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Jdate, ChristianMingle, And Bumble Announce Expansions Abroad

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Singles in Europe and New Zealand just got a leg up in the romance game. Jdate, ChristianMingle, and Bumble - three of the biggest names in online dating - recently announced plans to expand their services abroad.

Spark Networks, parent company of Jdate and ChristianMingle, recently extended their services, languages, and local market support throughout Europe. Jdate is now available in German and Spanish, as well as English, Hebrew, and French. ChristianMingle is now available in French, Spanish, and German in addition to English. Both platforms will roll out Polish and Russian language support in the next few months.

Spark Networks attributes the expansions to user demand and says they are part of a broader initiative to further enable the global Jewish and Christian communities to try connect, communicate and find partners in their native language.

After Being Sued, Christian Mingle now Offering Same Sex Dating

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Gay Dating at Christian Mingle

Gay men and women are now allowed to search and meet through dating site Christian Mingle, one of the largest niche dating sites in the industry. The site opened its platform to gay users after settling a lawsuit that claimed that it violated California’s non-discrimination law on the basis of sexual orientation.

According to the conditions of the settlement, Spark Networks who own Christian Mingle among other dating sites, will change their homepages to allow users to specify if they are a man or a woman, and also if they are looking for men or women. While Spark also agreed to create a more comprehensive and tailored matching service for users seeking same sex relationships within the next two years, the dating site Christian Mingle as it exists for gay singles can be frustrating.

ChristianCafe.com Receives A Much-Needed Makeover

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Christian Café from 2010
Christian Café from 2010

After 17 years of connecting Christian singles, ChristianCafe.com has something of its own to be excited about. The site recently launched a brand new (and long overdue) look.

The makeover catapults ChristianCafe firmly into the 21st century. The site now works well on all devices, from the smallest mobile phone to the largest desktop screen. “It just became easier, faster, and super user-friendly to use ChristianCafe.com on a phone, mobile device, or tablets,” says the blog announcement. “And, because we are mobile responsive, when you’re on the move, ChristianCafe.com goes with you.”

Visitors, new users, and current users will all benefit from the redesign. A few highlights of the changes include:

Christian Café in 2016
Christian Café in 2016
  • Reorganized sign up pages that aim to make the registration process easier and faster
  • More dynamic pages that are easier to navigate and provide faster results
  • Mobile responsiveness that means the service can be used on the go
  • A better overall user experience for members

Another perk? ChristianCafe hopes for an influx of new users now that the service is mobile-friendly. Not only does that provide obvious benefits to the company, it’s also a plus for users - more new members means more choices for everyone on the site.

Although the facelift means ChristianCafe.com has undergone significant cosmetic changes, the core values that have made it successful remain the same. “Our goal is to help Christian singles to search and connect with their life partner/future spouse,” says the site, “and with our new look, it will change the way singles see Christian dating online.”

Looking forward, ChristianCafe says to expect new features and greater functionality to be implemented on an ongoing basis. Continuous efforts will be made to be the top-of-the-line dating destination for Christian singles.

If you’re ready to give it a shot, head over to the site and sign up for your free 10 day trial. The trial period allows prospective members full access to the site - from free searching, to free messaging, to free winks and IMs - making ChristianCafe.com the only Christian dating site to offer complete trial access.

ChristianCafe is one of the leading sites for connecting Christian singles online and the only major Christian dating service that’s actually Christian-owned. Founded in 1999, ChristianCafé has spawned thousands of success stories that can be found in its testimonials section. Read our review here.

JDate And ChristianMingle Are Getting Major Makeovers

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Christian Mingle

Usually makeovers come with the New Year and the soon-to-be-forgotten resolutions, but Spark Networks is starting early. The company has given its two most recognized brands, JDate and ChristianMingle, a head-to-toe refresh for the end of 2015.

Both brands have been redesigned inside and out. In addition to sleek new appearances, the sites have been updated with improved back-end platforms, new mobile-optimized features and easier-to-use functionality.

This is all part of Spark Networks' year-long strategic vision for boosting profits and subscriber engagement. Despite its strong legacy in the online dating business, Spark Networks had stalled while the rest of the industry modernized. With the relaunch of its two core brands, the company hopes to reposition itself once again as a leader in the niche dating world.

JDate

JDate is the first of the two legacy brands to debut the results of its makeover. Some of the updates and new product offerings include:

  • A cleaner, more streamlined user experience that simplifies interactions
  • A new “daily matches” feature that presents a curated collection of matches tailored to each member
  • An improved user experience for iPad/tablet users
  • An expanded mobile presence and improved mobile capabilities
  • A redesigned inbox to make interactions between users even easier

ChristianMingle has not yet debuted its renovation, but look for it in the coming weeks. Not only will it incorporate many of the features from the new JDate platform, it will also reposition the site as a more open, contemporary and diverse community based on the Christian faith and values.

After a year of ups and downs, this could be the breakthrough Spark Networks has been looking for. The company revealed a drop in year-on-year revenue and a net income loss of $822,000 for the quarter when it shared its Q3 2015 financial results. On the plus side, subscriber growth was on the uptick for the first time since Q1 2013 and Spark's mobile presence has expanded significantly this year.

“At the beginning of this year we set an aggressive plan to rebuild our two key brands – JDate and ChristianMingle – to become relevant again to our customers and drive fundamental change in business performance,” said Michael Egan, Chief Executive Officer of Spark Networks.

“It has been an exciting and successful year with tremendous growth and development momentum. The changes and upgrades we are debuting today are the first step to strengthening our portfolio to become more nimble and innovative, as we build valuable products and services for our members.”

For more information on these 2 dating services you can read our reviews of JDate and Christian Mingle.

Christian Crush Brings Together The Single And Faithful

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Christian Crush Dating Service

Having something in common is key to any successful relationship. Intimacy requires shared interests and values, which often come from religious beliefs. Enter Christian dating sites, which bring faith to the forefront in the search for love.

Niche, religion-based dating sites are a simple way to weed out those who don’t share the same fundamental values as you do, ultimately giving you a greater chance of compatibility and long-term relationship success (or, at the very least, something in common to discuss on your first date).

Christian Crush is an up-and-coming Christian dating site. Though relatively new, having only been around since 2011, Christian Crush is making a name for itself. The service offers a balance of personality-based and faith-based matching in order to create the most well-rounded experience for members.

What makes Christian Crush stand out against competition like ChristianMingle? These are a few of the reasons:

  • New CC users receive their first two weeks free
  • CC is the only Christian dating service that's Christian owned and operated
  • CC is the only Christian dating service developed by a Christian psychologist
  • CC is the only Biblical dating site using video profiles
  • CC is the only Christian personals site using a derivative of the Big Five personality assessment
  • Ten percent of all CC proceeds are tithed to local ministries

Christian Crush says its mission is to “provide the highest quality ministry on the web for Christians to connect and develop Godly, covenant based relationships.” In service of that goal, the company operates based on six core values that define its vision and inform its operations.

That's not to say that Christian Crush relies entirely on faith. The profile is composed of an interesting combination of religion and psychology. You'll find all the usual questions about appearance, education, politics and lifestyle, but also more specific questions about the role of religion in your life.

A detailed personality quiz offers further insight into Christian Crush members. Although it's 120 questions long, it only takes around 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire. The results are scored in accordance with a modified version of the Big Five personality assessment, which evaluates personality traits across the five categories of extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience.

Christian Crush is an innovative player in the religious dating game. It doesn't seem to follow a particular mold – it isn't secular, but it doesn't feel entirely Biblical either. Instead Christian Crush takes a new school approach to finding love based on faith, which could be exactly what it needs to claim the top spot in the Christian dating industry.

Spark Networks Reports Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results

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Spark Networks, owner of many special-interest online personals sites including ChristianMingle.com, JDate.com, and BlackSingles.com, has reported financial results for the third quarter ending on September 30, 2014.

It was a time of major transitions for the company. The majority of the Board was removed in July. The new Board was primarily focused on right-sizing the corporate cost structure and improving marketing efficiency, two goals which were, according to Executive Chairman Michael McConnell, largely accomplished. “Improved marketing efficiency at ChristianMingle drove subscriber acquisition costs ('SAC') in September that were less than subscriber lifetime value ('LTV') for the first time since January 2012,” he reports.

On the numbers front, Spark Networks presents the following highlights:

  • Contribution of $9.0 million, highest since Q1 2009
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $2.5 million, highest since Q1 2010
  • Average paying subscribers of 257,679, a sequential decline of 6%
  • Revenue of $15.0 million, a decrease of 14% compared to the year-ago period and a 5% decrease compared to the prior quarter

As you can see, it's a mixed bag. The drop in revenue was primarily driven by a 14% decrease in average paying subscribers, reflecting a year-over-year 15% and 9% decline in average paying subscribers for the Christian and Jewish Networks segments, respectively.

On the up side, direct marketing expenses in the third quarter of 2014 were down 52% compared to the year-ago period and 24% compared to the prior quarter. Contribution in the third quarter of 2014 was $9.0 million, an increase of 90% compared to the year-ago period and a 14% increase compared to the prior quarter. In both cases, Christian Networks was the primary driver (improved marketing efficiency and a better mix within the paying subscriber base, to be more specific).

Looking forward, McConnell says the company's primary objective is to improve product functions and features across all platforms. A JDate iPhone app was recently approved and a ChristianMingle app should be on its way soon. Spark Networks is also looking to leverage its presence in Israel and outsource some other development activities in order to speed up product development.

"In summary,” says McConnell, “much has been accomplished in the last several months, but much work remains. The team has embraced our future with a sense of urgency and focus. We look forward to driving changes that create a terrific experience for our customers and support the core communities we serve."

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