I love love love HowAboutWe’s Flash Contest from March (lag, I know!). No question, the HowAboutWe marketing department runs circles around the rest of the online dating industry and their goofy 20-something’s blog is pretty awesome (says the older guy who doesn’t get 1/2 of what they post there but hey it seems like the kids love it.)
The contest was to promote the launch of HowAboutWe Couples, which I guess is couples suggesting date ideas to each other over the interweb, with some sponsored date ideas or something. Hasn’t launched yet so who knows.
Google Updates its search index every few months with names like Panda or Caffeine, which changes just like Android release names: Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, etc. Match branded their algorithm Synapse (great Slate article). Very snappy, sounds like great name for an electric car. I haven’t seen any indications of the Google Dance when Match updates its algorithm, have you?
Check out Match’s mobile app loading screen. Each of these photos should be a link to their profile, and I would pay big bucks to be featured on it for a day in my area code. Instead of 75 little photos, just have a gallery of 10 or so and sell the space to members. Badoo makes $150 million a year doing this, it does work. Yes its a loading screen, masking a lot of things going on in the background and being downloaded to your phone. Instagram is masterful at how they mask whats going on behind the scenes, which is why the app seems so responsive. Their presentation on designing for mobile is a must-read.
POF is getting serious about their Freemium offer. 530% increase in the chance that someone will respond to me? I’ll take it.
Then I see that OKCupid says that their Test results are up to 1594% accurate. Thats almost 2,345.67% more accurate than POF. That OkCupid Staff Robot is hilarious. Almost as funny as the Freddie the Mailchimp monkey.
SNAP Interactive, makers of Are You Interested, says revenue increased for the 12th consecutive quarter.
- Quarterly revenue increased 54 percent to $5.7 million compared to $3.7 million for the comparable period in 2011;
- Net loss for the quarter increased to $1.7 million compared to a net loss of $0.9 million for the comparable period in 2011;
- Deferred revenue increased 9 percent to $3.4 million at March 31, 2012 compared to $3.1 million at December 31, 2011;
- Diluted loss per share for the quarter was $0.04 compared to a loss of $0.02 for the comparable period in 2011; and
- SNAP’s balance sheet position continues to be strong, with $7.4 million of available sources of liquidity (includes cash and cash equivalents plus investments) at March 31, 2012.
|First Quarter 2012||$ 5.7 million|
|Fourth Quarter 2011||$ 5.5 million|
|Third Quarter 2011||$ 5.1 million|
|Second Quarter 2011||$ 4.8 million|
|First Quarter 2011||$ 3.7 million|
|Fourth Quarter 2010||$ 2.8 million|
|Third Quarter 2010||$ 1.7 million|
|Second Quarter 2010||$ 1.2 million|
|First Quarter 2010||$ 0.9 million|
Product Highlights for Q1 2012
- Added 3.8 million new profiles to the AreYouInterested.com brand;
- The AreYouInterested.com iPhone application was downloaded approximately 750,000 times from the iPhone App Store;
- Increased mobile engagement to 15% of all unique logins during March 2012 from 13% in December 2011; and
- During March 2012, we averaged over 550,000 daily sessions or visits to our mobile AreYouInterested.com platform (including iPhone, mobile web, and Android sessions)
More at Dailymarkets.
Here’s an in-depth article about Skout, which recently raised a whopping $22 million for their growing mobile social app.
Fab, the failed gay social network that pivoted to online shopping, is launching its third iteration, improving upon social shopping. This is the best “We failed at a relationship site but lets try something else” story I’ve ever heard. Big success, big revenue, an all around win. More at VentureBeat.
Zoosk has more than 50m users in more than 60 countries. The service is available in 20 languages. Social-dating site Zoosk makes jump from retail colo to wholesale, moving to a turn-key wholesale data center solution in San Jose operated by Fortune. A year ago, Spark Networks filed a lawsuit against Zoosk, OKCupid and other dating sites. What ever happened with that? I have a big piece of Zoosk in the hopper, will launch that next week, heading to Boston for a few days.
TechCrunch says Cheek’d is online dating in reverse.
Use your LoveID code number to SMS, call or email people. You have total control and can block anyone at the click of a button or SMS. None of your regular contact details will be passed on. You decide when to share your more intimate details.
Love this Andrew Chen article about him doubting Facebook could build a billion dollar business. Reminded me a lot of the dating companies I come across every day. Ninety-eight point zero five percent of them will never go anywhere, so how do you identify the outliers that will pop and go big time? Is it features? Rarely. People argue with me all the time that their features are what differentiate them from their competitors.
The value of a dating site is the people on the site. Either they are your people (relevant to you in some way), or they aren’t. Doesn’t matter how good your matching algorithm is if its not using a base of your people to begin with.
People on eHarmony are generally not a good fit for Match people. OkCupid people are not likely to date POF people. Datehookup people and Mate1 people are probably not going to meet up with HowAboutWe people.
Little else matters except a matching system that surfaces a handfull of likely candidates every day. And now we have any number of mobile, social dating, friends matching friends, verified people type sites launching. If 25 sites launch that justify their existence on low customer acquisition costs based on spamming your Facebook friends, only a few are going to make it, the rest will run out of cash too soon. So how do we identify the few companies that are going to make it? This is exactly what Andrew talks about in his blog post. The winners exhibit certain non-typical attributes, which are incredibly difficult to suss out, but doing so is part of the fun. Thats why I talk to at least 10 dating startups every week.
Every once in a while companies will send me samples of their products. I am contractually obligated to tell you that as someone who demands high performance products to enhance their love life, Astroglide Personal Lubricants such as Astroglide X enhance the comfort and ease of all of my intimate physical activities.
There are several social dating startups that my spider-sense tells me have something going for them worth talking about, so thats what I’ll be doing next week.