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"Where to Go" City Guide by Lavalife

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From this Press Release, Lavalife announced the launching of a free Canadian online city guide. Called Where to Go, this guide currently has entries for 5 major Canadian cities. The cities are Toronto Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. When you visit the site once you have selected the the city, you can then view different restaurants, bars and attractions that are recommended places to take your date. For the more serious relationships there is also a travel, spa and hotel guide.

This is a good idea for probably about 20% of the singles meeting online. Most people look for matches in or near their city where both parties already know the local hot spots. This will be used more for people traveling to meet someone in a city they are both familiar with. It is much better to surprise your date than asking him or her where they would like to go. What would be nice to see is members of Lavalife make recommendations. This way you would probably get a lot more of the smaller restaurants and bars that can offer a more cosy and romantic atmosphere.

FriendFinder does something similar to the Where to Go guide but, it is actually built right into the dating site. FriendFinder goes a step further by offering member recommendations, reviews and ratings on their listings.

Match.com Launches Match My Friends

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I finally got more information on Match.com's new "Match My Friends" feature. Here is how it works, straight from the press release:

Match My Friends(TM) engages friends in two ways. First, anyone can get their friends in the game -- regardless of whether or not they're already a Match.com member. When someone wishes to sign up a single friend, they can create a suggested profile for their friend, upload a photo and even sponsor their friend's subscription. The resulting profile is then sent to the single friend for editing and approval before being posted on Match.com. From here, the "recommender" and single friend can search for and share recommendations on potential dates for the single friend.

Match My Friends(TM) also allows for personal testimonials to be added to Match.com profiles. Any existing Match.com member can email friends and/or family and ask them to create a short testimonial, which can then be approved by the Match.com member and posted on their profile. The testimonials will offer potential mates a glimpse into the person's life, personality and off-line friendships.

This is an interesting idea and it would be fun playing cupid on a dating site and finding matches for your friends. Match.com implemented this feature the correct way, by having the friend have to approve the profile first (through email) before it can go online at Match. This way the friend can correct any information or decline if they really don't want to have a dating profile.

Personal testimonials are a great tool as well. It helps legitimatize a profile since you have other people vouching for this profile and single. Friends and Family who may post a testimonial also may offer a personal insight of the person which may help you decide if he or she is a potential match for you. Of course if you don't like the testimonials you receive for your profile you can always decline them.

Match.com's have had several updates and new features lately for there service. This speaks to their commitment on being the number one dating service by reinvesting constantly into your business and letting your competition play catch-up.

My only small problem so far, a pet peeve really, with Match My Friends is the name. You have the name on the site with spaces and then in other places they call it "matchmyfriends". Match has done this before with Match Mobile. I never know what to use! I plan on playing around with this feature a lot more to see how it turns out.

For more information on Match.com please check our review.

Match.com is about to launch a Facebook Application

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CBS 5 is reporting that one of the largest dating sites, Match.com is about too debut an application with everyone's favorite social networking site, Facebook. The application is called "Little Black Book" and it allows Facebook users to see other Facebook users and Match.com members who wish to date. With this application you can also share your matches with any of your Facebook friends. The other key feature is, users of Facebook with the Little Black Book don't necessary have to be members of Match.com. The reason for this is the application is a new paying service for Match.com. Once you have your matches, It will allow Facebook users to contact other users on a "pay per contact" basis instead of the regular monthly subscription which Match.com itself offers. At this point I would assume, if you are a member of the Match.com dating site you would not have to pay this fee. The Little Black Book also allows you to purchase keys to unlock a potential match for a friend. This feature ties in nicely with Match.com other new feature this week, matchmyFriends. Match My Friends allows people to create a dating profile for their friends (with the friends permission of course). We will have more information on matchmyFriends in another story. (UPDATE - Story now available here)

As everyone knows, social networking on the internet is huge. Sites like Facebook and MySpace have made it very popular. Facebook itself has an estimated 58 million users, while Match.com themselves have over 15 million. With the rise of social networking sites internet gurus expected dating sites to decline. In fact the opposite is true. Internet Dating has never been more popular. Singles like the dedicated service and features which dating sites offers. Plus, you know people on a dating site are actively looking for a relationship, on Social Networking sites a large percentage are not.

Allowing Facebook users to access Match.com's features is a very smart move on the part of Match.com and opens the door to more potential customers. IMO it should work out well just as long as Match.com doesn't charge too much to Facebook users to contact a match through the Little Black Book application.

The Facebook Little Black Book application is expected to launch next week, for more information on Match.com read our review.

Lavalife has a Makeover and adds New Features

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It seems like a fair number of the major dating services have been updating there services recently. The latest dating site to do this is, Lavalife. Along with new features, Lavalife has also received a facelift. Though not a major interface overhaul, Lavalife did make their site cleaner looking and easier to navigate.

The major new features which Lavalife added include:

  • While you are Instant Messaging with a single, it is now easier to view profile information on the person. This was complained about before and I am glad Lavalife listen to their members.
  • The photo gallery now allows you to share up to 30 photos with the ability to assign the pictures to one or more of Lavalife's 3 communities (dating, relationship and intimate encounters).
  • Members are now also allowed to upload high quality videos (up to 6).

According to Hitwise (Oct. 2007) Lavalife is the top Canadian dating site and is one of the top ten worldwide. You can read our Lavalife Review and user submitted reviews or go directly too Lavalife.com for more information on this dating service.

MillionaireMatch.com adds Verify Photo Feature

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MillionaireMatch.com added a new feature recently which allows Gold Members to verify their display photo as authentic. The profile and summary in the search results would be marked with a photo verified logo once the proper verification documents had been submitted. This is an excellent feature which other large dating services should implement (only a few have so far) since it decreases the possibilities of fake profiles.

This feature combined with the Certified Millionaire Logo makes MillionaireMatch.com a trusted site among singles looking for a wealthy mate.

ChristianCafe.com adds Recommend A Profile

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ChristianCafe.com now allows members to recommend a profile you find to either other ChristianCafe.com members or a non member friend through email. A great idea, especially for friends using the same dating site. There is great fun to be had in pointing out the really great (or really bad!) profiles to friends so you can talk about them later. The only thing I would have added to this feature is the ability to include a quick note with the profile explaining to the person you are sending it too, why you are doing it or what stuck out about this particular profile.