Making the Match: Trends in Online Dating Sites

Includes: AABA, IAC
by: Compete

The holiday season is supposed to be a time when people come together. But for lonely singles, it can also highlight the fact that they are, well, lonely and single. Whether it’s for a New Years date, a resolution to finally find a soul mate, or even pressure from family to settle down, online dating services see a ramping up of activity, starting around Christmas. How does this trend look, and what does it mean for the big players in the industry?

The chart below ranks online dating services by member activity, which was described in more detail last month. The site rankings are relatively unchanged from last month. However, in general Member activity increased.


  • IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) owned moved up one spot in rank. While it’s not shown in this chart, total traffic to the site grew more than 50% from November to December, which could have resulted in new membership.
  • Yahoo Personals (YHOO) member visits increased by 13% from November to December, capturing the top spot, and the biggest change from the previous month.
  • eHarmony member activity actually declined from November. Perhaps their compatibility service is too good at finding matches?
  • Sticking with it’s provocative ad campaign on social networking sites, True still hasn’t been able to convert its heavy traffic (nearly no change from the previous month) into member activity.
  • onlinedating_chart2

    How big was the holiday ramp up this year? Looking at total weekly traffic to mainstream dating sites, it’s apparent that interest in online dating services starts to grow right around Christmas. These sites saw about a 13% change in visitors and visits (a proxy for activity) since the week of the December 10th.

    ‘Tis the season to be in a relationship I guess.