Browsing all articles from January, 2008

Where Singles Click

As far back as the Paleolithic era, there have been matchmakers.  Families even exchanged their daughters for labor, land, goods, and even status.

Some know them by the Yiddish term “Shadchen.”  And you probably thought the correct term was “Yenta,” but it’s not (I admit I did too).   A Yenta is simply a gossipy woman.  In almost every society, a community member set himself or herself up as the person to set up unions.

Enter the Internet.  Online dating soon began to take market share from newspaper voice personals.  Today, there are over one thousands internet dating sites in the USA alone.  The industry rang up $649 million in sales in 2006, according to Juniper Research.  Of the 92 million unmarried adult Americans, 16 million have tried online dating, according to Pew.

Internet dating exploded in 2003 with a 77% growth rate.  Growth has slowed to 10% recently partly because of competition from social networking sites such as Facebook where you can essentially flirt for free.

Now, online dating companies such as MatchLink, operated by Spark Network Services, are looking overseas for growth.  Expanding internationally, however, comes with some cultural challenges.  “That’s why we’ve expanded our offering to include a more international dating database,” said Bob Bentz, director of marketing for Spark.  “You really need to think global and act local.”

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