The internet has finally done it. Never again will a nervous man be forced to leave his comfort zone and embarrassingly ask for a woman’s number. The feeling of rejection will no longer linger relentlessly over the infernal beating of the stupidity drum while the rejected ask themselves: “why did I even try?”. What am I talking about? Isn’t it obvious? I’m talking about online dating and the amazing success it has had with the web community especially in the past few years. As a multi billion dollar industry, global dating sites such as eHarmony, Date.com, Match.com, PerfectMatch, and AdultFriendFinder are far from going out of style, but are they really ready for the next stage in online dating?
What is this next stage you are talking about? Well, let me put it this way, using the alexa traffic toolbar I can see that eHarmony has a traffic ranking of 921, but when I check out MySpace, they are 6 (
). What is my point? My point is that the success of social networks has gravely surpassed online dating! Social networks such as MySpace, Friendster, YouTube and Facebook all target a younger demographic (primarily 18-24 year olds), but simply have the traffic and the ability to utilize it (hence Myspace surpassing MSN… who would have ever guessed it). But wait a minute, what do social networks have to do with the evolution of online dating websites? Let me explain.
You see, because dating websites cannot compete with these social networks, they are forced to evolve into them. The latest trend is to combine the desired social network aspects with the functionality of a dating website and creating a pseudo-hybrid of both. The two fit together so well, integration is a piece of cake and the end result is a ‘match made in heaven’. For example, social networks catch member’s attentions with personal blogs, comments, picture uploads, video uploads, forums, internal emailing, games, chats, and other dynamic tools, and dating sites have functionality that matches two profiles together, so what is to stop the two from working to make matches from what the social networks find? Perhaps having the matches be made from physical uploaded picture attributes instead of a written profile, or having common blogs match up with each other? The possibilities are endless and are what new dating sites are looking into.
The basic idea is simple, but achieving an actual result is going to be the next waive of popular sites. The ideas that I have shared here are without a doubt what will happen to dating sites in the next few years, and more often will you see sites lean to this direction. It’s as simple as the old saying: “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Only this time, the joining is not to just one side, but rather they will be collectively creating an empire that no other type of site can touch.