A Brief Look At the History of The 6 Most Popular Online Dating Sites

It is uncertain when the first online dating site appeared online, although Match.com started a rather rudimentary version of itself which really acted as a classified site initially. This site was formed in 1993 by Gary Kremen and became an instant online success. When the owner realized the potential of the site combined with the advancement of web technology, he embarked on a mission to create a database driven website to help organize and increase functionality. Simon Glinksy and Peng T. Ong joined Garyand they launched this new website in 1995, which in effect, turned out to be one of the first most popular and most visited online dating sites.

Many more similar sites sprung up on the internet copying their success but Match.com remained the global leader in online matchmaking and to this day there is no competition that can beat it. As technology improved, these once simple sites began to take on board a lot more complex functions which enabled users to search and find people of similar tastes, lifestyles and backgrounds.

These days, apart from the larger conglomerates, smaller, niche targeted matchmaking sites are appearing for different types of people and situations for instance Christian sites, Jewish sites, GEO targeted websites, sites for millionaires and dating sites targeted by interest. The huge amount of people who are single and looking for love is becoming a lucrative business for those portals to capitalize on. Millions of people are seeking out their mate so there is a plethora of dating sites online to choose from.

In fact, these portals are the absolute centerfold for a successful business operation these days, since subscription methods are extremely lucrative business models. Online dating is reported to be the second most successful and profitable subscription aside from Pornography. Obviously there is a lot of money in the art of love finding.

And these online portals provide a valuable service. When it comes to brass tacks there is always going to be money where relationships are concerned. It is perfectly normal to want to be loved and needed and these sites monetize this precise situation. So if you are wondering what kinds of online matchmaking sites there is and you want to learn a little about their backgrounds then do read this article. I am going to report on 6 of the most popular matchmaking sites known to man.

  1. Match.com

As stated earlier in the article Match.com was originally founded by Gary Kremen in 1993. It started its journey from the humble beginnings of newspaper classified entries. When technology advanced and when fellow partners Peng T. Ong and Simon Glinksy came on board they created a new website and launched it in BETA in 1995. The website was free to all that joined. It needed people to join so they marketed it as a free membership. Once they had a suitable amount of users on board, they monetized it and promoted paid memberships. In 1998 Match.com was purchased by Cendant. It was quickly followed by TicketMaster now known as IAC.

During that year Match.com headquarters were moved to Dallas,Texas as it was merged with another fledgling site called One & Only Networks. Match.com went on to gain recognition as the Largest Online Dating Site in 2004 and was awarded with the Guiness World Records.  At that time it had 42 million people in their user database. Match.com over the more recent years have invested and bought out several other matchmaking sites and businesses. All of which come under the brand.

  1. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish was founded by a man called Markus Frind. It became apparent to Markus that Plenty of Fish was a full time business and from 2004 until 2008 he ran the site single-handed. In the year of 2008 he employed his first employees which were based in Vancouver,Canada. The website has grown in popularity and like his predecessors is based on free and paid memberships. It is alleged that one million babies have been created since the birth of Plenty Of Fish. It has experienced its share of legal suits from the disgruntled public but has remained at the forefront of online dating portals. It enjoys millions of visitors each month and is reported to be increasing members every day.

  1. Zoosk 

Zoosk is rather a more social site in the sense it focuses on romance and things like that. It was founded in 2007 by Alex Mehr and Shayan Zadeh who were both roommates at the University of Maryland. Zoosk was made to be connected with social networks as Alex and Shayan initially started a market research business which leveraged social networks. Since having this experience and being internet savvy they created Zoosk as a combination business of everything they knew. Zoosk is a modern site but it targets singles under the age of 35. Over 70% of their users are between the ages of 25 and 35. Zoosk has had a lot of recognition online and offline. The Wall Street Journal listed Zoosk as the number 29 on the next big thing in 2011. Zoosk is very popular and is reported to service over 70 countries and supports over 25 languages. It is set for a bright future.

  1. OKCupid

OKCupid was founded by Christian Rudder, Chris Coyne, Sam Yagan and finally Max Krohn. They all attended Harvard University where they created other businesses. OkCupid developed and launched “Crazy Blind Date” in 2007. Between 2007 and 2010 they invented different quizzes and games which OKCupid is renowned for and in 2011 they were acquired by IAC which also owns Match.com. OKCupid was one of the first dating portals to facilitate homosexuals as well as heterosexuals  By the time they were acquired by IAC they were attracting 1.3 million unique visitors. In 2007 OKCupid was reported to have been listed as one of the top dating sites according to Time Magazine.

  1. eHarmony

eHarmony was created by Neil Clark Warren, who was a psychologist and an author to lots of relationship books. He teamed up with his son in law Greg Forgatch. It started because Neil had a theory that specific characteristics can predict compatible mates which would result in more long lasting and successful relationships. After 35 years of work as psychologist and after teaming up with both Greg Forgatch and a Dr named Galen Buckwalter , Neil created the system of compatibility which his company uses to match people. Fayaz Sarafim invested 3 million dollars into eHarmony and then in 2004 Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures provided the fourth biggest venture capital infusion. Because eHarmony operates on a subscription model it earned over a $1 billion dollars in 2009. It was reported that eharmony had 33 million members by the year 2008 and out of them 15,000 people took the questionnaire. Harris Interactive describes how 542 users marry in the United States each year because of eharmony. The owners want to expand eHarmony into a broader category that deals with parenting, age, finding new friends and jobs.

  1. Chemistry.com

Chemistry.com is a sister site to Match.com. It is a matchmaking site that matches members using unique algorithms to help people find someone for the long term, hence the word chemistry.  Dr Helen Fisher was the creator of Chemistry.com’s algorithm and she has been featured on ABC’s 20/20 discussing her theories and applications. Chemistry.com became noticed when they developed advertorials depicting gay men and same sex singles who were rejected by eHarrmony. They became famous for their slogan “Chemistry Style” which is a process of combinations to help members achieve long lasting relationships. Today it is reported that over 10 million members have taken the Chemistry.com personality test.

As you have read, these are the brief histories of the most popular online dating sites known to man. It is amazing the power these websites have and it is amazing how the creation of monopolies came about which, of course, have resulted in these successful companies. Like it has been reported, these online dating sites have amassed millions of members within a few short years and are earning hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in revenue each year. You may also have noticed they are all unique and offer something which cannot be found elsewhere. If you want to pick up chicks in real life, not online, feel free to read Tao of Badass dating book. Each site has their own algorithms to test potential mates and help their members find their true partner.

And like so many successful webpages, they all proclaim to have members who have gone on to marriage, engagements and having babies. And each year, after leading Consumer Magazines have awarded and recognized the power of the dating sites and are watching them very closely. It should not surprise us that online dating sites are a business model that is extremely lucrative and rewarding. I expect that many more will emerge in smaller, highly targeted niches.

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