Fast Company attended the online dating industry conference in Miami to find out how the geniuses of love plan to disrupt your relationship status.
Inside The Online Matchmaking Industry’s Giant Blind Date
This is actually one of the most fascinating things I’ve read this week. Maybe it’s because my friends and I have become increasingly interested in the topic of online dating and the use of online dating sites… but our conversations have been less intellectually-based and more experiential (aka, who has done it, what they’ve thought about it, etc). It’s so interesting how I grew up unintentionally attaching a stigma to sites such as OkCupid and Match.com, because of fears of sketchy stalkers and weirdos (thanks craigslist). But obviously my views are changing. I’ve come to accept it as something legitimate, what with finding people who’ve had positive experiences with it, etc. But this article is interesting in that it now places these dating sites among the social media landscape we all know, love, and are familiar with. Slater writes:
In 2007, Alex Mehr and Shayan Zadeh noticed that the younger generation’s conception of dating was more closely described by a social-networking site like Facebook than by a traditional dating site. Online-dating seemed neither novel nor extreme to a generation that grew up online, nurturing social networks and watching each other’s lives play out in a cascade of relationship-status updates and Twitter news feeds. Privacy was something old people fussed over.
It’s true. We’re not totally private people online now. We lay it all out for our friends to see, so why not potential mates? Or even potential friends? Dating sites aren’t just for dating after all, it could just be for simply meeting other like-minded individuals.
The article is also introducing a new dating-application business model with, TheComplete.Me, where:
Rather than a static profile, TheComplete.me will “tap into the sites that consumers use every day”—such as Netflix and Amazon—to create “a more dynamic interest graph.” It’s one thing to say you “like comedies,” “love to read,” “live for travel.” It’s another to show potential mates that your Netflix queue is full of Chevy Chase films, that you just bought you and your father copies of the latest Stephen King novel, or that your Picasa album has been updated with pictures from Peru. In Bowman’s vision, as Internet use rises, and people define themselves increasingly by where they go and who they talk to and what they post and buy—online—their dating profile evolves with them. “The first version of the Internet,” recalls Bowman, “was based around ‘It’—an index of linked websites that were interesting to most people, like Yahoo directories. Web 2.0 was based around ‘We’—me and my human relationships, my social graph. Facebook won that round. The next iteration will be about ‘Me’—who I am, my interests at this time, based not on what I say but on what I do.” As daters navigate the date-o-sphere, they’ll take their identities with them.