Online dating sites are big business.
Years ago you would more than likely have met your future partner face to face at some social event whereas nowadays there is a high chance that you’ll meet your future husband or wife on the internet.
The online dating industry is also great at segmenting the market. In addition to the more mainstream sites such as match.com and friendfinder.com there are more niche dating sites out there including for example:
tallfriends.com – where as the name suggests, you can meet tall people;
farmersonly.com – to meet people that work in the farming industry;
meetingmillionaires.com – where yes, they do check your wealth when you join up, and
womenbehindbars.com – where you can meet women that are currently in jail (this has the added advantage of not having to pay for an expensive meal on your first date).
One particular dating site in America called Positive Singles has been in the news for the wrong reasons recently.
The market segment that it is aiming for is people who have sexually transmitted infections and who want to meet potential partners who have the same infections.
Understandably, people who sign up to the site are keen to keep their situation confidential and don’t want their details made public. Unfortunately for some of the members of the site their images and certain information were made public by Successful Match, the company that ran PositiveSingles.com.
The end result was that some of these individuals took the company to court claiming that they were misled about their privacy when they joined the site and a jury has just ordered the dating company to pay $1.5m in compensation and $15m in damages to one particular individual.
So in summary, from a business point of view the company was pretty good at segmentation techniques but not very good about maintaining privacy policies.
And whilst the one gentleman that complained about his details being released was no doubt very upset, hopefully the $16.5m he received as a result of the breech of confidentiality is making it easier for him to find a girlfriend and in fact he may well be switching from the positivesingles.com site to the meetingmillionaires.com site.