Facebook takes Dr. Phil’s recommendation and gets cozy with Match.com…
“Match.com has created an application on Facebook that allows consumers to use its dating service directly through the social networking site…”
London — Match.com is working hard to connect its network of over 15 million users is partnering with social networking giant Facebook to launch a “Little Black Book” dating application.
The company is going to launch two new features this week which would let the users of both the services interact with each other.
The Little Black Book application launches on Facebook on 27 December and matches single Facebookers together on a pay-per-contact basis rather than a subscription model.
The application can be downloaded for free and users can then create a profile, which includes details such as age and location.
Users can add details about their interests, which are then used to match the love-seekers up with other Little Black Book users and Match.com members.
Potential matches are displayed in a gallery within the application and users can highlight the individuals that they are interested in. The application uses these preferences to display new matches with similar criteria in the future.
To communicate with potential matches, users must purchase a “key” for 69p to gain access to each other. Once unlocked, both users can communicate back and forth within the application for as long and as often as they want.
Another feature being implemented is called “Match My Friends.” This feature allows a Match.com Facebook users friends and family to create a profile of the person, to help let other prospective dates know more about them.
“The feature is only usable if the Facebook user who the profile is about gives consent.”
Match.com general manager Craig Wax spoke on these new developments: “There are a lot of people out there who are interested in online dating and just need that extra push, if you will. Both features are looking at the social nature of the Internet as it is today.”
Fortunately, Facebook’s approach with Match.com seems less nosy and more of cozy. Both companies are working to make this service unobtrusive, but helpful. Users must sign up for the service. After signing up, the service allows them to search profiles of Facebook users and non-Facebook users who want to date someone. It will also send daily profiles to the user.
The move comes as analysts argue free social networking sites pose a major threat to subscription services like Match. Some dating services have already exited the market as sites like Facebook and MySpace rapidly grow their non-paying audiences keen to make new cyberfriends. Others matchmakers have sought to become more like networking sites by introducing chat functions and video clips.
But dating sites argue the social networking phenomenon has actually helped them grow their overall audience by breaking down people’s inhibitions about meeting online.
Jason Stockwood, managing director of UK Match.com, said: “Our exciting new Little Black Book application is consistent with our strategy of innovation through customer insight.”
“As the market leader, our biggest strategic challenge is to grow the category and our experience tells us that social net-workers have a high propensity to try online dating, which makes this a natural move for us.”
Match.com shares many of the same characteristics as a social network; both are about bringing people together. Sites like Facebook are great at helping people manage their existing relationship networks, but Match.com helps people expand these, by meeting new people with an interest in forming romantic relationships.
The application also seeks to build on evidence showing friends’s opinions play a key role in dating, something at the core of TV presenter Sarah Beeny’s Mysinglefriend.com. That site allows users to sign up single friends.
New York-based agency hanft raboy and partners (HRP) has developed a range of TV executions for the site introducing two new characters Hope and Fate, which are used to motivate people to seek love and not just wait around for it to find them. It carries Match.com’s longstanding strap-line ‘Make love happen’.
Facebook currently has its own dating application called “Are you free tonight?”
Match’s announcement follows new research last week showing the UK leads Europe in using social networking sites. UK adults go on social networking sites an average 23 times a month and spend longer on them than their European neighbors — an average 5.3 hours a month, according to media regulator Ofcom.
Always an online dating industry stalwart, Match.com has received many glowing recommendations and is even endorsed by Dr. Phil, of talk show infamy. The web firm is Dallas based and is part of Barry Diller’s New York based InterActiveCorp conglomerate, which also owns Evite, Ask.com and Citysearch.
The partnership between Match.com and Facebook is perhaps the most significant move for the social network since its recent establishment of a partnership with Microsoft. Facebook continues to have some hiccups, but continues to show exemplary growth and move along in its goal of social network domination.
Match.com recently appointed Abbie Cranage from Yahoo! to succeed Sarah Drew as UK marketing and partnerships manager.
The company hopes that its partnership with the fast growing Facebook will help its business reach even more users.
“The new partnership coincides with a planned £2 million marketing investment by the dating website during the first quarter of 2008.”