THE MOTLEY FOOL - July 24 - The latest service to join Match is Hinge, a site that once billed itself as the "anti-Tinder" because it focuses on relationships instead of hookups. The purchase leaves Bumble as the only major dating app not owned by Match, and the two are currently suing each other. Match has acquired dozens of services over the past nine years and in the past three years spent $610M acquiring different brands, about equal to its cumulative operating earnings for the same period. While none of the deals have seemed to have gone like a bad date, the rise in Match's cost of revenues has outpaced its revenue increases due to acquisitions like POF and Pairs. Last year, revenue from North America, which contributes 56% of Match's total, grew 9% as a result of more people signing up for Tinder. Yet North America ARPU was flat. The deal for Hinge gives Match a 51% stake with the right to purchase the rest of Hinge within the next year. Though Hinge doesn't disclose the number of users it has, undoubtedly individuals using dating apps have accounts at multiple sites, so Match is paying for members it likely already owns. Match's total subscribers hit 7.43M in the Q1, up 26% YOY, and some of them have to be Hinge members, too. Making another acquisition might put another dating app into Match's diverse collection, but it doesn't really do anything to bolster what is making money for it, namely Tinder.
MATCH UK - July 9 - Up to 30th September, when subscribing to Match, single parents get 3 hours of free child-care time with Yoopies, Match.com's babysitting partner. Yoopies is a leading childcare expert across Europe with a network of 800K childcarers in the UK.
METRO.CO.UK - July 8 - Match.com and Pizza Express are hosting a speed dating for single parents. Parents can meet like-minded singles while their kids are kept entertained by creating pizza with fully qualified babysitters from service Yoopies. Upon arrival, parents will be greeted with a glass of prosecco, whilst kids will be welcomed by Yoopies babysitters before getting rolling on their pizza-making party. Parents will then get the chance to speed date other single Match.com members for around an hour, with couples rotated to allow singles to meet as many people as possible. The event will be held on 29 July, at Pizza Express, Leicester Square.
CITYAM - June 7 - Match has teamed up with Google to launch its dating chatbot Lara across the Google Assistant network, after a successful run in Facebook Messenger. Match users can speak to Lara through their Google Assistant on their phone, smartwatch, laptop or Google Home smart speaker to ask for dating tips and find new matches. Every day Lara will send through a unique Daily Match via a text message, based on a search conducted on the user's Match preferences like age, location and common interests. Using the phrase "OK Google, talk to Lara from Match", users can then have a conversation with Lara to get suggestions for potential date locations, hooked up to a pin on Google Maps.
BUSINESS INSIDER - June 1 - Dating apps are increasingly connecting people who live or work close by, have the same commute, or went to college together. Match.com data reveals that 69% of active users set their default distance - i.e. how far away a match can live - to five miles. Meanwhile, dating app Clover found that, in New York City, most matches happen between people from the same borough. Still, Hinge reports that less than half of users set a maximum distance, and of those who do, the average maximum distance is 25 miles.
NEW YORK TIMES - May 29 - Young adults not only marry and have children later than previous generations, they take more time to get to know each other before tying the knot. Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who studies romance and a consultant to the dating site Match.com, has come up with the phrase "fast sex, slow love" to describe the juxtaposition of casual sexual liaisons and long-simmering committed relationships. The eHarmony report on relationships found that American couples aged 25 to 34 knew each other for an average of six and a half years before marrying, compared with an average of five years for all other age groups. Both men and women now tend to want to advance their careers before settling down.
LEGAL NEWSLINE - May 9 - Matthew Ditnes, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, filed a complaint against Match Group over alleged violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and Illinois Dating Referral Services Act. He alleges that he subscribed to Match.com in Dec 2017 and paid $59.94 for a six-month subscription. He alleges immediately after signing up, he received messages that other users were interested and that many messages used the same profile picture for different accounts.
by Noddy A. Fernandez
See full article at Legal NewsLine
MARKETWATCH - May 3 - Match is the leader in the online-dating industry, and the company will rely on new features, including video profiles and location-based additions, in its bid to stay on top. Match.com now has a "stories" feature, and Tinder users in certain countries can experiment with short "loops". The video options will be free. Match also has things planned that could make it easier to connect with those living nearby. The location features take into account not just geographic location but "the ability to connect on social experiences" happening nearby. Facebook, too, said that its dating platform will enable users to connect via events they're interesting in attending.
SURVEY MONKEY - May 1 - Nearly a quarter of people have used or are currently using online dating services. For young and middle aged adults (18-44 years old), this number increases to a third. More than half of young adults (18-24 years old) see dating sites and apps as platforms for casual hookups. Older adults are more likely to see them as a means to helping them develop short and long-term relationships. 75% of young adults use Tinder, and 31% Bumble. Adults between 25-34 years old begin to transition to Match.com (36%). 56% of adults view dating apps and services as either somewhat or very negative.
MATCH BLOG - Apr 25 - "Miss Rhode Island, describe your perfect date." We all remember the iconic Cheryl Frasier quote from Miss Congeniality, where she replies "I'd have to say April 25th, because it's not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket" - a response that has become a cultural moment. Now almost twenty years later, William Shatner is asking the same question to Match.com users. They can go to Match.com Instagram or Twitter and say what their perfect date is for a chance to win $500.
VOX - Apr 24 - Helen Fisher is a biological anthropologist, the chief scientific adviser to Match.com, and the author of several books including Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love. She's written six books about human sexuality, gender differences in the brain, and how cultural trends shape our views of sex, love, and attachment.
Q: What happens to our brains on love?
A: There is an activity in a tiny little part of the brain called the ventral tegmental area. It turns out that this brain system makes dopamine, which is a natural stimulant.
Q: Is it different from the experience of sex?
A: The sex drive is largely orchestrated by testosterone, but romantic love is orchestrated by the dopamine system.
Q: So being in love is like being hooked up to a perpetual dopamine drip.
A: It's a great way to put it. But the dopamine hits occur even when you're not with the person. You can think of love as an intense obsession, but it's really an addiction. We found that, in addition to the dopamine system being activated in the brains of people in love, we also found activity in another part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. This part of the brain is activated in all forms of behavioral addiction - whether it's drugs or gambling or food or kleptomania. So this part of the brain fires up in people who have recently fallen in love, and it really does function like an addiction.
Q: What do we, as a culture, get wrong about male and female sexuality?
A: A lot. We think men want to have sex with everything that walks, but that's not true. They're much more picky than people think. We also got it wrong that women are not interested in sex. Women in college have more sex than men in college do. Men fall in love faster and more often. Men like public displays of affection more regularly. Men have more intimate conversations with their girlfriends and wives than women do with their husbands and boyfriends because women have their intimate conversations with their girlfriends, not necessarily with their man. Men are also 2.5 times more likely to kill themselves when a relationship is over.
Q: What makes for a happy marriage or relationship?
A: Express empathy, control your own emotions, and overlook the negatives in your partner and focus on the positives.
NEW YORK TIMES - Apr 11 - NY Times interviewed Jerry Miller, the founder of FarmersOnly.com, a website that is not just for farmers, but those who understand "country living"; Meredith Davis, head of communications at The League; Gourav Rakshit, the CEO of Shaadi.com, which targets people with a South Asian background who are interested in marriage; and Helen Fisher, the chief science adviser for Match.com. Read the full interviews here.
OPW - Apr 5 - According to Linkedin Match.com is showing no growth over the last two years, with 598 employees. Tinder is the big growth story with 320 employees and 116% growth over the last 2 years. PlentyofFish is also broken out from Match, and is up 15% over the last 2 years with 94 employees. Meanwhile, OKCupid are have been quite stable at 64 employees.
Zoosk is stable at 170 employees. They dipped to 158 employees but actually show 1% employee growth over the past 2 years.
eHarmony has leveled off to 239 employees in the last 6 months but is down 27% over the last 2 years.
BRINKWIRE - Mar 25 - A recent report from content marketing agency Fractl has found out just how much users data is worth on the dark web. The price of user privacy has been cast into the spotlight in the wake of Facebook's massive data scandal, which led to 50M users' data being harvested without their knowledge. Facebook logins are sold for $5.20 each. Obtaining someone's Facebook credentials can serve as a gateway into hundreds of other apps they've also granted access. By comparison, the most expensive logins are for PayPal, which can demand up to $247. Login to Match.com or POF costs $9.
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)
PYMNTS - Feb 13 - Online dating skill on Alexa, with an assist from Match.com, wasn't supposed to be a silly or jokey offering. Some of the advice was reportedly useful. Some was a bit borderline. When asked about whether or not to have sex on the first date, Alexa had two standard answers. "Only if you must, or they're really hot" or "If you do too, do them. If you don't, do you." And many complained that the advice around alcohol was less funny than actually dangerous. "Allow yourself two cocktails if they're cute. Have six if they're not." As of the end of January, Amazon and Match had pulled the skill. Match.com is continuing to work with its own in-house AI, Lara. She is very popular in France and the U.K., where she has been on Facebook Messenger for well over a year. Lara began as a tool to guide people through the registration process and offer up suggestions for potential suitors, but she has evolved a lot since then.
BUSINESS INSIDER - Feb 13 - The majority of online daters would prefer a partner with a good credit score than a nice car. A good credit score is perceived to be a sign of responsibility, trustworthiness, and intelligence, according to Discover and Match Group survey of 2,000 American adults. "Money talks, but your credit score can speak more about who you are as a person, and singles agree that those with good credit tend to be conscientious and reliable," says Dr. Helen Fisher, chief scientific advisor for Match.com.