TECH CRUNCH - May 9 - Are You Interested has been in the online dating game since 2007, predominantly focused on the Facebook platform as a way to connect people. In the past few months AYI launched a new feature that connects you with friends of friends. There are ~20M Facebook profiles connected to AYI and 3M active users per month. And since they implemented their friends of friends feature in March, AYI says that ~2M connections have been made through the new feature. Matching friends of friends is the “next big thing”. Another startup that’s been around since last year is Coffee Meets Bagel, and it could be said that they were the first ones to match friends of friends together, albeit at a much smaller scale.
We asked Cliff Lerner, CEO of Snap Interactive, to comment. He said:
"We're very excited by the user reaction and early data around connecting through your mutual friends. The new feature is increasing engagement, with US women being 41% more likely to connect with a man when there's a friend in common. It's also providing viral growth opportunities with 1,000's of users messaging their friends directly to learn about a potential date.
We look forward to continuing to iterate on meeting new people through mutual friends as well as building a deeper mobile integration. Our mission is to improve the online dating experience for meeting new people. We believe we are uniquely positioned to offer the friend functionality due to our Facebook scale of 20 million Facebook connected profiles, ensuring users have a robust experience to meet through their friends."
MASHABLE - May 9 - YouShouldTotallyMeet is a new Facebook app that matches friends of your friends. You first build an app profile for a single friend that you want to set up.Through the app, you then write some reasons why someone should meet your friend. Mutual friends can even vouch for them with "agree" and "disagree" votes. Then, you go through your own friends list and find people they "should totally meet."
TECH CRUNCH - May 9 - One study suggests that the Internet is responsible for boosting holy matrimony 14% among 21-30-year-olds. Of regions with similar composition in race, socioeconomic status, population density, unemployment, and age, the author finds the Internet is associated with 13-30% boost in first-time marriages. A 2005 Pew Poll which found that 5% of all marriages began online.
USA TODAY - May 7 - Co-founder of DateMySchool.com, Alexa built the dating website in 2010 with Jean Meyer for peers at Columbia University where they attended business school. Since then, the college- and alum-exclusive service has expanded to ~ 230K students in 2,800 colleges. The duo launched iPhone, iPad and Android applications last month. "Once they've seen these people are just college kids they're much more open and receptive," Gobiel said. "You then know there won't be these creepy people you might find on other websites."
VENTURE VILLAGE - May 8 - A two-year affair between eDarling and eHarmony is over. eHarmony purchased a 30% stake in eDarling with an option to buy the rest if all went well. Now that offer is off the table and eDarling has bought back its shares from eHarmony. Rumours put the cost of the buyback at $30M with talk it will be followed by an eDarling launch in the UK. The company behind eDarling, Affinitas, reported a €9.2M loss for 2011, an improvement on the €13.6M loss it reported for 2010. In May last year, it said it expected slightly positive EBITDA on a boosted €50M turnover for 2012. It’s unclear who led the break-up – but it seems both firms were more than ready for a refresh in strategy.
This post also appears on InternetDatingInvestments.
WASHINGTON POST - May 6 - Hinge, a free dating app that connects users to the friends of their Facebook friends, plans to launch in New York this summer. The app has attracted ~10K users since its launch in the Washington area in February. Every day at noon, Hinge users receive a batch of their Facebook friends’ single friends, and can indicate if they’re interested. If two users mutually indicate interest, Hinge sends an e-mail introduction. In the future, the team plans to incorporate third-degree connections — friends of friends of friends.
OPW - May 6 - Another book about online dating has been published this month. It is called "Modern Dating: A Field Guide", and is written by Chiara Atik, Dating Expert at HowAboutWe.com. Order on Amazon. Chiara Atik has been writing about dating for HowAboutWe's "Date Report" blog since its launch in 2010. This book is smart and funny, and really gets at how women are dating today.
WEBWIRE - May 7 - During the Mobile Dating Conference on June 5-7, 2013 in LA, Mark Brooks will provide a presentation about the state of the mobile dating market. The session will discuss the most popular mobile dating apps and sites, the market size, and a review of business models for mobile dating.
THE CANADIAN PRESS - May 5 - Canadian Inmates Connect showcases numerous prisoners serving life sentences and helps the incarcerated find pen pals and, perhaps, much more. The website's founder, Melissa, was inspired to start the website after seeing similar ones in the United States. Since inmates don't have Internet access in the clink, initial contact must be made via snail-mail to their respective penitentiary. Members pay $35 annual fee.
GAYSTARNEWS - May 3 - Gaydar responds to strong competition in gay men’s smartphone dating market with release of new service and promises changes to Gaydar Girls soon. The new mobile site brings ‘find a guy near you’ features without app restrictions – so users have greater freedom on the kinds of pictures they upload, and it works on all devices. The new mobile web service uses the same database as the desktop version.
COURTHOUSE NEWS - May 3 - Anastasia accuses Elena's Models of trademark violations, false advertising, tortious interference and unfair competition, in Manhattan Federal Court. "Upon information and belief, Elena's Models operates or sponsors websites entitled 'anastasiadatefraud.com' and 'ruadventures.com.' Both of these websites disguise the identity of their owners by using a proxy service. However, they direct customers to the elenasmodels.com website. These websites accuse Anastasiadate of systematically perpetuating scams and fraudulent deceptions upon its customers, and then recommend that the customers use Elena's Models."
by Rebekah Kearn
See full article at Courthouse News
On the Rebound - Alerts you the second a Facebook friend you’ve been crushing on becomes single.
Cloud Girlfriend - Lonely bachelors design a “perfect” fake girlfriend to leave adoring messages on their Facebook walls.
Flavor Connect - Matches lovers based on favorite candy flavors.
Valentine Camera+ - Take a photo of you and your Valentine and adorn it with oodles of red hearts, roses, and…sunflowers. Just so your date knows you’re (creepy) serious.
Passion - With your phone’s microphone and accelerometer rate your sexcapades on a scale from 1 to 10. Compare your performance with other users. You must have your phone on and ACTIVELY LISTENING TO YOU during sex.
Dickorate - Sext a photo of your member in a sombrero. Photograph your package, then dress it up with hats, mustaches, and other adornments.
by J. Adamiak
See full article at Glamour
WASHINGTON POST - May 2 - University of Montreal economist Andriana Bellou says Internet “has the potential to reduce search frictions.” Bellou exploits the fact that broadband arrived in the United States unevenly during the 1990s and 2000s and compares the rates of adoption with Current Population Survey data on marriage rates for Americans aged 21-30. What she found was that “marriage rates grew on average more in states with greater increases in broadband penetration.” The data is awfully messy, but there does seem to be a correlation:
MEETME - May 1 – MeetMe closed an $8m line of credit arranged by Westech Investment Advisors, a manager of tech venture debt funds based in Silicon Valley which has arranged loans to Facebook and Google. MeetMe is available in a dozen languages and just launched its mobile premium subscription product MeetMe+.
SALON - May 1 - "Mark Zuckerberg won't let me turn off the spammy online dating ads on my smartphone." That giant-breasted zombie stalker from Mate1.com has been chasing me across Facebook for years! I no longer want to check Facebook on my phone. My iPhone screen is just not big enough for those breasts.
This post also appears on SocialNetworkingWatch.
BUSINESS WIRE - May 2 - Meetic bumped up its paid userbase by an impressive 124,000 new paying members but revenues held steady (Year over Year) at 41m Euros for the quarter. Meanwhile, EBITDA was down 21% to 4m Euros. Marketing expenses were 59% of revenues. These numbers exclude revenues from Massive Media / Twoo.com which you may recall they acquired December 2012. (Twoo added 2.1m Euros in revenues for the quarter). Meetic has ~47m Euros cash. IAC owns 81% of Meetic.
WEBWIRE - May 2 - Marc Lesnick, the host of iDate, has launched a directory for iDating site owners and entrepreneurs to reference resources and vendors. See iDateDirectory.com. It includes: dating software, instant messaging (IM), hosting, payment processing, fraud detection, customer care centers and profile enhancement providers. Also dating sites, mobile dating apps, matchmakers and dating coaches. Submissions are being taken. Go here for an invite to access the directory.