PR NEWSWIRE - Dec 15 - Starting in January, eHarmony users can now see why they're compatible with a feature called "The Two Of You Together". They will be able to see the matches who score at an advanced level of compatibility and also why. Also anyone will be able to build a basic profile by answering a few quick questions and within ten minutes or less, start receiving matches. Users can then dig deeper on their own time to complete eHarmony's in-depth personality survey but this is no longer necessary to participate.
NY POST - Dec 11 - EliteSingles is currently the third-largest US TV dating advertiser behind Match and eHarmony, but plans to turn up the volume to ensure it nabs between 5k - 6k new customers a day. The company is currently signing 3k - 4k, it says. The company is backed by Rocket Internet and Holtzbrinck Ventures, and the US is its fastest-growing market.
BUSINESSWIRE - Dec 1 - eHarmony has released user data from its 600k subscribers that revealed Dating Dealbreakers for both men & women, with being rude taking the top spot. 77% of men and 79% of women say that rudeness will end the relationship, lying came in third with 61% of men and 62% of women saying they wouldn' tolerate it. About 4 out of 5 men say they are fine dating someone who still lives with parents, but more than half of women say they won't date someone who hasn't moved out. Drinking is a much more acceptable behavior than smoking.
SF CHRONICLE - Nov 26 - eHarmony seems a little archaic. For Grant Langston, eHarmony's new CEO, the challenge is making the site relevant to the hook-up generation. "We don't have any interest in a person who just wants to pick up someone," said Langston. "But there are people using Tinder who are not looking for a hookup," he said. "We've learned that people in their 20s and 30s who have income are very happy to spend more in the search for a more enduring relationship," Langston said. "When you're in the 40s and 50s that changes. You can see the impact of relationships that don't work out. You see bitterness. To reach people in that limited window, eHarmony must make itself easier to use," Langston said. In early December, eHarmony will release features that will make communications feel less like email and more like IM. eHarmony also wants to explore video. The biggest problem, though, is price. Tinder is free and eHarmony is $57 a month. There's also the problem of people associating eHarmony with older people.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Nov 10 - eHarmony is organizing a speed dating event, that will take place at Woolloomooloo in eastern Sydney on November 29. Australian singles will be set up on a series of mini dates. As well as offering up a chance for singles to meet, the night is designed to emulate eHarmony's online matching in real life, to allow the company to evaluate its secret sauce formula. The experiment results will be analysed and written up in a white paper to be published early in the new year.
KCBS - Oct 18 - When you think of dating apps like Tinder, you think they are for the teens or Millenials, but more and more often it's older singles looking to swipe right or left. For a look at the changing demographic for the users of these apps, we are joined by Mark Brooks, principal consultant with Courtland Brooks.
So, how old is older?
Actually the fastest growth groups are the 25-34 and 55-64. Both groups have more than doubled over the last year or so in terms of usage on mobile dating apps.
Are there are enough older folks on there to make it worth their while?
Well, there are a lot more 25-34, but the 55+ range is the fastest growing segment.
Why do you think this is?
People are using their mobile devices more in that age group, so there is a natural progression of people warming up to the idea of meeting more friends and romantic partners.
I can see older folks going online to try and find dates, but isn't Tinder mostly known for being a hookup site?
They will graduate from this eventually, but it's very simplistic. Tinder became very successful, because it is very simple and came at just as the industry was staring to make things more complicated.
The other end of the market is more meaningful oriented dating, with eHarmony and POF positioning themselves as more serious. People will tend to want to have more meaningful relationships. There is a saying that, "men will lie about wanting a long term relationship, while women will lie about wanting a short term one," so it will really be up to the women to decide if they want to continue to use Tinder, or if they will they drive usage to the more sophisticated services.
Is it more men joining Tinder than women in the older category?
The older category runs more toward women in general. Once we get into the 50+ range, the guys tend to hide more for some reason. In the younger range we tend to see more guys, while the older range is less active.
What do you think the future will be of dating?
I don't think people want to put the time into creating a profile or answering 200 questions. They want to have it be fairly effortless. So, as I look further into the future, I think computers and all these apps we're putting little pieces of ourselves into, that we are allowing to get to know us better, they should feed into a central character profiler. Look at systems like Acxiom, which is a huge marketing database that has a lot of information gathered over the years about individuals, and companies likes Google that have also positioned themselves to know us very well. Ultimately, I think single people will demand more because they don't want to fall in love with the wrong person. So, the value will be there for them to work with the leading dating services and give them more information that will help them do better with compatibility profiling.
BUSINESSWIRE - Sep 15 - Comparably, the company that makes workplace compensation more transparent, is hiring Armen Avedissian as its Chief Marketing Officer. He will lead all aspects of marketing and growth for the company. The company is currently expanding its platform to help match the best employees and employers to work together.
NEWS.USC.EDU - Aug 26 - Aram Galstyan and Greg Ver Steeg of the USC Information Sciences Institute are applying principles of quantum mechanics to the matchmaking algorithms that run eHarmony. Jonathan Beber, who leads eHarmony's data science, approached the ISI duo with a problem: how to reduce eHarmony's questionnaire; what is the minimum amount of questions eHarmony can ask without losing its predictive compatibility power. What started out with ~500 questions became 145 questions over time. Galstyan and Ver Steeg boiled down the questionnaire with a process called correlation explanation (CorEx). "The idea behind CorEx," Ver Steeg said, "is to ask what are the hidden factors that explain correlations in the data. For example, how different parts of your brain light up at the same time or the way you answer question A always predicts the way you answer question B."
MARKETWATCH - Aug 1 - eHarmony's new CEO Grant Langston and dating industry analyst Mark Brooks join Catey Hill and Quentin Fottrell to talk about the time and money spent on online dating, the science behind it, and why eHarmony will never be Tinder.
Quentin: Last week Neil Clark Warren, the founder and CEO of eHarmony, retired. Grant Langston has taken over as CEO. Grant, I did an interview with you on MarketWatch - "Why eHarmony will never be like Tinder or Grindr". I know you have had a casual dating site before, called Jazzed, that did not really do great and your customer base got confused. Can you tell us about what market you are after in the online dating world?
Grant: We have been in this business for a long time and we have made a commitment to help create compatible long term relationships. It's a little bit of a disconnect to turn around and tell your constituency that we are now also facilitating very casual hookups. That is something that people pass judgments about. We learned the hard way. People that used our core business started to get confused about who we were and what our mission was.
Quentin: So when you started, were you a religious site? What was the ethos?
Grant: Dr. Warren was a psychologist for about 40 years. Towards the end of his career he started to write books about mate selection. Those books were published primarily by religious publication houses. So his audience was largely in the Christian world. When eHarmony started that was the natural constituency for the business because he had made a lot of appearances on Christian radios and had a name in that universe.
Quentin: Mark, how much do you put in all of the science and the secret sauce behind these sites?
Mark: I often get asked why use a dating site. People use dating sites because they help you get the tough questions out of the way right up front. So I really see the sites that are more focused on compatibility as being an extension of this. You are meeting people who are not only willing and able and committed enough to spend some money on the process, which says something, but you are meeting people who are willing to go through a number of questions and be a little bit more involved in the process.
Quentin: Do you think certain types of people are attracted to certain sites?
Mark: Absolutely. For example VeggieDate.com. For some people, being a vegetarian is a big part of their life. That's what they want to lead with. So I think you choose a site based on what your thing is. The thing people go to eHarmony for is more meaningful, more serious relationships.
Quentin: With sites like eHarmony, people do pay. They are showing commitment. With Tinder and also OKCupid you are matched with people and you message them but nobody ever has time to actually meet in real life.
Catey: I always thought of Tinder as a hookup site but more younger people are now finding relationships on that site.
Quentin: What do you think, Mark?
Mark: I think the bigger they get the more general their audience will be and the more range of use the service will have. The entire experience is simplified which is really the secret sauce. They went entirely to be the emotional hub of the brain. They are pure system one (Book: Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman), pure emotion. It's entertainment, a game, very sharable which also led a great deal to their success. It is moving in the opposite direction than I thought the industry would move in.
Quentin: Grant, you mentioned you were making some changes.
Grant: The bar changes all the time. One of the things that we failed to do is to keep our apps as easy as possible to use. We are always going to be more involved because we need to know more about you to do the kind of matching that we want to do. But the process that we have could use a lot of improvement. It just needs to be a lot easier to interact with it. That is my first priority in this new role.
Quentin: Mark do you think the premium sites are worth the money? $59.95... that is 6x more than your Netflix subscription.
Mark: I think it demonstrates commitment to the process. Somebody once asked me many years ago: "How much would I spend to meet a woman that I would spend the rest of my life with?" And I remember answering: "To me that's $100k? That's the most important decision I will ever make." And he said: "My club is $1k/year, and I'll give you a shot." I said: "Cool, that sounds like a decent deal". Matchmakers are charging $5k - $50k for their services, and they've done OK despite the rise of Internet dating. eHarmony is essentially bottling matchmakers' key services. But it's far more scientific. eHarmony is running rings around most matchmakers.
Quentin: eHarmony launched a matchmaking service for $5k some time ago. I think that actually implies you want to meet somebody who has the money to spend on that kind of site.
Mark: I think people will pay to not be surprised.
Catey: I think Quentin would pay for that :).
Quentin: I have had more surprises than anybody. If I could pay for a premium service where nobody fibs, I would do.
Q: What was your previous position?
A: VP of brand marketing.
Q: There must have been a few people interested in the job.
A: We do not have a lot of people in the senior ranks at eHarmony.
Q: What have you learned from Neil Clark Warren?
A: He's a guy who's about authenticity even when it's not cool to be himself. There's no pretense. He's an emotional and real person and he's not afraid to let that show.
Q: This is your 16th year at eHarmony. What have been your most challenging times?
A: When we launched Jazzed, a casual dating product. We went through a period where we didn't know who we were. We found ourselves without any real fans. We had to get back to our mission.
Q: I don't blame you for giving it a shot. If you invented Tinder, you probably wouldn't be complaining.
Q: Tinder is responsible for relationships too. It just puts swiping photos at the forefront because physical attraction is important too.
A: A lot of people misunderstand our opinion on physical attraction. We just don't want it to be the primary criteria by which people kick off relationships. We have tried to do research for things that correlate with a happy relationship, which is proven through science.
Q: So what do you mean by things that correlate for a happy relationship?
A: Ambition. If one person is a go-getter and the other person likes to spend a lot of time on the couch, that causes friction. The more you have, the more it's going to matter.
Q: How many members do you have?
A: We have ~750k members.
Q: What's happening with Compatible Partners?
A: It's very profitable.
Q: What changes are afoot?
A: The apps need to be much easier to use.
LA TIMES - July 26 - eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren left retirement four years ago to bring the site back to relevance. Mission accomplished. Now he is returning to retirement and Grant Langston, VP of brand marketing, assumed the CEO role Monday. His focus will be on improving the company's website and app. "Newer dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Coffee Meets Bagel have attracted millions of young users with simpler interfaces. It's time for eHarmony to catch up", Langston said. Leading the effort is Ken Walker, a former executive at job search start-up ZipRecruiter who was named chief product officer last month. The product went neglected as Warren prioritized turning around other facets, Langston noted. eHarmony's TV ads had become less effective in driving user sign-ups. He doesn't expect other executives who may have been skipped over for the CEO position to depart, but he's sure that there will be personnel changes.
CNN MONEY - July 26 - Neil Clark Warren is no longer CEO of eHarmony. He will continue to serve the company as chairman. The new CEO is Grant Langston, the VP of brand marketing who has been with eHarmony since the beginning. This isn't the first time that Warren has stepped down. He retired in 2007, but came back in 2012 to "turn around" the company.
MARKETING NEWS - June 2 - No dating site has found the magic method of creating a love connection. "This is a total virgin science," said Mark Brooks who runs Courtland Brooks, an agency that works with online dating companies. There are 2,5K - 8K online dating platforms worldwide. While it's growing, the industry is "sort of being squished," with the majority of growth seen at large businesses and smaller apps, leaving a large middle section open, Brooks says. According to Brooks, Tinder's explosive popularity changed the face of internet dating. The app grew from college campuses, Brooks says, as the company used a marketing program to entice "campus connectors" to spread the word. "It doesn't take much," he said. "It's such a hotbed on campuses that you can get these things to take off on campus with the right story and the right product. Tinder is a very, very compelling product. It's one of the few dating apps that's truly sharable. For some reason, apps are more sharable in online dating. You wouldn't generally talk about Match, but on Tinder, you'd just show it around and talk about the experience." How do these dating platforms grow? Brooks says the traditional way is via pay-per-click ads and paid acquisition. Companies with more money are able to advertise on TV. Grant Langston, eHarmony's VP of brand marketing refers to TV as eHarmony's "magic formula". Now, TV accounts for ~70% of eHarmony's lead generation. For Zoosk, Facebook mobile app is one of the most successful distribution outlets. The conversion rate for Facebook mobile, from click to install, is ~5% and 10%. Years ago, Brooks says he predicted that "we'd go Star Trek" in online dating, meaning he foresaw the impending mobile boom. In his recent research, he found that 73% of all visitors to dating services are on mobile devices. Brooks believes larger screens, five-to-six inches, will come into prominence in the near future. Users want larger pictures for their online dating needs and Brooks says larger phones and small tablets will serve that need. After that, he believes wearable technology will play a larger role in the industry. People often tell white lies on their dating profiles, but Brooks says sites may be able to take advantage of a customer's FitBit data by matching people who run seven miles per day. Online dating is here to stay with little chance of evanesce. Brooks notes that the availability of people, within the click of a button, has created an addictive element.
REVIEWS.COM - May 4 - Reviews.com have reviewed top dating sites. They excluded niche dating sites, hook up sites, dating apps and sites that don't operate internationally. The top dating site is OkCupid according to their study. Match.com was rated top site for long-term relationship, PlentyOfFish was the most overwhelming and eHarmony the most underwhelming. They looked at how easy it was to create a great profile, how accurate the algorithms were, the amount of bad messages users get and the usability. eHarmony has a reputation for being old-fashioned and marriage-oriented, and it likes it that way. Industry expert Mark Brooks considers it one of his favorites. "They are a high-integrity outfit that are devoted to helping people make long-term matches," he says. "That's the ultimate goal really: great relationships that people feel inclined to stay in. A lot of men bail when they have to answer a lot of questions up front," Brooks says. Reviews.com experience on eHarmony was mostly negative. They found the matching algorithm ineffective.
BUSINESSWIRE - May 3 - Dr. Carter has been at eHarmony since its inception, part of the original team that developed eHarmony from concept to enterprise. Today, Dr. Carter is responsible for leading the development, testing and implementation of the data science that powers eHarmony and Elevated Careers. Dr. Carter was promoted from VP of Matching.
LIFEHACKER.CO.UK - Apr 26 - The best time to find love online is on Tuesdays at 2pm, according to the latest eHarmony research. The eHarmony team conducted a study of 800K log-ins to identify the peak hours throughout the week for finding and arranging a date. They discovered ten big online dating spikes and nine of them happen on a Monday and Tuesday around lunch time.
ADNEWS.COM.AU - Apr 19 - The marketing director will lead all marketing efforts in Australia across offline, online acquisition, brand, creative and CRM. eHarmony's current senior marketing manager, Lynsey Tomkinson, is moving back to the UK.
This post also appears on InternetDatingJobs.
LA BUSINESS JOURNAL - Apr 11 - Both Tinder and eHarmony are moving into the HR industry. eHarmony launched Elevated Careers on April 1, a job site that uses algorithms to connect job candidates with companies by matching skills, personality, and company culture. Last month, Tinder acquired contact management app Humin, which could help CEO Sean Rad use Tinder's swipe feature for a networking app. Executives at online recruitment companies said eHarmony and Tinder might struggle to break into an industry crowded with competition. Dozens of online recruitment startups are launched each year, yet many of those companies are short-lived. Rad has talked for years of building a professional networking app. Tinder updated its app in November to allow users to include education and job info on their profiles. eHarmony has been working on Elevated Careers for about two and a half years. It is still working out pricing, but will likely charge companies $2,5K - $5K a year. The site is free for job seekers though premium features might be added later.