OPW - Feb 20 - Every year we take a look at who scored the most press summaries on Online Personals Watch. We look for top tier news and summarize what we think is most interesting to you, our audience of Internet dating industry leaders, app designers and marketers.
#1 Tinder (123 posts published on OPW last year)
#2 Bumble (48 posts)
#3 eHarmony (42)
#4 Match Group (41)
#5 Match (37)
#6 OKCupid (37)
#7 Grindr (34)
#8 Happn (22)
#9 The League (21)
#10 Matrimony.com (17)
PR NEWSWIRE - Feb 8 - A new national report "The Happiness Index: Love and Relationships in America" commissioned by eHarmony and conducted by Harris Interactive, shows that 64% of Americans are "very happy" in their romantic relationships with a partner or spouse and ~50% report being happy with their sex lives. The new survey reveals that millennials ages 25 to 34 are the happiest. People living in cities tend to be happier in their relationships. Men tend to be more positive, happy, and satisfied in their relationships than women: 80% of men (vs. 76% of women) reported that they're "in love" with their partner or spouse.
INDEPENDENT.CO.UK - Jan 30 - That's £117 per person and nearly a whole day on bad dates. On each date, the average Brit will spend £29 per person. The research by eHarmony claims that the average bad date lasts just 60 minutes. This is two hours shorter than the average date overall, which is three hours long. The study also found that 52% of dates leave singletons feeling disappointed.
OPW - Jan 26 - The 2018 iDate Awards winners were announced and provided trophies at a ceremony during iDate (Internet dating conference) this week. The iDate Awards are the dating industry's most recognized awards, highlighting the best and most innovative aspects of the business.
The 2018 winners are:
Best Dating Site
Best Dating Coach
Best Product Design
Best Dating Software & SAAS Provider
Best Mobile Dating App
Most Innovative Company
Best New Technology
Best Payment System
Best Affiliate Program
Best Marketing Campaign
Best Up and Coming Dating Site
Best Niche Dating Site
WEBWIRE - Jan 22 - Jeannie Assimos, VP of Content at eHarmony, will discuss how she has seen the online dating landscape change in the ten years since she joined the company. The conference is taking place this week - January 24-26, at the Hyatt Place in Delray Beach, Florida.
THE CONVERSATION - Jan 10 - The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently banned an ad from eHarmony which said the site has a "scientifically proven" matching system. According to the ASA, eHarmony failed to demonstrate that its matching system was scientifically proven to give users a better chance of finding a partner. But oline dating has changed who we end up marrying. Before online dating, people tended to marry people who were already in their social circle. After 1995, with the rise of online dating, people were increasingly more able to date anyone, and had a higher chance of matching with someone from another race or ethnicity. There is new evidence that internet diffusion has contributed to increasing marriage rates among 21 to 30-year-old people in the US. Also, relationships that start online transition to marriage more quickly than those between couples who met offline.
MERCURY NEWS - Jan 10 - eHarmony agreed to pay $1.28M to settle a consumer-protection lawsuit filed by four California counties - Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Napa, and Shasta - along with the city of Santa Monica over its automatic-charging practices. eHarmony will also pay $1M in separate restitution to customers who were unknowingly enrolled into a subscription between March 10, 2012 and Dec. 16, 2016. Eligible recipients will be sent notices of any monetary recovery, which will average about $30 for each affected customer.
MARKETWATCH - Jan 6 - In the New Year, the online dating industry sees a surge in users. Zoosk typically sees a 20% jump in users in the first two weeks of the year and eHarmony sees a similar increase. Grindr and other gay apps usually experiences a 30% to 50% increase in users. Match.com sees a 60% surge in new members between Christmas Day and Valentine's Day. "Many singles sit around the family dinner table during the holidays and think, 'Maybe it would be better to have a partner'," said Mark Brooks, editor of Online Personals Watch. "That's when they start hitting dating sites in droves and go on dates before the indigestion sets in." It may also be more polite to arrange dates in the New Year rather than during the holidays, especially with family around. "They're going to be around for you long after your relationships," he says. With the constant stream of happy holiday photographs over social-networking sites, experts say the pressure to be in a romance this time of year has never been so intense. "There's an onslaught of images of family and togetherness," says Pepper Schwartz, author of "Dating After 50 for Dummies" and a love and relationship ambassador for AARP.
OPW - Jan 5 - Steve Carter is one of two super long-termer executives remaining at eHarmony. (Grant Langston, the CEO, is the other one). Dr Carter is the man (leading the team) behind the algorithm, and has worked at eHarmony since 1999, before it was launched. Starting out as a research analyst he's risen through the ranks to become VP of Matching in 2012 and the Chief Scientist in 2016, and now...he's also working as Data Science Manager at Facebook "Helping Facebook get even better at making meaningful and beneficial connections between people."
In the past, Facebook has declared themselves not a dating site, and even gone to the extent of shunning and banning the dating industry from advertising for a while, perhaps to help clarify it's distinction from dating. So what's going on underneath the hood. What could Steve be working on. Cause for concern, or celebration? Your comments please.
THE GUARDIAN - Jan 4 - UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says eHarmony's billboard ad is misleading because the dating site cannot prove it provides a greater chance of finding lasting love. The offending advertisement said: "Step aside, fate. It’s time science had a go at love." It went on: "eHarmony's scientifically proven matching system decodes the mystery of compatibility and chemistry so you don't have to." "Phrases like 'scientifically proven' should be confined to claims that are just that, not used in crude puffery designed to lure in those longing for love," said Lord Lipsey, a former lay member of the ASA's council. eHarmony submitted copies of two published studies that reported higher levels of marital satisfaction for couples who met through eHarmony than any other offline or online methods. But the ASA found that the results of the studies did not justify using the words that were the subject of the complaint.
Q: VP of Content is so inspirational to many of us. Tell us about your career trajectory.
A: Since I was a kid, I've been interested in telling stories and writing. I pursued a degree in cinema. My career began at Entertainment Tonight (ET). Later I quit and the eharmony job landed in my lap three weeks later. Nine years later, I've learned so much about dating and relationships.
Q: What piqued your interest in the dating and relationship industry?
A: Who isn't interested in telling stories about love, breakups, and dating?
Q: How do you think technology has played a role in modern dating?
A: Technology connects us like never before. It is easier than ever to secure a date.
Q: What are some of the challenges eharmony sees?
A: Getting people to look beyond 2-3 photos and read what a potential match has to say on their profile continues to present itself as a challenge.
Q: How 2nd wave apps are playing a role in modern dating?
A: I welcome all of them. When swiping fatigue sets in, I would hope these people would come and try eHarmony.
Q: What are some of the top dating concerns your users report?
A: 18 to 24 year olds were most worried about not getting responses to the messages. In contrast, 50 to 64 year olds were afraid of being catfished.
Q: What can we do to avoid these things?
A: Know what you are looking for in a partner. If you do find someone online who looks promising, move it to a real-life interaction as soon as possible. Meet someone in a public place, let a few friends know where you are going, and get yourself there.
METRO.CO.UK - Dec 9 - eHarmony research reveals when couples go through each stage of dating. The dating site surveyed ~1k people from Australia to find out the stages each major relationship goes through and when they happen – from the first time couples have sex to how long it takes to move on after a breakup. The research found that one in four of us share a kiss on the first date. 9% have sex with someone on the same day or within a week of meeting them. It usually takes people three months of dating before they deactivate their online dating profiles and actually commit to the relationship they're in. After four months, 29% of people will share the first photo of themselves and their partner online. The 'I love you' stage tends to happen shortly after. On average couples take three months to exchange 'I love you's. On average it takes 45% of people a year to get engaged, another year before they actually get married, and a year after that to have a child.
CORPORATE COUNSEL - Ronald Sarian, eHarmony's vice president and general counsel, emphasized that keeping up with the latest in cybersecurity can make all the difference in stopping the next attack. Know about what types of attacks other companies are experiencing. About two years ago, scammers went after Snapchat by impersonating the company's CEO and asking those in the payroll department for personal employee information. Sarian read about the attack and advised eHarmony colleagues to watch out for a similar incident. The next day, eHarmony's accounting department was targeted by an identical phishing attack in which scammers pretending to be eHarmony CEO requested W-2s for salary review. But because of Sarian's warning, the accounting employees knew not to respond, he said. Even more important, he added, is really knowing those in a company's IT department. New employees should know about what to look for, what to open and what not to open. And when someone is leaving the company, he noted, it's important to have a system in place that immediately shuts off access to company systems and devices.
EHARMONY.CO.UK - Nov 30 - eHarmony's latest white paper about the future of online dating is a collaboration between relationship experts eharmony.co.uk and Imperial College Business School MSc Management students. By 2050, there will be ~8.1M UK residents aged 80 or older. That With increasing life expectancy, the population aged 100+ are expected to climb to 200k people – a jump from 14k in 2017. Come 2050, the market will shift to older generations. The median age of an online dater will reach 47, up from 38 in the present day. By 2050, we can expect ~30% of online daters will be aged 18-35. Young people will still be looking for love online, but the way they do it is likely to change. The natural next step will be dating via VR and AR. Currently, 12% of people aged 65+ met someone via online dating. Come 2050, the proportion of singles aged over 65 meeting people online could be as high as 78%.
NEWSWIRE - Nov 29 - Online Profile Pros, the online personal brand experts, announced Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony, has joined the Board of Directors. Grant joins the board with a wealth of knowledge in online personal branding as an experienced executive building eHarmony since its inception in 2000. "I'm honored to join Online Profile Pros' Board of Directors. I see firsthand the importance of creating authentic, quality profiles and the impact that can have on people's lives," said Grant Langston, CEO of eHarmony.
NBCNEWS - Nov 29 - Within the next two decades, experts say technology will have advanced to the point that people would go on realistic virtual dates without leaving home with the help of a virtual reality (VR) headset and a mask and bodysuit studded with sensors and actuators. What's driving the rise of digital dating? Novelty is one factor but the desire to avoid needless risk may be paramount - especially for women. "By 2040, we will have technologies which are capable of measuring your hormones and feeding this information, along with data on your behavior, to smartphones to match you with people," says Jonathan Beber, eHarmony's senior research analyst. Some experts take technology a step farther, envisioning a time when we form romantic relationships not just with other people but also with robots.
AD NEWS - Nov 3 - Creatives from Marcel, Loud and VCCP weighed in on ads from Tinder, Elite Singles, eHarmony, Bumble and RSVP.
Seems like a safe bet for those who take dating and relationships seriously.
eHarmony understands that there's a moment when something just clicks but could have gone down a much richer creative path.
It's great that Tinder are self-aware and don't take themselves too seriously. As for the idea, it's ok but we've seen this sort of set up before.
Tinder, Apple TV
The writing's great. Characters are funny. Very watchable. Feels like a sitcom. And strategically it works hard. This definitely gets a swipe to the right.
Hats off to The Core Agency and RSVP team for sticking with a great line, 'Find a keeper', and building on a really strong platform.
For all its obvious flaws, this ad makes up for it in spades when it comes to appealing to a particular audience. It knows who it wants to target and is not shy about it. However, there's a big difference in appealing to your audience, and understanding them.
Bumble is the cool kid. The fact that there is only one ad in the series that features a guy, and that he doesn't utter a word, is a teeny bit unnerving though. It totally appeals to the confident millennial females out there.
SEEKING ALPHA - Oct 2 - MTCH stock is a lot like love: it arouses feelings of excitement in some, while evoking fear in others. The industry has very low barriers to entry and established players must always consider the threat of incoming competition. However, once established, the top brands usually retain their position. Match's market share is estimated to be 25.7%, with eHarmony coming in at 12%. Match Group is to online dating almost what Facebook is to social media. Some investors look at Match Group's steadily declining average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) as an indication that customers are less willing to pay. However, management noted in its Q1 '17 conference call that each of its top six brands had either flat or higher ARPPU YOY, an indication of stable pricing. The declines are related to product mix shifts toward lower-cost Tinder services and toward international customers which also have lower ARPPU. Match's business, pairing up people looking for a romantic connection..is as timeless as any business around. Fast forward 5, 10, or 15 years and online dating stigma may be a thing of the past, particularly given the up-and-coming generation growing up on Tinder.