True Love is Mobile: Tinder Kindles Renewed Interest in Online Dating Sites

How do you get a date these days? Unless you work someplace or go someplace flooded with likely candidates, it can be a bleak landscape. That’s why online dating — remember Match.com, PlentyofFish.com, or eHarmony.com? — once ruled the space. Well, now it looks like a bevy of mobile dating platforms are taking over. And …   Read More

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True Love is Mobile Tinder Kindles Renewed Interest in Online Dating SitesHow do you get a date these days?

Unless you work someplace or go someplace flooded with likely candidates, it can be a bleak landscape. That’s why online dating — remember Match.com, PlentyofFish.com, or eHarmony.com? — once ruled the space.

Well, now it looks like a bevy of mobile dating platforms are taking over. And they could help the once desktop-only sites, if those platforms are smart enough to get mobile.

In a new report from comScore, Eli Goodman documents that the action has moved to mobile.

“The total multi-platform (desktop, smartphone and tablet) audience for online dating is relatively stable these days, fluctuating between 35-40 million unique visitors depending on the season,” notes Goodman. “However the preferred methods of access to this category have been anything but stable. In just the past year, the category has gone from being desktop dominant to a mobile-first category.”

For instance, in July 2013, 65 percent of all online daters were using desktop in some capacity during their search for love, with the remaining 35 percnt of online daters being of the “mobile-only” variety. One year later, those percentages had completely turned. Now 60 percent of all online daters are mobile-only and just 40 percent are accessing via desktop.

Smartphones do make a dating difference.

“But the gap narrows considerably when looking at the number of visitors on smartphones,” Goodman writes. “Match.com maintains its lead with 6.1 million visitors, but POF trails not far behind with 4.8 million. Perhaps most interestingly though, Tinder has vaulted ahead of some of its competitors in recent months to claim the #3 position in mobile with 3.6 million visitors – up a whopping 1,400 percent in the past year.”

Why Tinder?

“It probably has to do with the fact that it courted an audience – younger Millennials – which had previously been swept away from the category with the social media tide,” according to Goodman. “And it also had to do with the fact that it adapted the experience very well to mobile, particularly with the use of the swipe feature allowing date-seekers to rapidly scan for potential prospects.”

Goodman thinks that “as the networks become increasingly mobile, companies in the online dating space must shift their thinking to adapt to this new reality.”

“Think Mobile-First Online dating companies need to shift towards a mobile-first strategy if they haven’t already,” says Goodman. “This means investing in both the technology/utility of your online apps, as well as customer acquisition efforts – such as app install ads to raise awareness and increase app downloads. It doesn’t mean the traditional online presence has to go away, but the basic features of the service should be considered first and foremost with mobile usage in mind.”

Hey, dating companies — sometimes you have to change your pick-up line. And now it looks like you’ll have to make it a mobile one.

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