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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The business of online dating is advancing

I remember the stigma that used to be attached with finding a date online. Admitting you met someone on match.com or eharmony.com was taboo. Now though, it seems commonplace, and an efficient way to meet someone. I met a few guys that way, and though they turned out to be horror stories for me, I have a couple friends who have gotten married from people they’ve met online. Do you remember the concept of speed dating? It’s a dating party where you meet a bunch of people for a set period of time and then determine whether or not you want to go out on a real date with the person. A company called 8 minute dating is one of the leaders in this concept.

What if you don’t want to go to the party, though, and just want to meet someone online quickly? There’s a company called WooMe, that allows users to meet, see and hear people in one minute conversations online through their webcam. Apparently the online dating business is worth over a $1 billion worldwide. This company is backed by serious investors and managers with lots of experience. On June 12 of this year, they secured another $12.5 million in funding. Additionally, this company has announced it’s not just a dating site, but a distributor of video introduction software that can be used to introduce job interviewees, nannies, travel companions, etc. WooMe is free to users, but eventually premium charges will be applied to certain features.

To use the site, you don’t have to fill out a bunch of forms. All you do is create a profile and either join or create a session in which members can chit chat, then use video to introduce yourself to other members. The site’s target demographic is 18-24 year olds who are interested in meeting new people. The site’s traffic has been doubling monthly since it started in 2006.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

woome sounds very cool, i've always wanted to extend the speed dating concept to the web, broaden its applications.

Mommy Meryl said...

Rich & I actually met on line - years ago when it was considered kinda odd and atypical. . .in 1993! They didn't even have IM or chat back then - just bulletin boards and email!!!

Theresa said...

8 minutes! I tried 4 minute dating, and THAT was too long. If you know in 5 seconds the guys is not someone you want to exchange more than 2 words with, 8 minutes would be painful.

I should email you the article I wrote on speed dating for a magazine. It was painful, worse than online. If some people have met that way, great, but it's few and far between considering the amount of online dating that goes on. It's a poor way to meet people, because there is no point of reference. For me it's always felt like an interview or a painful dinner to get through, rather than an enjoyable time.