInterested.com, also has mobile and smartphone applications, particularly for the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone. What sets AreYouInterested.com apart from other dating sites is that it pulls information from a user's Facebook page, making the creation of a profile easier and simpler, company executives say.

"It's all seamless," says Snap CEO Cliff Lerner, who co-founded the firm with his brother Darrell. "The younger generation, they want to use these products all the time -- on Facebook and when they're out on their iPhone," for instance.

The company is on to something.

According to a poll last week by Zogby Interactive, nearly three-quarters of all Facebook users who are not in a relationship log on to learn about people they want to date. Facebook users between the ages 18 and 29 are increasingly more likely to use the social media site for romance-related reasons, the survey says.

A majority of participants said they check the Facebook profile of someone they are interested in dating within a day or two after meeting, according to the findings.

A few figures on just how fast Snap Interactive is growing:

AreYouInterested.com is adding 40,000 to 50,000 profiles per day, the company says, compared with 20,000 profiles said to be added daily at online dating giant Match.com, a business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI - Get Report). The site has roughly 30 million users, with more than 100,000 users installing AreYouInterested.com's Facebook application every day, the company says.

Still, at the heart of the story, Snap Interactive is a small business struggling to meet the demands of its growth.
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