Technology

eHarmony Moves from Love to Career Matching

Technology
  • Wednesday, August 13 2014 @ 06:59 am
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eHarmony is well-known in the online dating space. It has been around over fourteen years and has grown to be one of the biggest competitors due to its emphasis on finding people serious relationships. Now, it wants to get serious about your job search, too.

The company’s strategy and technology is all about compatibility matching. Subscribers to the dating site are put through a rather lengthy sign-up process to ensure that the technology behind the site really captures the essence of what each person wants, along with his or her relationship tendencies. (One of the best things about the sign-up process is that eHarmony provides a snapshot booklet of who you are as a dater: the kind of personality you have, they type of person you gravitate towards, and the positive and negative ways that your dates may interpret your behavior. It’s incredibly insightful, and helped make me a more observant dater.)

Now, eHarmony is taking this compatibility matching technology and applying it to your job search. The new site called Elevated Careers by eHarmony is set to launch in December.

According to MarketWatch, few details were revealed about how the career-matching algorithm will work. But eHarmony CEO Neil Clark Warren said some of the likely qualities that will be analyzed include “conscientiousness, honesty and conflict resolution,” among others.

When asked why Dr. Warren thought eHarmony should move into the career space, since it seems so far removed from romance and peoples’ personal lives, he countered that love and work are more connected than we think. “If people come home and they’re unhappy with their job and boss, it puts a lot of tension on a marriage,” he told MarketWatch.

While eHarmony boasts that is has made 600,000 marriages, they have also gained a divorce rate of 3.9%, slightly higher than the national average of 3.6%.

It is an interesting idea at a time when job dissatisfaction is high. Roughly 70% of Americans described themselves as “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” from their workplaces according to a recent Gallup report. And according to an article in Entrepreneur.com, the average worker hops jobs every 4.6 years. That doesn’t lead to a loyal workforce or employee satisfaction when nobody is willing to commit. Perhaps it is time for a change, and for both employers and employees to look at compatibility, rather than waste resources training people who remain actively looking for another job.

I don’t think job satisfaction is completely reliant on company culture and employer-employee compatibility, though it is certainly a factor. Many people find themselves in careers that aren’t what they expected and want a fresh start. Perhaps there is a way eHarmony will use its technology to also advise what career might be best for each of us. Until then, we’ll see what Elevated Careers has to offer.

Match Aims to Control Online Dating Space with new Android Wearables

Technology
  • Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 06:57 am
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If you’re one of the largest and most successful online dating sites around, what would be your next move in the ever-changing dating market? Would you focus on growing your membership, improving your technology, or ramping up your marketing efforts?

Online dating giant Match.com has decided to focus on building its app business – since that’s where most online daters go now (instead of their laptops).

But Match.com has taken things a step further, trying to get ahead of the technology curve. They’ve announced that this month they will be launching one of the first dating apps for Android Wearables, so you can effectively “wear your heart on your wrist.”

Android Wearables are small, powerful devices worn on the body – kind of like a mobile phone worn as a wristwatch. More stylish and less intrusive than Google Glass (there’s no clandestine recording of someone as you’re watching them), Android Wearables make access to your mobile information a bit easier. For instance, you can respond to texts, instant messages and emails by voice. You can also ask for directions with its handy GPS feature, or reach fitness goals if you’re a runner or biker. It connects to your phone, so you can access the same basic information that’s on your mobile device, but it’s hands-free.

The Match app for Android Wearables will cater to busy and active singles who are already purchasing this new technology. The app offers basic features that you’d find with any online dating app, but it’s driven by voice commands, which makes it easier than typing when you’re out and about. Notifications for winks and messages from other members are sent straight to your Android wearable. With pulse notifications, you’ll know exactly when someone has reached out to you. To reply, simply swipe to read an incoming message and respond directly with the app’s voice command feature. (Make sure you are in a private place unless you want the general public to know about your dating life.)

You also receive your daily matches so you can choose who to respond to, rating with a “yes” or “no” a la Tinder. You can also find singles nearby with the handy GPS feature.

I’m not sure why it’s important to check your dating app when you’re on a bike ride or jog, but it seems that would be the point of using Android Wearables instead of just picking up your phone and silently texting your matches when you’re able. But maybe that’s just me.

The app will be available for Android Wearable users this month. For more on this service please read our Match.com review.

World Cup Fans Go Crazy for Dating Apps

Technology
  • Wednesday, July 09 2014 @ 07:11 am
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Brazil is heating up for singles, and not just because of its sunny weather.

Dating app Tinder is apparently a hot commodity among those taking part in the World Cup festivities. News site Quartz recently reported that Tinder has seen a 50% increase in downloads since the World Cup began last month.

Brazil is Tinder’s third-largest user base behind the US and the UK, and the app is available in Portuguese.

Hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr, which are popular around the world, allow users to swipe through pictures of potential matches that are geographically close to them, accepting or rejecting based on a few photos and a brief profile description. If two people select one another, they can start chatting and then take it from there. This simple process caters perfectly to short-time travelers looking for a fling.

First, we saw Tinder downloads spike during the Olympics, especially in Olympic Village where the athletes mingle with fellow athletes, fans watching the games or employees working the events. Now with the World Cup festivities drawing fans from all over the world to watch and celebrate the games, we’re seeing another significant spike in dating app downloads.

It seems dating apps are becoming more popular at major events that draw huge crowds. Tinder has become a popular tool for singles traveling during the summer to meet up with other singles, so it only makes sense that events like the World Cup would attract a lot of new users. Why not try something new when you’re in a foreign city with tons of people all around that you could meet?

The numbers also seem to favor women, especially local Brazilian women. Many men have come to Brazil not only to watch the World Cup, but to meet the stereotypical idea of the sexy, beautiful Brazilian woman. An unofficial poll suggested as many as 90% of the tourists are men.

Grindr, a popular app among the gay community, has also seen its numbers spike by 31% in Brazil since the World Cup began. Brazil is the sixth-largest market for Grindr.

An estimated 600,000 tourists from 186 countries are expected to visit Brazil during the World Cup, adding to the 3.1 million Brazilians who will be on the road for the championship. And as reported by Quartz, alcohol and hook-ups go hand in hand. Annual beer sales in the country are likely to rise 37%—bringing in about $816 million—during the month-long tournament.

For more on a popular dating app you can read our Tinder review.

Match.com teams with Mensa and Android Wearables

Technology
  • Monday, July 07 2014 @ 07:05 am
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Do you want your dates to be more intellectually stimulating? Do you get bored with conversations about where to eat or what movie to watch when you could be discussing political ideology or philosophy?

If the above describes you, and you prefer brains over beauty and boredom, then you might be interested in Match.com’s new partnership with the Mensa community. American Mensa and Match.com have teamed up to provide a dating experience exclusively for Mensa members, as well as provide all Match members access to some of the most intelligent people in the nation. 

According to Match.com, 80% of singles say they “must have” or find it “very important” to be with someone of the same intelligence level.  Additionally, 89% of singles would make a commitment to someone who was considerably better educated or more intellectual than themselves.

Because of the partnership, Match members will now have the ability to add a Mensa badge to their profiles to express their interest in the High IQ organization and will also have the opportunity to take the Mensa practice test for $1 at the Match.com Blog now through July 6, 2014.

While I’m not a fan of limiting your options when it comes to dating – everyone should meet a variety of people instead of just dating your type – it might be interesting to see how effective this partnership will be in creating lasting matches.

Match’s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Helen Fisher stated, “Why do we want a smart partner? Because intelligence is correlated with many benefits, including:  higher income; sense of humor; creativity; social skills; coordination; and problem solving. These are sexy.  Money can buy a sexy evening on the town. People everywhere gravitate to smart lovers, because an intelligent partner comes with a host of sexy perks.”

Daters with high IQs are not Match.com’s only focus. It was also recently announced that the company will be one of the first dating apps offered with Android Wearables; small, powerful devices worn on the body. So daters – there isn’t a need to constantly check your mobile device or computers. Instead, just look down at your wrist at your Wearable and check for messages, view and rate your daily matches, and find singles nearby. (Although I’m not really sure there’s much difference, since our phones are always in our hands anyway.)

Traditional online dating services are starting to branch out and appeal to new markets in order to remain relevant as new, trendy dating apps emerge. But Match.com seems to have a handle on its membership and continues to innovate. I’m curious to see what’s next.

Makers of Dating App Skout Launch Fuse

Technology
  • Friday, July 04 2014 @ 07:06 am
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Everyone is looking for the next big app – specifically one that does something new and creative and captures people’s attention with a new type of communication, like Vine, Snapchat or Twitter have done. Dating apps are following suit - trying to engage a larger audience than just singles looking for dates - by creating a new type of experience. People are looking to their phones to connect – whether it’s friendship, hooking up, dating, or finding a relationship. So why not take advantage of the technology and see what clicks?

Many apps are leaning towards features that are more ephemeral in nature. People don’t want their comments and photos lingering on the Internet forever, so the appeal of showing and telling without the repercussions seems intriguing. After all, if what you say or do disappears in a few minutes or even seconds, wouldn’t you be more willing to try something new, maybe even more daring than in your real life?

Dating app Skout thinks so. Skout has been around for a while, and helps strangers meet locally based on GPS-matching much like many other dating apps. While it doesn’t have the popularity and user base of Tinder or the cache of Match.com, Skout is looking for new and innovative ways to capture more downloads and engage more people to help them connect. And the company (and its investors) are betting on a new messaging app called Fuze.

Fuze is a combination of group messaging and ephermerality like Snapchat. Once someone starts a “Fuse,” everyone else has three to ten minutes to respond. Once the timer goes off, all of the content inside the Fuse disappears and no one can ever see it again. So it creates a bit of pressure for people to engage right away or risk not getting a chance to speak.

The app also allows you to post anonymously, in what’s called “Ghost Mode.” While this seems to be a popular feature among apps, I can’t help but think that being anonymous means you say things that you wouldn’t normally say to others face-to-face, and creates more of a barrier to getting to know others than bringing them together.

Skout’s CEO Christian Wiklund says, “It’s almost like a dinner conversation. It’s contextual, based on who is around you right now. If the Fuse burns out, you can go onto the next conversation.”

Wiklund also says they launched Fuse separately so that Skout could be left clean, and not bogged down with a bunch of new features. They do however plan to promote Fuse through the Skout network.

JDate Focuses on Mobile Site Optimization

Technology
  • Tuesday, June 17 2014 @ 06:50 am
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  • Views: 1,159

More online daters are using their phones to connect with each other rather than their laptops. Considering how many of us have smartphones and how often we check them, it only makes sense that this would be the best way to reach busy singles. So online dating sites have had to strengthen their mobile offerings to compete with popular apps like Tinder. Some have fallen behind with clunky, outdated features, but some are taking big steps forward in optimizing their technology.

The importance of optimizing users’ mobile experience isn’t lost on JDate, one of the most popular online dating sites for Jewish singles. The company has just launched a new version of the site that takes its most popular features and makes them even easier to access and use on mobile devices.

The widely-used Secret Admirer feature, a staple on the main JDate website, is now available on mobile. It’s been a key component of JDate’s technology, and according to JDate, other online dating sites have licensed the model due to its popularity. The Secret Admirer's "Yes-No-Maybe" functionality connects mutually interested users anonymously. Users like this because it eliminates some anxiety-provoking guess-work that shy online daters want to avoid.

JDate's new, mobile-optimized design also places key activities, such as profile views and messages, front and center on the site. Users are able to access quick, on-the-go status checks along with their email messages, IMs, Favorites and Flirts. Additionally, JDate mobile's 2.0 experience allows members to easily make changes and improvements to their profiles from their mobile devices. They can update directly from the site if they want to change photos or make edits to their descriptions.

"The new JDate mobile site enables JDaters to connect with one another and the community like never before," said Greg Liberman, CEO of Spark Networks, the company that owns and operates JDate. "Our goal has always been to provide JDate members with the tools to meet others who share their culture, values and interests, and our new, easy-to-navigate mobile site puts best-in-class tools, quite literally, right at our members' fingertips."

The question is, for JDate users – is it too little too late? The answer is unclear, because for the many people who download mobile dating apps like Tinder, there are still more online dating. The majority of singles use a mix of both online dating sites and mobile dating apps, especially if they want to keep options open. This means constantly improving technology to stay competitive.

JDate currently hosts more than 750,000 users. To find out more about this dating site please read our review of JDate.

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