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SingldOut Offers Genetic Matchmaking

singledout dna dating

Looks like DNA-based matching could be a thing again. SingldOut “is an exclusive dating site connecting single professionals via LinkedIn.” The company has partnered with Instant Chemistry to provide, “The first offering matches based on your DNA.” Only problem is this is absolutely untrue.

The company is testing two “markers” — the serotonin uptake transporter, involved in how people react to positive and negative emotions, and genes influencing your immune system. Research shows there is a strong correlation between people in long-term relationships having different versions of the serotonin genes and different immune systems, said Ron Gonzalez, co-founder of Instant Chemistry.

While this stuff is way ahead of it’s time, there are a number of companies doing similar work going back at least five years. I talked to Basisnote (raised $911k) and several other sites a number of years ago. It looks like little has happened (ducks!) to further refine which genetic markers and other attributes can be effective in matching people. Much of the focus is on the genetic structure of the HLA region, which aids in how doctors identify organ donor matches, among other things.

SingldOut says they are “testing their hypothesis” and charging $200. Thanks I’ll wait a while until they know what they’re doing.

Talk about a company that needs a VC to subsidize a few years of free testing for members. 

I wonder if I could use my 23andMe information and skip paying all that money for their research?

SingldOut says that up to 40% of chemistry between two people can be attributed to your genes. I have a hard time believing that, but again it is early days when it comes to genetic matchmaking. Give it a decade and we may have something. Until then, it’s expensive research we are paying for, and who knows if they are even looking at the right things?

At least they are trying something more novel than swipe-left and pray.

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Tagged Shutters Social Mobile Dating App

Tagged's Swoon Closing Shop

Will mobile dating apps bring an end to the thousands of stale, dormant or otherwise ignored dating sites?

Last year, Swoon was making headlines as the first mobile social dating app made by women. Looks like they couldn’t figure it out, Tagged is closing down the app next week.

I rarely hear about dating sites shutting down, but with apps it’s a whole different story. People will scream bloody murder about their personal information in apps, but when it comes to dating sites, nobody really cares enough to monitor all of the sites they are/have been on.

Tinder Spam Untenable, LinkedIn Next Big Dating Site

Tinder is getting overwhelmed by camgirls and prostitute spam. Symantec has more on Tinder spam. As predicted, the site of the moment is beginning it’s slow torturous decent into obscurity as the usefulness of the site and the media attention wanes. I just got off the phone with Time Magazine. Let’s just say that Tinder has the summer to make a splash, then the media are moving on.

We’re already seeing the results of Tinder being easily cloneable. Tinder is a weekend project for a decent programmer and like Chatroulette, the clones are a-coming. It was an exciting ride, wasn’t it? What a thrill to see millions of “matches” made every day. for comparison, I wonder how many “matches” POF makes daily?

As if getting hounded by recruiters wasn’t bad enough, I’m seeing dating profiles on LinkedIn. Time to update my profile.

Tinder and LinkedIn dating

Tinder Execs Behaving Badly

How unfortunate that:

1) The men running Tinder thought it was appropriate to de-emphasize the role of a female co-founder, allegedly following that up with calling her a whore.

2) This is what I am writing about after some time off from blogging.

I have little love for Tinder and this further solidifies my feelings about the company overall. And Match, get some adult supervision for those loose cannons.

Wolfe says Rad and Match.com CEO Sam Yagan repeatedly ignored her complaints about Mateen’s behavior and about the exclusion of her name from the list of the company’s cofounders.

Awful behavior at Tinder and the lack of oversight at Match is deplorable. There is always more to the story, but still, disappointed big time that this happened. The situation plays right into the hands of online dating detractors and the media, and that can affect stock price. This is a bit of a black eye for IAC, which wants to spin Match out as it’s own tracking stock.

What got me next was reading that IAC paid $500 million for 10% of Tinder. Who made that number up? Tinder isn’t just pre-revenue, it’s going to die off like Chatroulette, and then we’re going to get back to our knitting, which *should* be focused on improving online dating.

Via Tinder has a date with sexual discrimination suit @ Fortune.

Summer 2014 Dating Industry Update

Hi there, happy summer or winter, depending on where you are at the moment. And why haven’t you heard from me in months?

Bought a motorcycle
Went to Peru with my father for a month on a life-changing journey
Met the woman of my dreams (met at a bar of course)
Moved into a fantastic new home

I’m not entirely sure what’s coming next, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that focus and preparation is key, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

While practicing omphaloskepsis, I’ve done scores of advisory calls with dating sites all over the world, assisted with the launch a handful of dating sites like MeetMindful, helped raise some money for a few sites and worked on some side projects. Like planting a garden, the fruits of these labors won’t be seen for a while, and it’s been a fantastic journey helping launching great dating sites while working with talented entrepreneurs.

The startups keep on knocking, now more than ever. Startups need clear in-depth actionable advice and consulting to get out of the gate (my specialty), and a lot more than that to succeed.

All the big sites want to talk about is how great they are doing.  Recent example: Match partners with Mensa. An ex is a Mensa member, you bet I’m going to write about her experience. HowAboutWe gets the multi-billion AARP market and Match gets MENSA. Is Match aware of how large the market is for left-handed singles?

Update: This just in, looks like Match is acquiring HowAboutWe. No more information at this time. I hope the HAW folks get a pile of cash after the crap that Match has pulled on them over the years. HAW raised less than $30 million, so what is the sale price going to be?

Now Match will own Nerve.com! What in the actual F&*K?  Match now has an in with AARP, can go all MENSA and whatever else they have up their sleeves. Worlds colliding, I need a drink. What happens to all of the HAW people that Match is going to fire? Other dating sites should have their HR departments on full alert as of right now.

Greg Liberman spark networksZoosk IPO prospectus is an interesting read. They are pros when it comes to losing money and fortunately have gotten better at losing less. IPO, keep losing money, maybe get cash flow positive someday, doesn’t really matter what they do from the consumer’s POV. Nothing is going to change on the site in terms of functionality. They don’t need to IPO to improve the site, they need it to pay off investors. I bet they will take an additional round of financing right before the IPO to take care of early investors and staff.

Maybe some acquisitions and elbow into some other markets around the world. If you’re going to stuff someone else’s numbers in your spreadsheet, Zoosk is a good place to start (I can’t wait for the HowAboutWe prospectus).

As for Spark Networks, watching that ship struggle to stay afloat has been both sad and informative (Photo of Greg Liberman, above). Spark’s on-the-ropes outgoing CEO was super-talented at sucking money out of a company for insiders while mismanaging it until he got fired. He needs to go, this is something that happened about a decade too late for Spark (details).

Q: Who knows less about running a successful dating site than Spark Networks? A: Executives at Osmium, the hedge fund calling for the heads of various Spark executives. How do I know this? A) They run a hedge fund. B) They focus on money, not people. They are good at firing people and managing the stock price, less so when it comes to staff and god forbid they understand customers. This is deck shuffling and pandering to investors. The  new version of Spark is going to be as bad off as the old. Too many people focused on money and few focused on the product, search, or improving the customer experience.

Tinder, the Big Facebook Lockout and much more has happened that you can read about on other blogs like OnlinePersonalsWatch and Global Dating Insights or Google News.

Is anyone focusing on better search? Or are we going to stick with the HotOrNot  model for now? Forget user-centered search, forget everything we’ve learned  about online dating in the last decade and forget big data. Throw up a photo and let people flick left and right until they get bored (takes about 5 minutes on Tinder). Remember two years ago when everyone went crazy over [insert dating site name]? Now it’s Tinder’s time. Tinder is setting the entire dating industry back a decade. But it’s easy to understand why. Easy for the ADHD media to talk about, the usual bad behavior is fodder for thousands of blog posts and lord knows we needed another high-quality hookup site.

Whenever I think of Tinder, I think about At First Sight, the video dating site created by the founders of the Bachelor that launched last year. Why look at photos when you can watch videos? Sure, you can look at more photos than you can videos in a given period of time, which is the goal of Tinder’s founders. More pageviews, more money, and yet still a crappy experience for singles. Tinder will offer video of some sort, its inevitable.

But I don’t want to look at more people, I want fewer, better matches. This is something the dating industry has proven it is unable to deliver, even after spending countless millions on improving search. Eharmony and Match doing their Big Data posturing hasn’t resulted in an uptick in effectiveness. And maybe it never will. Maybe when you get to millions of active profiles, there’s really nothing we can do to make better matches more efficient. Dr. Warren has been back for a while now, but it’s impossible to tell if he’s had any affect on eHarmony’s business, positive or negative.

While singles keep one eye open for the BBD(Bigger, Better Deal), it’s no wonder dating sites are so poor at showing us suitable matches. Singles say they want one thing, and date entirely different people. Until the dating industry addresses this, its in an uncomfortable limbo where the online dating pool grows and the services to address the market grow, but nobody is actually getting much better at matching people.

Maybe a new site will launch with verified profiles and search algorithms not steeped in 2002-era thinking. Or maybe we’re done with dating sites trying to filter and search on behalf of their members. Just connect singles with a fire hose of data and let them figure it out.

Well there I go spouting off again. My “fresh perspective” on the industry is still rife with the same negativity of yesteryear, but as usual there are pockets of amazing people doing great work, and that’s where I should be focusing our attention. I’ll stick around a while longer, maybe one of you will surprise me.

Have a hot tip, a story idea or working on the next big thing? Say hello.

Dating Industry News For 1-20-14

DatingAdvisors.org and International Dating Coach Association is proud to announce their revolutionary upcoming service for dating websites. Dating websites will now be able to provide their members with personal Live dating advice given by trained dating advisors directly through your dating website.  White label service allows you to monetize your members after the subscription and keeps them engaged all without ever leaving your own brand. No longer will members leave or cancel their subscription because they are frustrated by not getting the results they want and not being able to ask anyone for help. Live Dating Advisors will be standing by to assist them. Your members will get consistent, effective, personalized and affordable dating advice at a click of the button. All advisors will be trained by the International Dating Coaching Association. Accredited Advisors at DatingAdvisors.org will provide your subscribers with all the necessary tools to make their online dating experience positive, enjoyable and productive.

VentureBeat has a story that sheds light on affiliate marketing scams. 

Hinge Hits SF With Its App For Finding True Love, Not Just Hookups | TechCrunch

Global Personals launch first TV campaign for JustSingles.com.

Couple App Now Lets You Stalk Your Partner On Mobile And Desktop | TechCrunch

The 15 Hottest Dating Sites on the Market – Mashable

A Psychologist’s Guide to Online Dating – Olga Khazan – The Atlantic.

THE 2014 IDATE AWARDS

The iDate Award Winners were announce yesterday. I prefer the About.com yearly awards myself. The ballot-box stuffing and sheer number of unheard of sites made a read through this years winners an exercise in editorial restraint.

Best Dating Site: POF, which beat out AmorEmCristo.com by 1%. Seriously? I can think of 10 other sites which should have been on the list. CorpsSocial.com? What is that?

This is the second-best designed dating site?

przeznaczeni

 

 

The “best” dating site software is from a company I have never heard of, HubPeople.

I did some work with ChristianFilipina.com, they won Best Mobile Dating App, so go team!

Best matchmaker and best coach: How can anyone possible judge this?

HubPeople won for most innovative company. Huh?

World Dating Company (never heard of them) won for Best New Technology. WDP is the company behind Przeznaczeni.pl (second-best Produce Design).

The best affiliate program is for A Foreign Affair. Someone, help me here!

Zoosk’s marketing campaign were rated tops. Does anyone watch the Match commercials? Even some of eHarmony’s ads this year were great. Surprised that Ashley Madison didn’t get a nod, their billboards are hard to miss.

Best Up and Coming Dating Site: A client is on this list which is great. What about the other sites? By that I mean I track new sites very closely, and most on this list I’ve never heard of.

Best Niche Dating Site went to LoveMe (A Foreign Affair). Christian Mingle didn’t win? That’s crazy.

I’ve seen 25 different Oscar’s nominations posts on social media today. I think I got one email from iDate about the awards.  Maybe iDate will up their game next year, because these results are disservice to the online dating industry and frankly, a joke.

Scamalytics Identify Stolen Celebrity Identities Being Used by Online Dating Scammers

Raven_RileyGood to see Scamalytics increase their efforts in identifying  additional scam vectors on dating and other websites.

“As an anti-fraud company we aim to analyze as much relevant data as possible” said Scamalytics co-founder Dan Winchester. “Analysing photos is a natural next step for us. We are picking up more fraud faster by identifying scammers from their photos before they even go live on a dating site.”

“Reputable online dating companies are keener than ever to clamp down on fake profiles created by scammers, and we are now even more effective in helping our clients prevent these fake profiles from ever appearing on their websites.”

Emphasis on the phrase “Reputable”. Most social dating sites do little if nothing to seriously curb fake profiles, otherwise their user base would dwindle.

IDate iDate iDate

Hope everyone in the dating industry is having a good time at iDate this week. Mom broke her hip last week, so I’m being A Good Son and sticking around to help out.

Are you at the show? Leave a comment, let us know what you liked, didn’t like, want to see more of, etc.

 

Where Are The Dating Industry Holiday Videos?

Earlier this year a few intrepid dating sites made company videos and I’m wondering if we’ll see some holiday versions over the next few days. It’s high-season in the dating industry after all, perfect to time get closer to your members.

For inspiration, the First Round Capital holiday video is great!

Zoosk, At First Sight, Tinder, etc., it’s your turn.