CONSUMERIST - Mar 23 - Married travelers overwhelmed British Airways promotions on dating sites Match.com and eHarmony. The Match.com promotion offered 150 British Airways frequent flier points for every dollar spent by a new member on the dating site. While Match is only intended to be used by singles, that didn’t stop married travelers from trying to rack up points with fake Match profiles. One U.S. customer paid $215 to the site, earning 32,250 points. In another promotion, BA loyalty members could earn 130 Avios points for every dollar spent with eHarmony. British Airways had to cancel the promotions just a few days after they launched in early March, refunding customers and retracting newly-earned points. Match.com blamed the split on an affiliated promoter who launched the promo without authorization. Match said it had no idea about the offer until the signups started rolling in.
BBC.COM - Mar 3 - Many dating sites and apps issue guidelines, such as never to give out personal information and to watch out for odd language in messages or personal profiles, for example. Many insist they apply security measures, but won't reveal what systems they use. A spokesman for Match.com said: "We have a dedicated team who monitor security on the site, through both up-to-date technology and human checks. "Bigger organizations will use a variety of datasets as part of their counter-fraud solutions," says Andrew McClelland, CEO of the Online Dating Association (ODA). Some experts believe dating sites could be doing more to analyze the language people use. Last year a group of researchers at London's City University compared tens of thousands of emails pre-identified as lies with those known to be truthful. The algorithm analyzed their word use, structure and context for linguistic differences. Liars cannot generate deceptive emails from actual memory so they avoid spontaneity to evade detection. Algorithms can pick up on these traits.
FORBES - Feb 17 - Couples boost the UK economy by £14.5B each year, with dating apps accounting for £11.7B, according to new research by TSB. ~14% of the population use dating apps. Tinder is the most popular (55% of Brits have used it) followed by POF (41%). Research from TBS shows that the most popular first date (28%) involves heading out for a few drinks. 49% of Match.com's daters said they like to "do something cultural" on a first date. According to foot traffic data from Foursquare, movie theatres see a 255% lift in foot traffic on Valentine's Day compared to the week before.
by Catherine Meredith
See full article at Forbes
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - Feb 10 - According to Match.com's Singles in America survey, 70% of all singles said it's a turnoff if a potential romantic partner regularly smokes marijuana. OkCupid's 2016 data showed that ~50% of OkCupid users answered in the affirmative when asked, "Could you date someone who does drugs?" A number of cannabis-friendly dating sites and apps have gone online in recent years, including My420Mate and High There!. My420mate launched in 2014, and now has ~500k users. Free app High There! bills itself as a social network for the cannabis community. The app has attracted ~300k users, mostly in the U.S., since launching 18 months ago. Dating is only one component of the app. For a more personal touch, there's Molly Peckler, a former matchmaker who launched Highly Devoted in June 2015, a service offering cannabis-friendly life coaching and dating coaching services ranging in cost from $1k - $3k.
Key takeaways from this year's study:
VENTURE BEAT - Jan 28 - One of the biggest emerging technologies of 2016 was AI with chatbots. e.g. Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, Google Home, and Microsoft released its Bot Framework. A trend that started with SMS messaging led to chat "conversational interfaces" being at the heart of how we communicate with businesses in the future? Match UK quietly released a chatbot. Visit the main page and wait around a bit. It replaces a sign-up form. A UX/UI Designer from Zurich used a conversational web bot to replace his site and said traffic was up 1,000% and in 48 hours he got 250 emails from people chatting with the bot. In the 2016 Facebook study More than a Message 56% of a survey group said they'd rather message than call customer service. Facebook's $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition in 2014 should tell you all you need to know about the future of messaging.
Mark Brooks: Fascinating. Marc Lesnick is working on Mobile Dating Conference Los Angeles speakers now. Please let us know if there's any particular chatbot technology speakers you'd like there. btw, Date.com tried this a few years back, but I don't think the tech was up to par, as they pulled it quickly.
OPW - Jan 26 - The 2017 iDate Awards winners were announced and provided trophies at a ceremony last night in Miami. The iDate Awards are the dating industry's most recognized awards, highlighting the best and most innovative aspects of the business.
The 2017 winners are:
Best Niche Dating Site:
Best Dating Coach:
Best Payment System:
Best Dating Site:
Best Product Design:
Best Marketing Campaign:
Best Software & Saas:
Andrea Messent (Drawing Down the Moon)
Best Up & Coming Dating Site:
Best Mobile Dating App:
Most Innovative Company:
Best New Technology:
Smart Match App
CNET - Jan 26 - Match is using geolocation technology to help users find the guy or girl next door. Now the dating site is about to launch Missed Connections, a feature that shows users where they've crossed paths with other Match users (who have also opted in) within a block.
BBC.COM - Jan 23 - According to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, there were 3,889 victims of romance fraud last year, who handed over a record £39M. One woman who lost ~£300,000 says she felt emotionally "brutalised". She met the scammer on Match.com. Match.com says it provides regular advice on how to stay safe and suggests members keep conversations on the site "so that our customer care team can identify abnormal activity".
EVENTMAGAZINE.CO.UK - Jan 10 - Dating site Match will open a singles-only pop-up coffee shop. The 'Espresso Yourself' coffee shop will be open on 19-20 January, and will be located in Boxpark, Shoreditch, in London. Guests will be able to choose from drinks such as 'Chappuccinos', 'Femmericanos' and 'Selffees' while they search for their perfect match. The brand has installed a 3D printer onsite, and coffee will be served with the profile pictures of Match members engraved in the foam. While drinking their coffee, they can get to know more about their potential date by reading the outside of their coffee cup. If they like what they see, guests can follow a link printed on the cup. To create the 3D printed images in the coffee foam, Match teamed up with Coffee Ripples.
Mark Brooks: There's always been a natural affinity between coffee and dating. Yahoo Personals tried a coffee partnership with Starbucks in 2006 where they gave out gift cards to new members. Match has teamed up with Starbucks a couple times, and had a program in 2015 where users could display a Starbucks logo on their profiles and plan to meet dates at Starbucks.
BUSTLE - Dec 28 - Several dating apps report a huge increase in users on January 1. For instance, on POF, signups are expected to reach 110k, which is a 48% increase above the average daily rate in 2016. They believe signups will peak at 2 p.m. PST on January 1. New Year's Day will be the biggest dating day of the year for Hinge, too. The app usually sees a 50% lift in registrations the Sunday after New Year's. Match saw a 60% increase in new singles coming to their site last year.
KNOWTECHIE - Dec 20 - A new survey conducted by www.bidvine.com asked 2k British social media and online dating users just how up-to-date their profile pictures were, with surprising results. Dating sites seemed to be the least up-to-date when it came to profile pictures, with POF users keeping the same profile picture for 3.2 years and Match.com users on average waiting 4 years to change their picture.
11% of those polled admitted that the pictures used for their online profiles were taken more than 10 years ago.
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.
THE GUARDIAN - Oct 29 - Match.com operating profits plunged by 80% to £1.6M in the year to 31 December. Turnover was also down more than 10% at £38.2M as apps such as Tinder changed the nature of online dating. "The industry is in a bit of a crusher," said Mark Brooks, analyst at consultancy Courtland Brooks. "The mobile medium has come of age and over 70% of Internet daters in the UK are just using their smartphones. It's an amazing transition that has truly roiled the dating industry. If Match is suffering, their competitors are suffering more."
"Smartphone growth is an opportunity more than a challenge," continues Brooks. "Laggard dating companies that have not created compelling mobile experiences are dying. Most old school incumbents have stumbled in this respect." Research firm Mintel predicts that despite the current upheaval the UK online dating industry will grow from £165M to £225M by 2019.
by Zoe Wood & Sarah Butler
See full article at The Guardian
OPW INTERVIEW - Oct 12 - It has been nearly four years since Match acquired Twoo, and a little over four months since Joost Roelandts took the reigns as CEO. According to Roelandts, the relationship with Match has proven most beneficial and has provided a wealth of resources. Twoo is also building video into its feature set. The full interview is below, as well as clips of individual questions and answers.
Key information in the interview:
Watch the entire 15 minute video interview above, or, we've split it up so you can just watch segments of it below.
EXPANSIÓN - Sep 7 - Match.com app will be available in Mexico and 5 other countries in Latin America this September to attract users 30+. "The age range of Match.com active users is 30-50 years," estimated Gael Deheneffe, director of Match.com for Latin America. He is projecting 30% increase of active users in Mexico after the apps' launch.
by Gabriela Chávez
See full article at Expansión
LAW.COM - Sep 2 - A woman who was brutally attacked by a man she met on Match.com can sue the dating site for failure to warn under a Nevada state law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday. The decision raised concerns for dating sites about what they should be doing to warn its customers. Mary Beckman met Wade Ridley on Match.com in 2010. In Jan 2011, Ridley repeatedly stabbed Beckman, causing injuries that resulted in multiple surgeries. Beckman, whose suit seeks $10M, alleged that Ridley had met and attacked other women using Match.com prior to her attack and that Match.com knew that Ridley was a threat to site users.
by Ross Todd
See full article at Corporate Counsel
SF CBS - July 20 - Complaints to the the Better Business Bureau range from Match.com refusing refunds to people who are unknowingly auto-renewed, to accounts being auto-renewed even after users cancel. Match has an "F" rating, but Match says it's not a member of the bureau, "so therefore we cannot respond to inquiries submitted through them." The Better Business Bureau says the company lost it's accreditation because it stopped responding to complaints.
ECONSULTANCY - July 19 - A coffee shop is a common location for first dates, so when Match.com announced a "Meet Me at Starbucks" feature in 2015, it made sense. It allows Match.com users to invite each other to Starbucks for a date. Users can also display a Starbucks badge on their profiles. Tinder allows companies to set up profiles to promote their wares to Tinder users. When users match with a branded profile by swiping right, a marketing message can be sent. Dating app Happn has snagged advertisers like Fiat, which used branded profiles to promote the launch of the Fiat 500.