Had a great catchup call with Sam Yagan last night. I remember when Sam was handing out roses on Valentine’s Day at subway stops around Boston back in the day to promote OkCupid. And now he’s the president of Match. Reminds me of Mike Jones, who founded dating chat provider Userplane. From there Mike went on to be the CEO of Myspace. Amazing how life goes.
Things I can share from the call:
Datehookup is in the top 7 of all dating sites in the US. Plan is to stay true to the product and user base. Company was one person. Match will be throwing resources to improve user experience but that’s about it.
Cupid Labs: As the name implies, they are putting together new concepts to see how they perform. The roommate product is an experiment. Hasn’t thrown a lot of marketing effort into Tallygram (yet).
A phrase I keep hearing lately: Shifting from profile based environments (industry term, pink hearts) and moving towards activity-based dating. Yes!
Sam says there are not enough opportunities to buy big chunks of daters. My takeaway, either a site is too large like POF or too small (myriad social dating sites). Finding acquisitions that make sense in the sweet spot of users/price/revenue is key.
I mentioned how large the Match empire has grown and how it seems like there are some issues with the autonomy of different sites. Turns out there is a lot of coordination between Match HQ, Meetic/Twoo (“inspired” by Badoo success) and PeopleMedia.
I forgot to ask about SinglesNet!
Me: Sam is the king of Free, Mandy Ginsberg is the Queen of paid. What a great team they have, and let’s not forget the unsung heros throughout the every-growing constellation of Match-owned sites.
Match has two more acquisitions in the pipeline.
Head to the comments and leave your predictions about who you think Match is going to acquire in 2013.