In 1996, LavaLife– formerly known as the Interactive Media Group (Canada) – bought the URL Webpersonals.com where it started a free online dating service in 1997. In July, 2001, www.lavalife.com was launched and Webpersonals.com, which was now charging for memberships, was combined into the new service.
LavaLife's foray into online dating was profitable within its first five years. The company says, “this was accomplished by marrying marketing insight and leading-edge technology. We kept expanding and refining our services, adding new services to our mix, and expanding our market coverage across the US, Canada, and Australia.”
LavaLife is not just an online dating service. It has also had success in offering telephone services in over 65 markets. It uses what it calls “Interactive Voice Response (IVR)” telephone technology to help singles come together through a voice medium.
One change LavaLife's online dating service had resisted for a long time was moving from a credit system to a monthly system, like the majority of the industry. LavaLife users used to pay a “per transaction” fee. Want to email someone? Pay “six credits” and you can email that one person unlimited. Want to chat with someone? You will have to pay a certain amount of credits per 20-minute session.
In 2007, LavaLife caved and switched from a credit system to a monthy fee.
LavaLife's Webpersonals.com used to keep track of how many new users signed up “in the last 10 days” and the stats paint a picture of how popular online dating sites were becoming. For example (factual quotes):
The below image, from February 2000, gives you a look back of what would later become LavaLife.
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