When I logged into POF today I saw two interesting messages.
TL;DR (too long, didn’t read): POF is blocking hookups based on age difference and message wording, resulting in immediate bans, Intimate Encounters going away, 17% of the time we can pick the exact person you will end up dating, 70% of POF use is via a mobile phone.
Markus says, “Unfortunately about 2% of men started to use POF as more of a hookup site mostly due the the casual nature of cell phone use.”
Only 2%? On the website that % has to be much larger. In the last few years, almost every single person I’ve talked to mentions POF feeling quite hookup-y. Glad to see POF taking proactive steps to clean up the site. Will this sanitized version of POF result in growth or decline in members?
First this from the home page:
POF Has More Dates, More Relationships, More Visits Than Any Other Online Dating Site.My name is Markus and I created POF. Now with the help of a team of PhDs weve created the worlds most advanced matching system. If you are in contact with 100 different singles, 50% of the time your future partner is in the top 10, and 17% of the time we can pick the exact person you will end up dating. Signup to the worlds most advanced dating site today and meet the one you deserve!
My inbox contained this:
My name is Markus and I created POF/Plentyoffish. When I created POF, I wanted it to be all about finding relationships with the right person. For the first 7 years this worked really well, I got the site to 10 million users without any employees people and POF was generating a ton of relationships. Around 3 years ago, everyone started using the website via mobile phones. Today about 70% of POF use is via a mobile phone and unfortunately about 2% of men started to use POF as more of a hookup site mostly due the the casual nature of cell phone use.
In sticking with my vision that POF is all about Relationships, I’m going to make a bunch of changes to ensure it stays a relationship-focused site.
1. Any first contact between users that contains sexual references will not be sent. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will be deleted without warning. This rule has actually been in effect since last month and it’s made the site so much better.
2. You can only contact people +/- 14 years of your age. There is no reason for a 50 year old man to contact a 18 year old women. The majority of messages sent outside those age ranges are all about hookups. Anyone who tries to get around this rule will get deleted.
3. Intimate Encounters will go away in the next few months. There are 3.3 Million people who use the site every day, of those there are only 6,041 single women looking for Intimate Encounters. Of those 6,041 women, the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women. Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women.
In short the vast majority of people will not be impacted. This is because the vast majority of people are not going around spamming women saying “let’s have sex tonight”. I can’t change POF alone, I need your help to get the word out there that POF is all about relationships!
Getting the general public to shift their perception of POF before they sign up is going to be expensive (millions of dollars) and take a while. I’m sure the new and hip eHarmony is spending a lot as well on their new Malibu layout and site design (which I still need to post about).