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Growth of Online Dating Industry Results in Competitive Battle

(December 4, 2003) The online dating industry is growing by nearly $100 million a year, resulting in a competitive battle of online dating services, where new services are popping up virtually weekly. A study by Jupiter Research found that in 2002, users spent $228 million for online dating services. By the end of 2003, that amount is projected to grow to $313 million.

“The growth of the online dating industry is phenomenal,” says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine. “The industry is so huge now that it’s hard to keep up with. We’re hearing of new services being formed on a daily basis.”

Tracy says that some new online dating services are trying to become extremely targeted in dating categories, in order to get a piece of the pie.

“There are online dating sites now dedicated specifically to cat lovers, dog lovers, vegetarians, and even specific religions,” says Tracy. “Companies like USA Interactive, which runs, are trying to stay competitive not only by introducing new services, but also by gobbling up smaller dating sites.”

In April 2003, USA Interactive acquired dating services Udate and Kiss to add to its online dating portfolio.

“I think people would be surprised at how many dating services are run by one company,” continues Tracy. “For example, MatchNet runs 10 online dating services, including American Singles. It’s obvious that there’s still a lot of money to be made in this industry.”

According to MarketRange, most people using online dating services “are between the ages of 20 and 45 years old. They are professionals and non-professionals alike and have a wide range of interests and tastes. A wide range of these users are highly educated and fall into the upper levels of average household income.”

Online dating is one of the fastest growing segments of the Internet. Services that don’t evolve and take user suggestions seriously may easily find a new dating service taking a slice of their pie.

As the online dating industry grows, users need to also be alert to the dangers and scams. Online Dating Magazine has come across several scams from people posting profiles in an attempt to get you to give them your email address so they can SPAM you. Other people post fake photos and profiles from other countries in an attempt to form a “relationship” with the user then ask them for money to “visit”.

Online Dating Magazine cautions users to always be guarded in their online dating adventures. As the industry becomes more accepted as a viable means to find that special someone, there are always those who will use it for unscrupulous purposes.

“When used right, online dating is an amazing way to meet quality individuals that a person would never be able to find on their own,” says Tracy. “Even I’ve met nine people from online dating and they’ve all been really neat and incredible people. It’s nice to see that online dating has become a mainstream way to eventually find a more compatible soul mate.”

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