3 in 10 Internet users have tried online dating

Study notes released from Oxford University indicate that almost one third of Internet users have, at one time or another, visited dating sites, as reported in the Science Daily the day after Valentine’s Day.

Not that the study of dating site usage was coincided with that date. The study took in the patterns and usages of 24,000 adults from around the globe who are active Internet users over a twelve year period.

Eighteen countries in all took part in the online questionnaire which asked both halves of 12,000 couples between 1997 and 2009 a qualifying section to determine their Internet accessibility and then if they had used the web to look for partners, whether by online dating or other means.

A resounding thirty percent of those questioned responded in the affirmative, and a massive half of those stating that the partner they were with at the time of the response being recorded they met whilst looking for love online.

One of the most unexpected results was the breakdown in age bands who claimed to have began a relationship through an online dating platform. Of those in the 18-40 age bracket – the age of respondents you may expect to figure most prominently as recording high relationships found on dating sites – registered less than a quarter, with only 23% saying that they had had success using the medium.

Those in the next age bracket recorded the highest successful ratio of meeting a partner online as more than a third, 36% in total, of 40-69 year olds stated that they had began seeing someone directly as a result of their time dating online.

And, if you read between the lines, there is a time when singles just stop dating. Of all 24,000 participants, only two people who expressed a preference said that they’d started to go around the block again after they hit 70 and their relationships were not courtesy of dating sites.

The chat room facility and continued popularity of social media have had a lot to do with sharp rises in figures for those who took part in the survey post-2000. Prior to the new millennium not even ten percent of those questioned had met whilst online dating, but five years in and that had more than doubled to 21%. In contrast, the use of chat rooms over that same period dwindled in a like for like swap at the outset, but popularity and branding compounded that growth in later years.

In the next article, scientists have their say on how they interpreted the findings and what that means for the future of online dating.

The dating site problem – cause, effect and solution: cause

Although online dating has seen unprecedented numbers of new sign-ups over the last two years, the shape of the industry and what it does has not changed in any great manner.

It’s true.  Okay, many of the new dating sites springing to the fore from the far reaches of cyberspace do now have a very ‘social media’ look and feel to the way they operate and in the experience gained by the dating site member.

But, let’s face it, was isn’t social media influencing these days? Recent psychological analyses suggest that many people, especially the younger generation who have grew up with the evolving platform, are struggling to separate themselves in the real world from their persona online. In contrast, those of us who have seen the internet grow throughout our own adulthood still see the medium as escapism, especially when we can be creative with ourselves on matchmaking and dating sites.

It’s true. I cannot believe – and I still can’t, no matter how much I try to get my head around it – that someone pays me to write for the Internet. Dream job, or what? I love to write and the Internet, well. Is it real? For those who suffered the days of dial up, the version we have now is nothing more than a playground. But for business?

Well – let me tell you now – online dating is BIG business and (trust me when I say this now) it is going to get bigger. Starting right now, in 2012, dating sites will grow exponentially unlike at any time in their history. Why?

It’s all because of two Iranian guys who know the dating site market and know the Internet. They have learnt from previous lives that businesses grow through existing customers rather than try to attract new ones over and over and over again, which has been a problem for dating sites since the first tentative conversations on AOL started in mainstream chat-rooms fifteen years ago.

But that has always been the problem – if you are a successful dating site, your customers leave you, using their subscription fees instead to feather their own nests to hopefully furnish the matrimonial home. Well, that depends upon which site you use and what you want to gain from the experience, obviously, but that is usually the barometer of success by which the top dating sites are measured. So, that’s the problem identified. Now, what to do about it.

These two guys have cracked it, the established dating sites are looking over their shoulders. Over the course of the next two articles, I’ll try to explain why. Gad Zoosk!

Leading dating site targeting long term singles

Match.com are looking to revolutionise the way hopeful singles view their site by launching groundbreaking marketing to advertise its MatchAffinity.com long-term relationship aspect.

In a recent article here on dating.org.uk, we revealed how Match.com’s current dating site membership didn’t view ‘marriage‘ as part of the success story as much as that of its fiercest competitor in the dating market place, eharmony. This is a timely move by Match as its rival has just launched its own TV campaign, only last week, featuring British couples. It’s about time these corporations realised that UK dating represents a different target market than other global dating site communities.

From the start of next month, their ‘Going the distance’ campaign will bring real-life documentary clips filmed this month to our TV screens as part of the dating sites long-term relationship drive.

This will incorporate Mike and Alanna out on the road, complete with TV crew, as they seek the answers from genuine couples into their beliefs into the secrets that have kept them together for so long.

Get involved on your facebook app

In another move that sees the dating site world getting ever closer to social media, anyone who downloads the facebook app dedicated to this campaign can prompt the couple. Singles, more than ever, are drawing upon their constant use of social media platforms to get closer to other lonely hearts; Match.com have been exceptionally smart in leveraging this obsession to help promote this series of real-life ads.

UK online dating predicted to grow to £150M in just two years

Katie Sheppard, head of relationships in the UK and Eire, believes that singles who the company are trying to attract through this campaign would rather see real-life people than hand-picked actors. There is a very real association from the prospective audience, for which the creators of this revolutionary dating site campaign should receive the due plaudits.

This particular brand within the company’s portfolio really does drill down into hopeful singles details when they are completing their dating site profile. In an attempt to grow their UK dating market share, which they believe stands at between 50-60%, Katie believes the best way to do that is by letting the people who contribute to the “hundreds of success stories…every day” tell the story themselves.

And that’s a share of a pretty big pie; market analysts Mintel predict that, by 2014, the gross income of UK dating will represent a cool £150M. If you want to be a part of the online dating success story, search our top dating sites for compatibility in minutes.

Why not join the e-love-ution evolution?

Social Media – love it or hate it, it is undeniably here.  To stay.Long before our lives were dominated by the facebooks and Twitters of this world, even way back to the dawn of Friends Reunited (remember them), there were online datingsites.Once upon a time, when you had to unplug your phone to obtain a dial-up connection to even access the internet, if you accidentally let slip that you’d spent the previous evening checking out your perfect match on an adult meeting site, that comment would be followed by a look of suspicion, nay, disgust.  From the very look in your co-respondent’s eyes you could deduce them summoning, in their mind’s eye, visions of long overcoats, thick bifocals and park benches.

And to top it off, when you attempted to return to your ‘seedy little stomping ground’, after waiting for fifteen minutes to re-connect via dial-up, you were apt to find a nasty little virus had crippled your 64kb of RAM via a pop-up ad, thus requiring a trip to PC World and praying that the ‘tech-guys’ didn’t check your cache and discover what you’d been up to.

By the frosty reception when you returned, some seven days later, you knew that you’d been sussed.

Thankfully, looking for love on line no longer has this stigma attached and is, like bingo, one of the en vogue ways to spend your browsing time.  In fact, if you have not frequented at least one free online dating agency, your peers will probably emphatically encourage you to do so.

Yeah, Bingo – what next?  Cougar dating sites?  Enough said…

So, what has happened to bring online personal sites out of the gutter, well, into your gutter, technically speaking?

A recent report dispels some of the myths that diehards still see haunting the world of online matchmaking and offers some explanation as to how finding your perfect partner on line is suddenly the fashionable thing to do.

In a nutshell, social media has broke down many of the barriers inherent to meeting people on line.  A friend may have recommended you join them on their site; before you know it, you’re conversing with their friends, either ‘following’ them, actually ‘liking’ them or joining ‘circles’ of other online users with similar interests to yours, including dating forums and chat rooms.

It seems only natural, then, that this online relationship is taken a stage further.  Whereas, previously, you may be talking very much on a one to one basis, there is definitely more of a community feel nowadays, offering a greater sense of protection, than in years gone by.

Especially with greater verification methods, such as tru.ly’s new app, currently in beta in the US, which draws on government records to avoid any falsification of dating profile information.

Expectations are also different; even though online dating accounts for a larger proportion of marriages than ever, such sites are often used for casual relationships, too.

So, what’s stopping you?  Join the e-love-ution evolution – before all the good ones become extinct!

Online dating numbers continue to rise

In more ways than one, it seems, we are spending more time than ever viewing the world through one browser or another. With a whole host of social activities only a few clicks away, the realm beyond the laptop can be brought instantly into our living rooms every night of the week.

According to recent research by online dating agency groups, it’s not only recognised social media outlets receiving such close attention.

Any stigma once attached to looking for love through digital dating agencies has long since exiled. However, few expected online dating websites to become as popular as their growing audience figures suggest.

The results appear to confirm that visitors to their sites much prefer pawing over the profiles of its populous than perusing prospective partners on other platforms, such as facebook, Twitter and their rising rival, Google plus.

However, there are worrying statistics which suggest online dating devotees may be neglecting the real world completely, the one full of living, breathing singletons with whom genuine intercourse exists, in favour of forums, instant messages uploaded photo albums.

As such an unsettling question has been raised: are adults who use matchmaking services online becoming obsessed?

It is not singularly the act of its membership scrolling page after page of like-minded love-seekers causing consternation, for both paid and free online dating agencies, but also the worry that individuals are revelling in the dream itself. Clinging to the hope that their one true love exists just beyond that 14” plasma screen, before which they sit for hour after hour, seems preferable to risking bursting that bubble.

And that is exactly the point that the dating agency representatives who conducted the survey are trying underline. Contributions through their membership fees continue to arrive, month after month, but where are the subsequent success stories?

Of course users of singles dating sites should spend an appropriate amount of time perfecting their own profiles in order to attract that perfect partner. But feedback suggests that members are spending an inordinate amount of their online time touching up their own profile. A more worrying conclusion drawn from this is that members are indulging in their online self rather than actively seeking to approach genuine date candidates, in both the real world and the ever-growing virtual world, too.

The worry for owners of online and adult dating services now recognising this trend is that sectors of its membership are not getting their money’s worth of the services for which they are paying. These ‘personals’ sites, to which they are occasionally referred, offer real opportunities to find love online if the platform is used in the manner intended.

One possible reaction, once members recognise that they have paid membership fees for any length of time but never actually acted upon a request to date, is that they will look to blame the online dating service in question rather than themselves.

This is press that the dating industry, which has worked incredibly hard to assure its solid reputation, is understandably keen to avoid.

So, if you have a success story and found your perfect match online through a dating agency, let them know; they are waiting to hear from you, now.