Looking for Love (2.0)
One phenomenon that I've noticed over the past several years is an increase in searches surrounding online dating. Based on years of analysis, I'm convinced that there are two key reasons for the January dating frenzy. First, we see relationship building as a way we can improve our lives. Second, is the rush to find a relationship before February 14. In fact, we start to see a decline in online dating in the first days of February, perhaps to avoid the awkwardness of going out on a first date on Valentine's Day?
When I look at the top 1,110 dating sites visited by U.S. Internet users (yes, there are that many), it's clear 2010 brings with it significant change in dating behavior
. First, the economy. Sites that provide premium dating services and matchmaking have dropped in their rankings, while sites such as Plenty of Fish, which bills itself as a "free online dating" site, are more prominent.
Among the younger set, the trend is also to shy away from sites that encourage long-term relationships to sites where the goal is much shorter in term.
Top 10 Online Dating Sites (Week Ending January 16, 2010)
1.Plenty of Fish
Source: Experian Hitwise
How about you? Are you an online dater? Did you make a New Year's resolution to start a relationship? Do you prefer to meet people on social networks versus traditional dating sites? Put your answers in the comment section. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bill Tancer is an Internet trend analyst, columnist and author of the New York Times best-seller Click—What Millions Do Online and Why It Matters.