Online Dating: 2016 Sucked for Singletons

Negative trends marred the dating scene for singles, as well as app investors, but more selective processes could save the day.

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Finding a partner is a new year’s resolution for many. Indeed the first week in January is the busiest time for online dating. But will 2016’s woes have scared everyone away?

Too many fish in the sea: Quantity over quality

The option to talk to lots of people online means there is a general apathy surrounding conversations. As a result, daters are ghosting, a trend whereby someone cuts off all communication and disappears from the dialogue. It seems now we are all taking tips from the Darcy school of dating and guilty of an unsocial “disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity”. We are spoiled for choice and unless someone is astoundingly funny, we will just talk to another person. Michelle Jacoby, owner of DC Matchmaking and Coaching, says that when “human beings are offered many choices, they’re actually less likely to make a decision or selection”.

Expense spelling the death of dating?

Dates are expensive. Both sides can invest a lot of dough in deciding, over dinner and drinks, whether they actually like their date. “Pre-qualifying” is the current screening system for those about to embark on a date. This internet stalking saves unwise investments of time and money.

Technology fatigue

Apps have done much to remove the stigma of online dating for millennials. But now daters are nostalgic for the human connection of the past. Julie Spira, founder of CyberDatingExpert.com, “says she believes that 2017 will see more of a push for people to meet in real life.”

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Niche apps: Positive developments

All this negativity has been channelled into a new wave of niche apps so that people can specialize fast and not waste time talking to those they don’t have enough in common with.

Jiayuan.com (NASDAQ:DATE) is a Chinese online dating platform. The company has three segments; firstly, online services, secondly, personalized matchmaking, and thirdly, events like dance parties and speed-dating.

Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) cater for many tastes. Whether you’re a democrat, republican, senior, single parent, marriage-minded or looking to meet Indian singles in your area, Match Group have you covered.

MeetMe (NASDAQ:MEET) is a social media technology company emphasizing connections, be they friendly or romantic. Year-to-date they already experienced a 7.51 percent increase, proving the desire to stave off loneliness in the first cold days of the new year.

But as they say, opposites attract, so traditional apps may have life in them yet. Tinder is also owned by Match Group. Jonathan Badeen, chief strategy officer at Tinder, gave his 2017 thoughts to Bloomberg Technology’s newsletter and likens the app to “shopping for personalities”, either different or the same.

Investor takeaway

According to Match Group, 1 in 3 relationships originate on a dating product. These results mean there is much demand and therefore investing in the arena could be a perfect fit for investors. There are private companies that have apps operating on Android and iOS, so Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are appropriate investment opportunities here. There are startups that may IPO. Investors can invest in public companies, although this area is dominated by Match Group. With a market cap of 4.77 billion, they have the monopoly and include brands like OkCupid within their portfolio.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Technology for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Emma Harwood, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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