Purchased by Owners
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In a not too surprising move IAC announced last Friday that it has acquired the free dating site No financial terms of the agreement have been disclosed. IAC already owns such popular dating sites as, and OkCupid. was founded by Dustin Weirich in 2002 and has grown over the years to become the 6th most visited dating site on the internet. Every month receives over 1 million unique visitors.

Over the past few years IAC has acquired a number of dating sites. Here are their most recent purchases:

Every year since 2009 IAC has bought a dating site. If the pattern holds true I wonder who they plan to purchase in 2013? I heard rumors a while ago that they may be interested in Cupid PLC since they are performing well in the European market. I have my doubts it will happen though, since Cupid PLC does operate some adult oriented dating services.

For more on the story you can read the IAC press release. To find out more about the dating sites involved you can read our review and review.

Virtual Gifts will almost Double your Success in Online Dating
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The owner of, Dustin, wanted to find out if sending a Virtual Gift with your mail message to a member would increase the chance that the member would reply back. He took about 1 million first contact messages from last month (first contact refers to the fact that the member hasn't communicated with the person before) and compared the ones which included a virtual gift with ones that did not.

He found out that it did greatly improve your chances of getting a response. Your average mail message sent on DateHookup without a gift will have a 14 percent chance of getting replied to. With a virtual gift your chances nearly double to 26 percent. It sounds like if you really like the person, it would be stupid not to include a virtual gift to increase your chances of a reply.

I was surprised at the results. I figured that virtual gifts would improve the chance of someone replying, but not by almost 100 percent. Another thing I was surprised about was the actually reply percentage of 14 to 26 percent. I do not know the overall average reply rate, but if an equal number of virtual gift messages were compared with messages without virtual gifts then it would be 20 percent. This means 80 percent of all messages sent that are first contacts go unanswered. Is this reply percentage rate (which feels low to me) a DateHookup problem, or does this average reflect most dating sites which operate similar to DateHookup? I bet this average reply rate is similar across most free sites.

For more on the story visit the new DateHookup Blog. For more about this dating site you can read our review of

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