A recent report by Marketdata Enterprises, Inc. revealed that dating services have grown into a $2.5 billion business in the United States alone. Furthermore, online services account for 70 percent of the market’s value. An explosion of new websites and apps has continued to make the dating services industry soar in popularity with America’s 124 million singles. This industry can be broken down into several different segments:
Online dating websites. Match.com, eHarmony and Plenty of Fish are just a few of the hundreds of sites that offer affordable and convenient matchmaking services.
Dating apps. Smartphones and dating apps have placed online dating into the hands of Millennials, the group currently leading the dating industry. For example, popular dating app Tinder (available in 30 languages) has generated over one billion matches since its start, with subscriber estimates varying between 100,000 and 297,000 users.
Matchmaking and dating coaches. A little more expensive than online dating sites, businesses and professionals in the industry sometimes provide services and host single events, like speed dating. The goal is to improve their clients’ success in dating and relationships.
- The swipe left/right mechanic – the online dating scene has quickly shifted from individual’s trying to find “sparks” and “butterflies” to instant gratification. For example, Huffington Post says the hugely popular app, Tinder, strips “dating down to its most superficial qualities” and that “based almost solely on physical attraction from the outset – few take note of written profiles”. Not exactly the ideal way to build a relationship with a solid foundation. In the future, many hope to see apps that take the swipe left/right mechanic – since apps can no longer survive without this feature – and create an app that allows for a more meaningful and lasting match.
- Niche applications and websites – Niche and unconventional dating apps are becoming a huge hit. Bristlr, for example, matches women with bearded men. Hater matches individuals with people who hate the same things they do.
- Increased social media integrations – At first, the idea of integrating social media was unappealing because dating is considered such a private pastime. However, with more and more connections taking place on social media in general, the belief is that future social media integration will become more and more discreet. Leading more people to accept and use such dating services.
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