Dating Trend Report 2015
The Future of Dating - The CEO of Love Trend Report
We were curious to get an idea of what the future of online dating might look like, so we set out to find answers from founders and/or CEOs of leading dating websites. In the end, 15 surveys were filled out by these guys, and their combined answers show what we could expect next for the world of online dating. Here it is, the CEO of LOVE Trend Report 2015.
The big picture at a glance
Even on hookup sites, it seems that the majority of people signed up are looking for love: Although the introduction of Tinder brought along yet another casual online dating atmosphere, it seems most users still use the services in search of love.
Most of the CEOs of LOVE that were interviewed believe that matching algorithms are the key to user success. Each individual, however, has many success variables and it’s hard to determine exactly what works for them.
Wearables: A revolutionary addition to online hookups. Can you imagine a world where you can match with random people just walking down the street? Many CEOs say that this is the future of online dating. It’s not a question of if, but rather a question of when this technology will be introduced.
New, more powerful computers and Big Data will up chances of finding a soulmate online The surveyed CEOs believe that the powerful technology to be released within the next few years will hold the power to know who we are, and transform the matchmaking process forever.
Free services will go extinct. Free dating apps will most likely be a thing of the past – CEOs saying it’s just a phase in the industry. Respondants claim that, in the future, no good dating service will be offered without a fee. Access to free dating apps is a phase in the industry that is on the wane.
Women are in control Women are continuously becoming more and more powerful. It seems that they no longer wait to be appraoched, but rather do the approaching themselves. The CEOs wonder what impact this will have on their businesses and feminism
Abstract: The rest of the article summarizes this report.
Chapter 1: Now more than ever, we need love!
Although it seems hookup apps are becoming more and more popular, studies show that the majority of users are looking for a long term relationship and love.
Tobias Börner, CMO at LOVOO says:
“Dating has become very flexible. You can meet new people anytime, anywhere. Dates can be arranged spontaneously and the choice of potential partners is huge.Of course people like to take advantage of the possibilities, which gives the impression of ever changing partners. Maybe they do, but the desire for a more permanent connection remains. At LOVOO we know that the majority of users want a permanent relationship based on faithfulness and trust.”
While it’s true that users keep going to hookup apps in search of a relationship, it seems this has had no effect on how people view casual sex. Founder of C-date, Heinz Laumann has stated:
“People have also changed their attitudes towards relationships and are more willing to switch partners. This is a very healthy thing. People tend not to stay trapped in long dysfunctional relationships, but instead get to break out and potentially live more happy lives than they did in the past. People are also getting married much later in life and many spend ten or fifteen years as ‘singles’ before they tie the knot. This does not mean that they don’t have any sexual life, but rather that they have more relationships and are seeking more sexual contacts.”
Even our own Australian Tinder study has shown that people are still in the dating game for love. While it is true that 69% of Tinder users are looking for simple hookups, a staggering 56% is still looking for a serious relationship.
Picture: What are you looking for on Tinder? (Male and female responses in Australia)
Chapter 2: Suggested matches based on personality are critical to success.
The majority of CEOs that we surveyed made sure to get across the importance of matching technologies and algorithms. The biggest difference between a dating site and a dating app seems to lie in their technology and philosophy.
Based off of likes and dislikes, our matching scale will find users their perfect match.
Picture: Examples for different matching systems - Dating Navigator Matching Scale
Chapter 3 & 4 Wearable dating technology and iBeacons will change the online dating game
Picture: Tinder smart watch app
It seems the newest tech trend is Wearables and iBeacons. After the Apple Watch is launched in 2015, it’s quite likely that the general population will pick up on the wearables trend. The use of iBeacons is obvious in retail, and it seems the world of online dating could be next. The following report shows how this new techonolgy trend will makes singles‘ lives easier in the future.
Our surveyed CEOs are excited for this trend and estimate there will be lots more interest in the world of dating websites. Here’s what they had to say:
Shayan Zadeh, Zoosk CEO:
"I can see dating apps being used in wearable technology in 3-5 years from now."
Tobias Börner, CMO, LOVOO:
“In the near future, technologies like iBeacons and Wearables will take location based dating to a new level. They will show who crossed my path during the day. Apps will be able to analyse a user’s location and preferences better and update them as soon as someone they might be interested in is nearby. Apps will also communicate with locations (like bars, clubs or boutiques) to suggest dating points to the user.“
However, Sigurd Vedal, CEO of Victoria Milan, remains a little more sceptical.
“In my opinion even the creators of wearables are not yet sure if they’re going to change anything. For now we only have some smart watches that basically duplicate minor smartphone functions, Google Glass that is raising complaints in regard to privacy all over the world and dozens of other gadgets that enable people to do this or that. So right now I wouldn’t say that wearables are going to change anything in dating soon - unless someone develops some killer function or device that will be a true and useful innovation.”
Chapter 5 Data for Dates: Are computers better than humans in choosing the right partner?
Better technology means we will be able to process more information in less time. In turn, we will be able to better satisfy the needs and wants of customers, especially in the way of finding them the perfect partner.
be2 CEO Carsten Bölz says
"The predictive capability of our product is likely to get much higher over the coming years, through every stage of the customer lifecycle, but especially for matchmaking."
Sigurd Vedal, CEO of Victoria Milan:
“In three to five years we will be able to match people in a more precise way, to an extent where they don’t even have to search to find a perfect fit.....there’s a whole lot of data and unique decision streams to analyse in order to make it happen. Whoever does it first will dominate the dating industry."
Dr. Kang Zhao of the University of Iowa thinks that by looking into dating behavious the same way that retailers look into consumer behaviours will mean that we will be able to provide a better online dating experience. "a man who says on his profile that he likes tall women may in fact be approaching mostly short women, even though the dating website will continue to recommend tall women"
Chapter 6 Free dating services will become extinct.
We have recently experienced a boom in the industry of free dating apps, especially Tinder. Tinder spread like wildfire within the first couple months it was on the market. CEOs, however, believe that the industry of free dating apps will soon die out. They believe that these free dating apps have been created for the sole intention of generating consumer interest. Interestingly enough, they view this an opportunity for their own dating websites rather than a threat.
Victoria Milan’s CEO, Sigurd Vedal, doesn’t believe in the long-term staying power of apps free to the public:
"Tinder and other free apps still have to make money in order to change the business. Right now the hype is huge, but it’s not followed by money. A business can’t live on investor money only."
C-dates Heinz Laumann also draws on the obvious:
“All these sites will eventually start charging. We can see this with Tinder starting paid for Premium services or Plenty of Fish doing the same thing. There are lots of free sites and applications out there trying to grab market share, but eventually the funding will come to a halt. It’s great that people are doing this and we can learn from the innovations that come with it, but in the end most dating sites cannot function on advertising revenues alone.”
Be2’s CEO, Carsten Bölz shares his opinion of Tinder:
“To my eyes Tinder is targeting a totally different segment of the market and is not a direct competitor. I am focused on providing a high value service to cater for a particular set of needs. My customers are a very different type of people to those being served by Tinder. If anything Tinder looks like a positive for the whole industry and we can be happy about the number of new users that Tinder is bringing to online dating for the first time."
Chapter 7: Women will conquer the world of online dating
Picture: Women are in control when it comes to online dating
“A strong trend we are observing now is connected to ongoing female emancipation. We are seeing more and more women grabbing what they want and need. They are pickier and not afraid to make bold decisions or say no. This has also caused men’s behaviour to change. Men have realised that they are not going to impress women easily. Thanks to that there is more value for everyone.” - Sigurd Vedal, CEO of Victoria Milan
It seems that women everywhere have developed a new-found confidence in the world of dating. This may be due to a sparked interest in feminism, which goes against any sort of rude behavior, especially that which happens online.
It seems that the most sexually offensive messages from men to women are shared over platforms like Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Women are working to make the harrassment they experience as viral as possible in an effort to raise awareness and stand up for their gender. Whether or not their efforts will amount to anything remains to be seen.
Images source: Eugenio Marongiu - Fotolia.com; Voyagerix - Fotolia.com; Jelena Stellaard, Tinder Blog