Industry Update1: Mobile Dating Trends
Mobile dating is the big growth area in the online dating world. At a recent mobile online dating conference, Online Personal Watch’s Mark Brooks talked about some of the key trends and how they are transforming the dating industry. Here dating-experts gives you some of the highlights and helps explain what they mean to you, the consumer.
Mobile dating is growing fast.
Mobile’s share of the online dating market is more than doubling every year. 14% of market share in 2013 up to 31% this year. On these growth trends that’s mobile dating set to overtake desktop by the year 2017.
Within individual companies the growth and the market share figures are much higher still. 3 well established desktop dating sites show us this:
- Plenty of Fish (PoF) now has 85% of it’s overall usage on mobile (US)
- 41% of Zoosk revenue comes from mobile
- Ashely Madison’s mobile traffic grew by 130% in the last year
Characteristics of Mobile dating.
Mobile dating is addictive, casual and intimate. When you are using a dating service on your mobile device, you can be active everywhere you go, you can share the experiences with your friends while out, you can wink at a new match while on the train to work and you can take a message exchange to bed with you. The dating service intrudes into a much larger area of your consciousness when you don’t have to turn the computer on to be online.
As a result there is a dangerously addictive quality to mobile online dating. It has been estimated that people launch their dating apps as much as 10 times a day when actively using them, with women being slightly more vulnerable to this tendency than men.
However, mobile dating is also more ‘casual’ in nature. Often decisions about whether to talk to a match or not are made quickly in stolen moments or with friends. The conversations that develop are more like text chats than considered e-mails and often tend more quickly towards the carnal.
Mobile dating is also more ‘intimate’ in terms of the information you share when you are online with a dating app on your mobile. Geo location, contacts and browsing history are just the start of what you may be sharing when you open up any app on your phone these days.
The potential of mobile dating to improve matching and long term value.
The additional data and personal information that a mobile app delivers about a user should drive a more intimate relationship with the customer and enable better matching. In particular it is hoped that mobile might help to get more post-date feedback from the consumer and stay in touch with a couple once they are together, potentially offering them dating tips (date night) or relationship counseling, for example. ‘How About We’ is leading the pack in terms of aspirations to serve couples, as well as singles and thus better incentivize themselves to really want people to get and stay together (the perennial irony of the online dating world being that once the customer meets the love of their life, the transaction is over).
Tinder is of course the big news in mobile dating. Having started out on college campuses in the US, it succeeded in gaining a powerful momentum, in a space where many others have failed. But Mark Brooks and other commentators felt that Tinder was not a drain on market share for other companies. Rather it was ‘good news for the category’ and was “not affecting traffic of existing websites” (Markus Frind, CEO of PoF). This is especially potent in its power to make online dating socially acceptable and not just talked about with, but also practiced amongst friends. The contributors also mentioned that Tinder is set to re-launch soon with Premium and monetization features.
Zoosk is another big player in the mobile market and has mobile growth rates second only to Tinder. Now they are filing for an IPO in the US – also cited by the conference as good news for the industry (= more press attention for example).
Match is mobile dating industry leader in the US by unique visitors and has just re-launched their app with a new look and interface based very squarely on the Tinder model (think swiping).
Match also got a mention for its recent partnership with high-end matchmaking service “3 day rule”. “3 day rule” delivers a personalized matching service for the elite through an online portal. Prices come in at 5K for six months subscription!
*Much of the information and data in this article came from a presentation by Mark Brooks of OnlinePersonalsWatch that you can see in full here: http://dating.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=dating&cdn=people&tm=...
Part of Image comes courtesy of scottchan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Submitted by George Sanders on