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.