Barry Diller Speaks, Match.com

Barry Diller Speaks on Social Networking and Match.com

“On social networking: Match.com is our play in social networking…a pure social network site–not that they are of value–no one has yet proved it is the easiest advertising medium. Pure social network is an upgrade from the princess telephone teenagers used to talk on for hours and hours. I do think, however, it is a great promotional vehicle.
Match.com got into trouble because it added social networking, that flirting element and that friend thing. We put all these bells and whistles on the service, and confused our audience…now we have had a turn around. ”

I think that last line will give many in the industry pause.   Match.com moves away from social networking,  while the rest of the industry tries to find a way to embrace it?

33 Responses to “Barry Diller Speaks, Match.com”

  1. Neal Says:

    This is an interesting topic. I just attended Community Next at Stanford this weekend (good job with the panel speaking Markus) … and I listened to several people talk about how to build and grow a social website. Over the course of the day I finally got it … dating sites are *NOT* social websites. In just about every meaningful way discussed (about how to promote and build a social website) … dating sites are just the opposite. For example – people want privacy in dating, they don’t want to tell their friends to come and join. And, successful use of the tool is not predicated on inviting and making friends, its meeting new people through the tool. And, people aren’t there to network and learn and grow over a particular topic or concept … again, they’re only only their (anonymously) to meet someone to go on a date with. Dating is a one-to-one relationship inherently, not a one-to-many relaitionship. And thereby the usage concept and how you would promote it is inherenty different.

    So yeah – I think Berry Dillar was speaking wisdom here. And I also think the recent idea to make iDate more of a social event (instead of just dating) will prove to be a mistake!

  2. Dan and Jennifer Says:

    Hey Markus,

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I think Match.com was right on to add more of what people are expecting to see these days – more ways to communicate and intermingle with people.

    The Match.com audience is becoming familiar with MySpace and the other social networking sites – they expect that type of functionality.

    Even on a dating site, the more ways people have to communicate, mingle, wink, add “friends”, the better they’ll be able to break the ice and meet more people. They’re not all looking for sex right off the bat. It’s a connection with a person, many people, etc. which often takes time and many teasers and contacts to grow.🙂

    Have an awesome day!
    Dan

  3. timothy Says:

    Great thread. (Full disclosure: Jangl powers Match.com’s matchTalk service, which allows two prospective daters to talk on their phones (without revealing their private information) prior to meeting. Safety and security indeed.

    Neal, I personally think you’re pretty much correct. Dating sites are not social websites because one individual is seeking one individual, not many (theoretically). However, social networking sites ARE, in part, dating sites — one to many AND one to one. Something to chew on.

    Dan and Jennifer, I think you nail it. Putting voice connections into any service helps people graduate comfortably to a better level of understanding. Are you really, truly gonna date someone without ever having spoken to them on the phone? And are you really gonna give an online contact your phone number, especially in a dating environment? Not if you’re sane.

    Good discussions.

    http://timothyjohnson.blogspot.com/2007/02/markus-mark-and-jangl-community-next.html

  4. Neal Says:

    > “However, social networking sites ARE, in part, dating sites — one to many AND one to one. Something to chew on.”

    Timothy – I can agree with your point on a macro level … but I’d argue that the people who invite their friends to join in are not the same people looking for dates on those same networks. I bet that is the case for the most part anyway. I think we are talking about 2 different usage patterns with minimal overlap. And, to effectively speak to the dating perrogative means excluding the one-to-many usage pattern. To speak to the one-to-many perrogative probably results in lower dating conversion rates due to a more obscured marketing message and value proposition- but you’re right .. if the network is popular enough (aka myspace) it will still happen anyway. There are some ppl that see this as free online dating (don’t know about plentyoffish, okcupid, eromance.com, etc) … and also some people who don’t want to join a dating site because of what it stands for. But I think these are a generally younger demographic. The demographic who you could ever convert to paying dating site users … would probably just prefer a dating site because they value their time and are mature enough to admit their perrogative despite the embarassment. Kinda like buying condoms at drug store.😉

  5. David Evans Says:

    Princess phones, lol. Match didn’t get in trouble for adding social networking, they never promoted the feature and the jump from “I’m single” to “I’m taken” wasn’t as smooth as it should have been. It was another in a long line of here today gone tomorrow features Match has experimented with over the years. At least they kill off what’s not working. More at my blog.

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  14. devlet hastaneleri Says:

    no one has yet proved it is the easiest advertising medium. Pure social network is an upgrade from the princess telephone teenagers used to talk on for hours and hours. I do think, however, it is a great promotional vehicle

  15. plastik Says:

    nto trouble because it added social networking, that flirting element and that friend thing. We put all these bells and whistles on the service, and confused our audience…now we have had a turn around

  16. yer kaplamasi Says:

    Dating is a one-to-one relationship inherently, not a one-to-many relaitionship. And thereby the usage concept and how you would promote it is inherenty different

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  18. bad-accessoires Says:

    Dating is a one-to-one relationship inherently, not a one-to-many relaitionship. And thereby the usage concept and how you would promote it is inherenty different.

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  20. aluminyum Says:

    Dating is a one-to-one relationship inherently, not a one-to-many relaitionship. And thereby the usage concept and how you would promote it is inherenty different

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  22. rehau Says:

    got into trouble because it added social networking, that flirting element and that friend thing. We put all these bells and whistles on the service, and confused our audience…now we have had a turn around

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