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Online Dating Magazine > Online Dating Industry > History > LavaLife History

History of LavaLife
by OnlinDatingMagazine.com

Company: LavaLife
Startup in Online Dating: 1997
Private/Public: Private
Parent Company: None
Employees: 320
Revenue: $90 million annually

History of LavaLife
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):

January 18, 1998
"5926 new members in the past 10 days!"

January 25, 1999
"Over 150,000 people have become a member of one of webpersonals' three communities, and this number has grown by 9445 in the past 10 days."

March 1, 2001
"42,393 new members have joined in the last 10 days!"

The below image, from February 2000, gives you a look back of what would later become LavaLife.




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