Yes, the entire 2009 showed big paid sites with worldwide less traffic than 1 year ago or decaying in traffic.
It is not due to economic downturn or the traction of social networking sites.
Social networks of the “Western World” – except Facebook- : MySpace, Hi5, Friendster, FriendFinder, Bebo, Fotolog, Tuenti , Classmates, FriendsReunited, Tribe, Ning, Orkut, Multiply, MeetUp, and others are in decadence, with less traffic than 1 year ago or decaying in traffic because Facebook are killing them.
It is not due to the traction of Facebook.
With over worldwide 400 million registered users but only 200 million monthly users, Facebook grow stopped. For every anxious new user entering Facebook, there is a tired old user leaving Facebook. Facebook’s traffic is steady, not growing any more.
It is a new phenomenon. Daters had understood that the entire Online Dating Industry for serious daters in 1st World Countries is a HOAX, performing as a Big Online Casino.
Daters got tired of being scammed with “automatic renewal” of their subscriptions and other “credit-card billing trickery”. They decided to “expel the scolex” of the “attracting, converting and retaining marketing parasites”
Match, Chemistry, True, eHarmony, PerfectMatch, Be2, Parship, Meetic and other paid sites need to wake up and innovate. Or die and leave room for new opportunities.
Every week 65,000 males in the US alone look to dating sites for the very first time.
Very few people EVER get “conned” more than once with these things.
The thing is… there is always a massive supply of new people.
People only get scammed with auto renewal once, dating sites do, and always have targetted first time daters – people with no experience of scams, and too embarrassed to ask friends about the whole thing.
They fall for the dating thing again and again.
No one targets savvy experienced daters – but that doesn’t mean their arent tens of thousands of other targets out there.
[…] have to stay up and hopefully growing, like a man’s member. But I locate this page called the Plenty of Fish Blog and it tells me the numbers are falling. I know about the free dating site with that name, and this […]
Why join POF when FB is the biggest social network? Because FB isn’t for meeting people. Look at how you add friends: you import your email contacts. They’re people you already know.
POF is about meeting new people.
POF and FB are designed around opposite concepts and serve different purposes.
How does FB make it easy to add people you don’t already know through work, school or through friends? It doesn’t. Most people, I’ll guess, have their profiles set to “friends only”. Privacy is one of the top topics among people on FB. No one wants to have strangers looking through their profiles.
So you’re left with FB apps to jump start any new connections: AreYouInterested or HotOrNot or any other dating type apps.
With the behavior of other app makers in recent times (think Scamville), why would I trust an FB app maker over POF? I wouldn’t. POF lets me input basic info and I have a sense of security / trust with Markus. I don’t know the guy or anything, but I’d trust him over any slimy app makers, any day. My FB data, much like most users’, is rich: real, up to date and valuable. By not installing any crappy apps, I’m able to control in some way how my personal data is shared.
Wait a minute…doesn’t PoF make their money by referrals to the paid sites, which are now experiencing lower traffic…
Sorry, Markus. The ONLY reason you’re getting more traffic is because you’re FREE and have a strong brand; however, your cash flow is from the paid sites and that means you’re going to see lower revenue eventually…
increased traffic won’t equate to higher revenue if you’re making your revenue from the sites that are seeing diminished revenue…sure, you could say that these paid sites will beef up their referrals from PoF, but eventually people will STOP paying for online dating…
PoF business model is not sustainable… at least where you get $$$ from referrals…
i’ve heard PoF has introduced advertisements, but i wouldn’t know as i use Firefox and it zaps all the ads…
The revenue WAS generated through ad sense, meaning the ads were not just other dating sites. People will always advertise products to get them to the consumers, that is how it was done.
Now POF has it’s own advertising platform, meaning the advertisers directly pay markus, increasing his profits. The advertiser can advertise almost anything, and target the users that would most likely be interested in their product. Making money from ads is very sustainable, and long term.
What the heck is going on with the appearance of POF? (Feb 12, 2010). The text scrolls right off the screen. Do I have to scroll right-and-left in order to read someones “About me” section now? It’s a mess!
I think the trend is a combination of, the intro of the new social network sites such as facebook ect. This may have “stolen” some of the traffic from the dating sites.
Good post.. Though I’m more in to the real game, if you have the same interest you should definitely check out my site..
Congrats Markus on all your success. Any advice to a fellow web developer that is trying to launch a website just for locals? Do you think I should offer an online registration for dating or let the big guys do this?
I went on your website: plentyoffish.com….I see no advertising…none!
I was going to use you and your business to show a client what was possible with hard work and ….aaaaack! What happened? It looks like you have no Google Adsense and no other advertising on there.
Thank you, Nan
Hey Markus Wot happened to your 13Feb post ‘OKCupid’s Profile myths post is not true’? From Google Reader the link leads to a 303 error page now? Did they tell you to remove it or something? Pity good to have a bit of challenge to the consensus.
I don’t like Facebook there is privacy concerns. The nice thing about POF is that your privacy is pretty much protected. Your real name won’t be splattered all over the internet. Your photos will be deleted when you delete them. There are many reasons why POF popular.
What POF lacks is long term email storage, perhaps they can offer such a service for a small fee or it can be an added feature to “serious members”?
I think suggesting that facebook is stealing paid traffic is a bit naive. When you actually look at what goes on within FB you will notice that most of it still just advertising with links to paid dating and sex sites that require registration with a credit card. So maybe you’re just looking in the wrong places.
I’m not saying there’s no value in what you say but sites like MSN have been around for years so why now would they suddenly start having a huge effect on paid dating sites.
Also the comment about FB traffic and user numbers is totally wrong. It is consistently increasing. Not because of free dating opportunities but because of free marketing, an open network and very cheap advertising.
It’s a fact that FB now gets more traffic than Google and Google openly admits that FB is the only opposition they truly fear. Couple that with cheap paid advertising and FB really is a force to be reckoned with.
But not for free dating opportunities…they exist no more at facebook than they do anywhere else.
Perhaps I should clarify further what I said about “free dating opportunities” on Facebook.
The supposed free dating is generally just marketing by people masquerading as teenagers (or genuine teenagers) who then send you to a website that requires age verification with a credit card. Nothing has really changed just different sites using different techniques to achieve the same results.
How do I know this? Because I do it myself and it works. Personally I do quite nicely out of it so I comment from experience and a fairly healthy bank balance.
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I think Marcus was a genius. He set the bar and made a great site that shows that with a little luck and a lot of hard work anything can be done. We have used his business plan and have grown 150% in the last month. I don’t think the free internet model is dead just yet.
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[…] Yet, week after week, millions of people visit the website. Last week, it was the 20th most visited site in Canada. Frind’s blog says that although the online dating industry is shrinking, Plenty Of Fish continues to grow. […]
POF is a great innovator and well liked in the dating circle. Sure it is simple in design – but then again so is Craigslist. He is on to something here and really the rush to FB is over. Facebook is not a meeting spot – it’s a place to vent and talk about what color underwear you have on.
Hey Marcus what are you doing about the serial killer on your fish site that has been killing women. How is it that its not all over the place yet. Your system sucks and it can not stay free forever. You will be forced to charge a fee to stop these maniacs from killing again. I recommend a paid service. Marcus is only init for the money the ads provide for him. I have met marcus in person years back and he really needs to do something before he finds himself in a bad place.
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently ruled that a business must use its domain name to sell goods or services in order to protect the name — even if a competitor starts to use the name after you registered the domain.
Match.com is buying out competitors and partnering with others, more so in 2010. I’m not sure how the stats are going to show this because of domain changes, closing of sites to USA traffic (Meetic) and “Powered By” operation changes. Also the chart is a little confusing. It looks like you are saying Sharp decline but I see only 1% change on the graph.
The market is getting crowded with dating site’s , white label dating company’s are opening all over the place and of course you have facebook taking over the world , damn you facebook and the time you have taken away from me !!!
Revenue is more interesting though then traffic. Some sites are a lot smaller then POF, but have more revenue. Pageviews and reach is not a good indicator for how good a business performs. I don’t know the precise numbers, but still Match.com earns more then POF.
it’s hard to get chat line traffic to a dating site or a chat line site. You must spend a lot of money on advertising. Can you please update the stats graph? I remember plentyoffish was aggressively advertising phone chat line services a year or so ago.
It’s interesting to see how the stats apply not only to dating websites, but to lots of other websites that are also aimed at discretionary spending in the consumer market. I suppose the amount of traffic for any given site really would depend on how much SEO work one did on their site plus the total number of searches available, so if the total searches go down then individual webmasters need to work even harder to generate the same amount of hits. How this translates to actual sales, though, is yet another factor that makes it all the more difficult to predict how much doing all of this is actually worth to you or I.
Only on POF because it’s free. Have found all dating sites the same. Lots of time, minimum results. I just don’t have that kind of time to donate. POF should make money from the ads because it is free to members, makes perfect sense. However, not all of the ads there are from dating sites. In fact, most I’ve seen are not, more to do with health, exercise, weight loss, products etc. So the impact of the declining ads from the fall of other dating sites shouldn’t even ripple the surface waters. Hang in there, Markus. Also, if there really is a serial killer out there targeting POF women, I would like to know about it, please provide news reports from actual newspapers or reputable big name TV news programs? Could you not assume all dating sites vulnerable to any kind of crime since it is an unavoidable element of online presence, period. Dating site or otherwise. Anything on the internet can be faked out/doctored. But as a woman, I am very interested to hear/read about this because I found it interesting you said this about a serial killer without providing any official, actual supporting data whatsoever. If safety of women is really your concern and not just bashing POF which could, realistically in the context of your claim, be any dating site out there on the WWW, why not provide us with some evidence for our own edification and safety?
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Tiered pricing schemes and automated renewal are the primary cause for lonely men. What man wants to pass politics, psychology, and religion everytime it’s been too long and he just wants a little action? I might not find the one and only my whole life, do I really have to pretend that’s what I am looking for in absolutely every case, simply because I want a keep little class? And what if I decide to not be classy right now and be classy later? Why don’t we get the right to take that back? Is it so bad that privation might force someone to Mrs. right now, instead of Ms. right? Is it so wrong to see sex as the need it is, instead of a luxury or a guilty pleasure. People are tired of being told that they’ve got to have every problem in their lives solved to be deserving of social and sexual intimacy. People deserve that no matter what the circumstances.