We’d like to consider this topic from afar. Or to be precise, from the moment the Internet was born. The basic principles by which the Internet now works were laid down relatively recently — in 1969. The official birthday of the Internet is October 29, 1969, when a message with only two characters — “LO” — was sent between two ARPANET nodes, which were a distance of 640 kilometers apart. Two years later, the first program for sending emails appeared. And in the seventies, there were already Internet bulletin boards, newsgroups, and new data transfer protocols.
From this moment, the Internet began its rapid development and gradual penetration into the lives of ordinary people around the world. It became a unique communication tool, and every year more and more new users joined the network. The emergence of dating sites on the Internet was only a matter of time, although the first such platform existed before the Internet did…
Match: the first dating service in history
The first computer dating service, Match, was created by Harvard University students back in 1965. As you already know, the Internet did not yet exist at that time. Users simply received a questionnaire, answered a series of questions, after which the data was entered into the system and it produced a list of potential matches from other participants. All of this worked offline and using Match at that time cost $3.
The Match service existed in this form until 1993. It was in this year that it radically reformatted and went online. That’s how Match.com was born as the first dating site in history. But at that time, only a few people in the world had access to the Internet, and even then only in the larger cities of developed countries. Match.com really took off in the 2000s.
In 2004, more than 42 million people have registered on Match.com already, and the number of active users exceeded 15 million. In the same year, the site got into the Guinness Book of Records.
Seeing the success of Match.com, other developers rushed to create their own alternatives. And if some only blindly copied its functionality, others tried to bring something new. But there were others still — those who decided to radically change the very principles of online dating. And they succeeded!
Omegle and Chatroulette — the video chats that changed everything
Nowadays video chatting with strangers has become quite common and a worthy alternative to dating sites. But until 2009, nothing like this simply existed.
The first chat roulette, Omegle, was launched on March 25, 2009, by a young American called Leif K-Brooks. At that time there was no video chat function, only text. But the first video chat roulette was the Chatroulette website, developed by a Russian schoolboy Andrei Ternovsky and launched in November of the same year.
At that time, both sites made a real revolution in the field of online dating and attracted millions of users around the world. But soon they faced a number of problems:
- The churn of users is due to poor moderation and an abundance of inadequate people on the site.
- Lack of understanding in which direction to develop further.
- Unwillingness of developers to evolve and offer users something new.
As a result, Omegle and Chatroulette lost their audience as quickly as they gained it. But new online video chats, which began to appear actively on the Web, attracted users with completely new solutions. For example, the Chatrandom website offered members the chance to use gender and geographic filters, as well as a unique feature at that time — themed chat rooms, in which you can communicate simultaneously with a group of like-minded people. Another popular Omegle alternative is VideoChatOmegle. The website uses a unique gender filter and has top-class moderation and customer support. Plus VideoChatOmegle uses advanced technical solutions, thanks to which the site and applications work flawlessly.
The main competitors for Match.com today
After 2010, the real peak of dating platforms began. Millions of people began to look for a match for themselves on sites and applications, and dating services became a truly massive phenomenon. Among the most interesting sites of that time, we can identify the following:
- Tinder — a popular (about 400 million users), partially paid mobile application that has been operating since 2012 and remains one of the most popular in the world today. It was Tinder that popularized the “swipe” function, allowing you to choose whether you like a person or not with one swipe. And if your attractions coincide, you can start communication.
- Badoo — a popular dating social network with over 510 million registered users. The main feature of the application is the ability to immediately indicate why you are looking for new acquaintances — friendship or relationship. In 2017, the developers implemented a slightly strange but interesting feature — search for celebrity doubles. Since June 2021, you can’t take screenshots of message chains or save photos from chats in Badoo. This was done to protect personal data.
- Bumble — was originally a classic dating site that later became a more versatile platform. For example, there is a Bumble Bizz section where you can search for jobs, employees, and mentors. And for people who have moved to another city, the Bumble BFF section is available, which makes it easier to find new friends near you.
Among other things, many niche dating sites have emerged for narrow user groups. For example, the vegetarian site Veggly, the dating platform for farmers, Farmers Only, or 3nder — “Tinder for three”. So today absolutely anyone can find the ideal platform for themselves, regardless of their interests, preferences, status, and even eccentricities.
How the dating industry changed the world
According to recent surveys of a number of companies, more than 60% of modern people consider online dating to be a positive trend. They confirm that online dating opens up many more opportunities for a person to search for a soulmate than trying to meet offline. Only 28% of people are convinced that online dating is a waste of time or an extreme measure for those who are completely desperate.
Of course, such statistics were not always like this. For example, in 2005, the Pew Research Center published research in which it found that only 44% of people consider online dating a positive phenomenon. Exactly ten years later, the research was repeated. And in 2015, 59% of those surveyed expressed support for online dating.
Today, more than 17% of all marriages in the world begin with online dating. This number continues to grow. And given that online dating is experiencing a new wave of popularity right now due to the coronavirus and quarantine restrictions, in the coming years we will no doubt see a meteoric rise in the number of “online marriages”. There may be those who disagree, but we are convinced that this is a positive trend for all of us.