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February 14 2014

Dating Websites Are Now Courting Couples

Dating websites don't want to pressure their users, but it's time to discuss where this is all going. Don't get them wrong, it's been fun arranging algorithmic matches and occasionally getting lucky. But the average user spends about seven to nine months with a dating website before disappearing, and brands like Match.com and HowAboutWe are looking for more of a commitment.

It's the paradox of the online-dating industry: success and customer retention are pretty much incompatible. The antidote sounds kind of like, well, dating. Use the singles side of the business to attract people, and then pitch the happily paired-off users on a long-term relationship with the website by offering services for couples. Read more...

More about Marketing, Online Dating, Relationship, Match.Com, and Okcupid

February 05 2014

Hey Guys, She Doesn't Want Your Sexy Photos

Dating can be a jungle. If you're with someone, the hours scouring dating websites have finally paid off (that, or the local bartender misses pouring your favorite brew). But finding love and keeping it are two different battles. Every relationship is unique, and the best way to keep the person you're with happy is to be yourself. Unless, of course, your gut instinct is to do something 75% of women don't like

Singles in America, an annual academic survey developed by biological anthropologist and Rutgers University professor Helen Fisher, and sponsored by Match.com, posed questions to singles of all ages and preferences, coast to coast, to determine the norms for dating in the present age Read more...

More about Survey, Online Dating, Match, Lifestyle, and Work Play

January 17 2014

The 15 Hottest Dating Sites on the Market

Online dating is so much more than Match.com and eHarmony. With the rise of photo apps like Tinder, it’s clear there are much quicker and quirkier ways to find your better half

Whether you’re looking for friendship, a random hookup or location-based love, there’s a slew of dating apps and websites out there for every kind of single. As we start 2014, here are the most popular.


Ever wanted to bring a wingman on your date? How about two? Grouper sets you up with a match, then lets both parties bring along two friends. The drinks are prepaid and Grouper tells you exactly where to meet up, so all you have to do is decide who should tag along. Who knows? Maybe all three of you will find a love connection Read more...

More about Dating, Features, Online Dating, Relationships, and Contributor

January 16 2014

A Shift in Dating App Technology Protects User Privacy

Privacy is a slippery slope — the more we engage with and utilize the technology at hand, the more we compromise our privacy. The dating app SinglesAroundMe offers an answer to concerns about GPS location and user privacy with their new feature, Position-Shift.

Position-Shift allows the user to decide how others view their current location by shifting their actual GPS location when on a mobile device. While on SinglesAroundMe, the app gives users three location options: hide it, show the exact location, or shift the location. By selecting “Shift,” users can choose to offset their location with a variety of distances — one mile, two, five, 10, and so on — so a “shifted” location would display that a user is five miles away from their actual location. Read more...

More about Dating, Mobile Gps, Privacy, Tech, and Online Dating

November 08 2013

Aziz Ansari Explains Why Texting Ruined Dating

Dating in the 21st century is akin to getting stabbed in the eye with a fork. Nails on a chalkboard, a rusty cheese-grater on your face, ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife (hat tip, Alanis Morissette) — it's uncomfortable, painful and downright ironic

Nobody gets your dating woes more than Aziz Ansari. The comedian went on Conan and talked about the pain of being a single person in the age of texting

"It's pretty much, a lot of times like you're a secretary for a really shoddy organization, scheduling the dumbest sh*t, with the flakiest people ever," Ansari said Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Dating, Online Dating, Texting, and Love

October 24 2013

Carrot Dating App Lets You Bribe Your Way Onto Dates

A new app called Carrot Dating encourages users to wave incentives such as dinners and chocolates in front of potential mates as a way to convince them to go on dates.

The platform, which officially launched this week, embraces bribery as a dating tactic. The app's name is a nod to the phrase "dangle a carrot" — traditionally a horse or other animal — to get desired results

After perusing the website for matches, users can select the "carrot" of their choice, from a dinner and dessert to flowers, shopping and even trips.

Although Carrot's focus on bribery has been panned by many who call it sexist and problematic, founder Brandon Wade said it's just a way for people to go out with others they wouldn't normally have a chance with. Read more...

More about Mobile, Apps, Online Dating, Dating App, and Tech

September 14 2013

How Online Dating Sites Use Data to Find 'The One'

More couples are finding love on online dating sites, and it makes sense: coupled with the convenience of finding a mate in the comfort of your own home and schedule, these platforms are getting smarter. Way smarter.

Dating platforms are collecting an enormous amount of data about how people look for a partner and what they say they want, especially compared to who they actually want and pursue

And it's only going to get more sophisticated from here — in fact, Match.com has its sights set on using facial recognition technology in the future, which could allow users to highlight the features they are most attracted to so the company can provide them with matches most in tune with their preferences. Read more...

More about Features, Tech, Data, Online Dating, and Match.Com

September 09 2013

Mobile Dating App Swoon Puts Ladies First

Tagged is taking a "ladies first" approach to its dating app, Swoon. The social discovery site that specializes in helping users meet new people overhauled its mobile dating app on Monday, opting for a new color scheme and design the company believes will resonate with its female users

Swoon also announced a new "Look Back" feature that lets users recall people they may have accidentally rejected through the app, as well as upcoming female-specific features

"The demographic that we feel is underserved and we're looking to develop for is young professional women," said Molly Messenger, Swoon's head of product. The update is available for both Android and iOS versions of the app beginning Monday Read more...

More about Online Dating, Tagged, Dating App, Tech, and Apps Software

September 08 2013

The Top 10 Searches for Online Dating Sites

Whether you're focused on your career, haven't found the right person or are simply exploring relationship options tailor-made for the digital age, online dating can be a great step toward improving your love life.

There's certainly no shortage of services for web-savvy daters. Between OkCupid, a site especially popular among Millennials, and newcomer Tinder, an app geared more toward flings, you're bound to find a match somewhere. But where are other eligible bachelors and bachelorettes looking for romance?

Below, we've listed the top dating sites U.S.-based Internet users searched for on Yahoo within the past 30 days. Though the numbers don't necessarily reflect actual users, they're good indications of each specific site's popularity. Read more...

More about Features, Online Dating, Okcupid, Lifestyle, and Work Play

August 23 2013

AllPaws Pairs Shelter Animals With New Owners

Finding someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is hard. The response: online dating. AllPaws aims to apply the same concept to finding a pet

Launched by the startup DCL Ventures, it promotes adoption and helps prospective owners simplify the pet selection process. It's designed to effectively match shelter animals with loving new owners.

Darrell Lerner, the founder of AllPaws, told Mashable that his experience co-founding SNAP Interactive, which ran the dating site AYI.com, helped him develop the concept.

"The market for searching pets is incredibly primitive," Lerner said. "I saw a clear path for launching an exceptional product." He realized that AllPaws was essentially the same site he'd been working on for years — it just replaced humans with animals. Read more...

More about Pets, Animals, Online Dating, Cute Animals, and Business

July 05 2013

7 Tips For Scoring a Date on Tinder

If your thumb hurts from constantly browsing Tinder, the addictive dating app, you're not alone — it boasts of a membership of about 20 million.

The service is extremely simple. Cycle through potential partners, and click the green heart on profiles of those you're interested in. Otherwise, click a red "X," and you'll move on to the next profile. If you're a match with someone — meaning you both clicked green hearts on one another's profiles — Tinder will send you a notification and set you up in a private chat

Online dating isn't as easy as it seems — there's an art to it. It's all about the first impression, mainly because people have little choice but to judge you by your photo and limited information listed in your profile. Read more...

More about Apps, Social Media, Online Dating, Love, and Tech

June 02 2013

Job Site Wants Only Beautiful Candidates

BeautifulPeople.com — the controversial online dating site that allows only attractive people to join — is expanding its service on Monday for employers

The company told Mashable it is readying a recruitment feature for employers wanting to hire "good-looking staff." The free service would give individuals and companies access to its 750,000 member base of "attractive" people. Only those members who are voted beautiful by others on the site are allowed to stick around.

Employers will have a dedicated business profile and be able to pursue other members who are looking for a job. Members will also be able to look through job listings and apply directly to companies. Read more...

More about Marketing, Startups, Online Dating, Beautifulpeople.Com, and Business

May 16 2013

Set Course for Love With These 'Star Trek' Dating Websites

Attention Trekkies: vaj Date Hov trek vaj DartlhneSS vIlegh DurIngh Hogh openIngh vIvut legh vIvoqHa' qaStaHvIS paQDI'norgh luchenmoHmeH law' De'wI' pagh mobIle jan In tlhront otlh ghewmey vaj mangghomDajDaq bImejnIS.

If you could understand that Klingon, you'll definitely want to read on. (English translation for all other fans of the Starship Enterprise: If you'd like a date to see Star Trek Into Darkness during its opening week, you don't necessarily need to look any further than the computer or mobile device in front of you.)

As reported by The Daily Beast; turns out there's an entire subculture surrounding online dating for Star Trek fans Read more...

More about Dating, Online Dating, Dating Sites, Star Trek, and Film

August 27 2012

With This Kiss…Superman and Wonder Woman Are Finally an Item

Clark Kent is hanging up his online dating profile because it's official: Superman and Wonder Woman are now the ultimate power couple.

DC Comics left fans hanging with an image on the cover of Justice League issue #12 that shows the Man of Steel wrapped in an embrace with Wonder Woman -- their lips, oh so close. The photo shows an unstoppable kiss that Faith Hill would be proud of.

In case you were wondering, Superman's kryptonic personality wasn't the only thing that drew Wonder Woman to the now Lois Lane-free superhero.

DC Comics has teamed up with Match.com to bring you the retired dating profiles of these two superheroes, who seem to have very unique backgrounds and interest…
Continue reading...

More About: Superheroes, online dating

August 26 2012

August 03 2012

Meet The One Your Friends Forgot to Introduce You to with Circl.es

Name: Circl.es

Quick Pitch: Date people your friends haven't introduced you to -- yet.

Genius Idea: Help people find romance by connecting them to their friends' friends.

The world of dating has changed a lot in the past few years. It's been just over a decade since online dating hit the mainstream, and only the past five years for it to become part of our collective online culture. However, the idea of meeting a stranger in person for the first time still leaves a lot of people feeling uneasy.

Justin Krause, the creator of Circl.es found the solution -- friends of your friends. Many people manage this without the help of the Internet, but for those who have difficulty meeti…
Continue reading...

More About: bizspark, circl.es, online dating

July 25 2012

Meet the Woman Who Tried to Marry Off Her Niece on eBay

Today, online dating services help filter exactly what people are looking for in a significant other. Other times, people take even less traditional routes to secure companionship.

In an attempt to find the perfect suitor for her niece, auction agent Diane Hayes placed an eBay ad offering her niece's hand in marriage for $9.99. Only the subject of the ad, 21-year-old Emilie Rogers, was unaware.

According to the ad, which has since been removed from eBay, Hayes was concerned that Rogers was a little too fond of boys with tattoos.

"Your choice to 'tattoo or not to tattoo' is a good indicator of your internal thought process," Hayes wrote in the ad. "If, for instance, on an act of im…
Continue reading...

More About: ebay, ecommerce, features, online dating

February 10 2012

Love-Seekers Beware: Online Dating Fraud Rose 150% Last Year

Lonely hearts seeking love this Valentine’s Day, be wary. Online dating fraud rose by 150% percent in 2011 as scammers and hucksters turned up the false charm and predatory trolling.

That’s according to data shared with Mashable by fraud protection agency Iovation, which works with several major Internet dating services. Iovation reached that number by employing patented technology that analyzes hardware and software, rather than mine for personal information, says Molly O’Hearn, vice president of operations.

Iovation found that in 2011, 3.8% of all transactions it processed for online dating sites were fraudulent. That includes users misrepresenting themselves to try to acquire personal information, directing users to phishing sites, spamming people with unrelated messages, or persistently harassing users.

From 2009 to 2010, dating fraud on the sites Iovation monitors declined slightly, from a rate of 1.5% to 1.4%.

The spike in 2011 was due to two trends in the industry, according to O’Hearn. The first is that “while dating sites have been around for several years, we’re now entering an era where the later adopters are willing to give it a go,” she says. “With that growth comes more bad guys, because it represents an opportunity.”

Another emerging opportunity, O’Hearn said, is the proliferation of dating sites targeted at specific niches — people who are Catholic, Jewish, virgins or pot users. This narrowing of the field allows scammers to better target their marks and tailor their nefarious strategies.

O’Hearn said that one common scheme involves trying to direct conversations off-site to personal email or instant messaging accounts, where it’s easier to mine for information. Another preys on the sympathy of possible paramours by asking for money to deal with crises like huge medical bills or the need to visit a dying relative.

O’Hearn said that two main giveaways of swindlers are the use of the world “love” in the early stages of correspondence, and people whose syntax and use of language don’t jibe with their pictures or where they claim to be from.

So, if that charming blue-eyed farm boy from Nebraska suddenly tells you he wants to “make nice date with you, love” for Valentine’s Day, take the suger with a few grains of salt.

Do you believe that online dating fraud is on the rise? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, pearleye

More About: fraud, online dating

Online Dating: 7 Fun New Sites for Finding Your Match

The latest wave of online dating sites forgoes mysterious equations in favor of straightforward, sometimes unexpected, matching techniques.

Whereas Match.com, eHarmony and OkCupid promise to calculate your ideal mate based on your actions and stated preferences, these new sites use some interesting new criteria such as common friends, activities, alma mater or even face structure to make matches.

A team commissioned by the Association of Psychological Science recently deemed the purely algorithmic approach to online dating no more effective at predicting compatibility than a good old-fashioned chat.

We’re not sure that any of the seven approaches below would be any more effective. But many of them are certainly more fun.

1. Clique: Stop Dating Strangers


When the dating world plugged into the Internet, it largely catered to the classified-style dating that preceded it — facilitating meetings between strangers who might like each other. But the age-old method of meeting dates through friends was largely ignored by online dating sites.

Clique, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary Valentine’s Day, is trying to make that method its niche. On the invite-only site, only you, your friends and people connected to you by fewer than three degrees are visible. When you’re browsing profiles, you can see how you’re connected to each person, and your friends can make match suggestions for you.

Upside: A personal reference for every potential date.

Downside: Your common friends will inevitably hear feedback about your dates.

2. Sparkology: Ivy League Men Only


Sparkology has set out to filter its community with rigid criteria. To join the site, you need to be a college graduate. If you’re a man, you need to be a verified graduate of a school on the site’s list of “top universities.”

Payment also works a bit differently than traditional dating sites. Women pay a flat fee per month to be on the site. Men pay a small fee to start conversations, which theoretically prevents them from spamming everyone on the site.

Upside: Men have to invest each time they communicate and are less likely to do so when they aren’t sincerely interested.

Downside: Although the site’s founders point out that its list of top universities includes 85 schools, Sparkology is still no doubt missing some interesting, successful people who don’t happen to have a top-notch college degree.

3. Nerve Dating: Less-Painful Introductions

Nerve Dating

Once a site for listing personals, Nerve Dating relaunched in 2011 with a focus on natural ice breakers. Users post mini-updates on their profiles that answer simple questions such as “What did you do last night?” Whether they read a book, saw a concert or watched TV, the hope is that it will give others a reason to connect. Browsing the site is free, but unlimited messaging costs $20 per month.

Upside: there’s something to talk about when you message someone for the first time.

Downside: Another status to update.

4. SinglesAroundMe: Location-Based Dating


SinglesAroundMe is an Android, BlackBerry and iPhone app that lives up to its name. Quite simply, it uses the GPS feature on your phone to find singles near you, literally plotting them on a map. Profile information is pretty limited, but there’s an option to message people to find out more if you fork over $2.95 per month or $19.95 per year. So far I have gotten one message on the network: “you are a fake!drop dead.”

Upside: Dating people near you seems practical.

Downside: When proximity is the major criteria of interest, there may be reason to question the motives of people who contact you.

5. HowAboutWe: Activity Dating


HowAboutWe puts focus on the date rather than the individual. Users propose fun activities. Other users can send them messages if they like their ideas. To send such a message, however, you’ll need to fork over between $7.99 and $34.99 per month depending on how long you commit.

Upside: Fewer coffee shops, more adventures.

Downside: “How about we… communicate only through facial expressions for the first 30 minutes of our date.” How about not.

6. Soul2Match: Similar Faces

Soul2Match promises to match singles based solely on one piece of information from each of them: their headshot. Founders Jorn Eiting and Linda van Liempt are serious. They cite several studies that show what we’re all really looking for in our ideal mate is ourselves.

“The more two people have similarities in their faces, the more they look alike, the happier they are in the relationship, the stronger the relationship,” Eiting told Mashable in September.

The website compares your mugshot with other faces to rate your compatibility.

Upside: Entertainment.

Downside: Remember that research the company cites? Some of it shows that couples with similar levels of attractiveness are the happiest. Other research says people trust those who have similar facial features more than those who don’t.

The best proof for Soul2Match‘s matchmaking method is a 1999 study that used computer-graphic image manipulation to generate male faces that looked like female participants. For example, if a woman’s cheekbone stuck out 0.3 percent more than the average woman’s cheekbones do, the program would generate a male face with cheekbones that stuck out 0.3 percent more than the male average. Women were more likely to rate faces as attractive that had been manipulated to match their own.

Trouble is, a later study by Lisa M. DeBruine of McMaster University showed that people are more likely to rate faces similar to their attractive when it’s the same sex than photos of the opposite sex.

“The same-sex bias … is a product of specialized responses to facial resemblance as a cue of kinship,” DeBruine wrote; it helps us “favor kin in a non-sexual prosocial context and avoid kin in a mating context.”

In other words, her theory is that it’s all part of the brain’s recognition mechanism that helps us be nice to family members — and avoid incest.

7. Grouper: Group Dating

Grouper arranges group dates between three women and three men.

Upside: Less pressure and a “meet three new people for one time commitment” structure.

Downside: Here’s to hoping you and your friends don’t all fall for the same person in the other group.

BONUS: 12 Pinterest Boards for Valentine’s Day Inspiration

1. Etsy

Etsy is a no-brainer for gifts, and even though its Valentine's Day board is rather sparsely populated, the content is super original.

Click here to view this gallery.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, adventtr

More About: features, love, online dating, relationships

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February 08 2012

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