Zoosk

Dating in America Today, According to Match.com and Zoosk

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Now that Valentine’s Day is behind us, many will forget the flowers and pink hearts lining the stores. But they won’t stop dating.

In fact, there are more studies than ever about the state of dating today – starting with Match.com’s annual survey of singles across America. Match found that daters were pretty optimistic, especially guys. More men than women believe in love at first sight, (and more women than men are afraid of commitment). 

Match.com also reveal women prefer their independence, much more than men do. Ninety percent of women want more personal space, 93% want to pursue their own hobbies and interests, and 64% want more time with friends. Most women prefer to wait 1-2 years before moving in, whereas men prefer to move faster – 6-12 months of dating before shacking up.

Also, there is something Dr. Fisher calls “The Clooney Effect” taking place. That is, men are going for intelligent, powerful women. 87% of single men would date a woman who makes ‘considerably more’ money and who is considerably better-educated and more intellectual than themselves; 86% seek a woman who is confident and self-assured, and 39% would also make a long-term commitment to a woman who is 10 or more years older.

So what’s holding you back ladies? It seems like you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to establishing a new relationship. “Technology is dramatically changing how we court, but it can’t change the brain systems for romance and attachment. And today’s singles are setting a high bar for courtship and marriage,” said Dr. Helen Fisher, anthropologist and lead researcher for Match.com’s study.

Zoosk has also come out with a study about the habits and preferences of online daters, so we can get a better picture of what singles are looking for. According to its figures, women like outdoor types – guys who posted pictures hiking, biking and other outdoor activities received 19% more messages than those who didn’t.

Also, selfies aren’t a great thing to use, unless you are expert with the camera. Women who took selfies received 4% more messages, while guys who posted selfies took a hit – they received 8% fewer messages. But the women who took full-body selfies? They received a whopping 203% more messages.

In both studies, men and women both preferred people who had a grasp of good grammar and spelling. If you chose to answer messages with “cuz” “im” or “u” – on average, you received 13% fewer messages on Zoosk. Match.com revealed this was the number one turn-off for daters (even over text), with 54% of women and 36% of men agreeing.

So if you’re looking for love in 2015, put a little time and effort into your search, and keep a positive outlook – you are in good company!

 

2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award

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2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Gold
Recipient of Gold
Match.com
2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Silver
Recipient of Silver
eHarmony
2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award - Bronze
Recipient of Bronze
Zoosk

We launched the 2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award poll in September of 2014 and we closed the poll to voting during the first week of January, 2015. After running for about 4 months we had 359 voters participate. The first question of the poll is about which dating service you believe deserves to win our top 2014 Dating Sites Reviews Single's Choice Award. The top spot for this award receives Gold, followed by Silver and then Bronze. For this question we listed the top 7 dating services you can cast one vote for.

The recipient of the Gold 2014 Single's Choice Award is Match.com. Match.com grew in popularity this year and received almost 5% more votes than last year. For 2014 Match received 24.3% of the vote which works out to 87 voters. The silver award winner received 5% less votes.

The recipient of the Silver 2014 Single's Choice Award is eHarmony. It was a huge year for eHarmony. After Dr. Neil Clarke Warren came back as CEO, eHarmony was able to grow their membership base by an astonishing 54%. This year eHarmony received 71 votes by our visitors which is 19.83% of the total votes cast.

The recipient of the Bronze 2014 Single's Choice Award is Zoosk. For 2014 Zoosk received 54 votes. This is 15.08% of all the votes. It was a tight race for Bronze as we saw the dating service Are You Interested receive 49 votes which is just 5 less than Zoosk.

Here are this year's standings for the Single's Choice award for all dating sites in the poll.

  1. Match.com
  2. eHarmony
  3. Zoosk
  4. Are You Interested
  5. Christian Mingle
  6. How About We
  7. Badoo

We would like to thank everyone who cast a vote this year for our Single’s Choice Award. The results of this award help guide our visitors to choose the best dating service for them as each of the winning services receives an award badge for the year which designates them as a winner. All award winners are also added to the 2014 Award category.

More Trouble For Zoosk? 15% Of Staff Laid Off

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Zoosk may be a leading online dating company, but recent times have proved it isn't smooth sailing even if you're a hit.

Sources told TechCrunch Zoosk laid off 15% of its employees in January 2015, a figure the company has since confirmed. The change was made as part of a larger effort to cut costs in many areas.

This latest news comes after a string of ill omens for Zoosk. The company's founders left their leadership positions at the end of 2014, hinting at trouble that may be happening behind the scenes. Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr pulled back from their daily involvement with the company, choosing to become members of the board instead. CFO Kelly Steckelberg stepped up as CEO in the wake of their departures.

Zoosk Makes Expert Online Dating Predictions For 2015

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With over 29 million members, a buzzed-about blog, a #1 dating app, and more than 14 million followers across the social sphere, it's safe to say Zoosk knows a thing or two about online dating.

Using their dating expertise and data gathered from studying nearly 4 million messages and 430,000 profiles, the gurus at Zoosk curated the hottest trends of 2014 and made a few predictions for the new year.

Which online dating trends left us lonely in 2014 and which ones got us (digitally) hot and bothered? What does 2015 have in store? Check out Zoosk's infographic here, and some highlights below.

Messaging

In 2014, singles were least responsive between 2pm and 3pm, presumably because they were either deeply entrenched in work or snoozing off a post-lunch food coma. Men were most active in the morning, between the hours of 9 and 10am. Women, on the other hand, were night owls. The majority of their interactions occurred between 10 and 11pm.

Prediction: Moving into 2015, Zoosk predicts that our 'always on' culture will result in instant interactions all day, every day.

Photos

2014 saw a bunch of trends where photos were concerned. For men, outdoor photos increased messages received by 19% while selfies decreased messages received by 8%. For women, the trend was reversed – selfies increased messages received by 4%, while outdoor photos decreased messages received by 40%. For both men and women, posing with a friend or animal proved problematic, but full body photos increased messages by a whopping 203%!

Prediction: Duck face and bathroom selfies are out, along with mirror photos. Enlist a friend to take your full body shot instead.

Profiles

Honesty reigned supreme for men in 2014. Profiles that included “divorce,” “separate” or “my ex” received 52% more messages. On the other hand, sharing too much too soon scared off potential dates for women. Profile mentions of “divorce,” “separate” or “my ex” received 4% fewer messages.

Prediction: Zoosk predicts we'll all be over surprises in 2015. More and more daters will rely on technology to verify user authenticity.

Technology

Traditionally, online dating has rested on a foundation of surveys. Some are longer than others, but the end goal is always the same: categorize daters based on (possibly meaningless) questions. 2014 was no exception to the trend.

Prediction: Online dating will be about the opposite of “Do what I say, not what I do” in 2015. Instead of relying on your self-reported answers, dating services will increasingly learn your preferences based on your actions.

The Best Day To Try Online Dating Is...

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You think I'm insane, right?

There's no possible way there could be one day that's better for online dating than all the others. That's just crazy.

Except it isn't crazy. It's a real thing.

Online dating is there for you all year round, but there's one window of time each year that's more active than any other. Match.com and Plenty of Fish – two of the biggest dating companies in the game, so rest assured they know what they're talking about – say that the single most popular day for online dating is (drumroll please):

January 4.

And it gets even more impressive than that. They've even narrowed it down to an exact time period. (Are they sorcerers over there?) Roughly 5pm to 8pm are the magic hours in which the largest number of people sign up, log on, and start searching for online love. If you're still skeptical, Zoosk backs the estimated timeframe up. In 2014, its most trafficked time was the Sunday after New Year's.

Across the board, online dating sites see a huge boost in action between New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day. And it's not hard to imagine why. There's an obvious seasonal sentimentality that takes over during that time, and its natural manifestation in the techno-obsessed 21st century is online dating.

Although the exact reason is unclear, we can easily speculate. The new year is a time for a fresh start, for new goals, for making positive changes. For many people, those things mean a renewed focus on finding love – and what better way to kick your love life into gear than joining an online dating site?

On the other hand, the holiday season is a notoriously lonely time, and that could also explain why online dating sites see a serious boost in action. Hitting a low point could be the motivator needed to finally try out online dating after all.

Interestingly, it's not just online dating that feels the effects of the holidays. The Washington Post reports that researchers have also observed a post-holiday spike in searches for porn, and that “a 2012 study by Facebook’s data team found that people are far more likely to change their relationship status in January or February than they are at any other time of year.”

And lest you think this is merely an online phenomenon, a study also found that “the holiday season tends to see a jump in both condom sales and conceptions.”

So what are you waiting for? The time is NOW.

Zoosk Abandons Plans For IPO Amidst Leadership Shifts

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Back in May, things were looking good for Zoosk. The company had just filed its S-1 registration statement with the SEC and announced plans to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. The website had reached 26 million members across 80 countries, including 650,000 paying subscribers. Revenue was up 63% from 2012 to 2013, rising from $109.1 million to $178.2 million, and net loss had decreased drastically.

These days, the story is a little different for Zoosk. The company just announced major changes in leadership. CFO Kelly Steckelberg will be taking over as CEO. She is replacing co-founder Shayan Zadeh, who will become a member of the board. Zadeh will be joined on the board by co-founder Alex Mehr, who is currently president.

Along with the leadership shuffle, Zoosk is reconsidering its IPO. “Since the time we filed, the market condition around comparables that would be used to help value our company, like Angie’s List and Care.com, have not performed well,” Steckelberg told TechCrunch. “While the overall market might seem receptive to a public offering, subscription businesses have suffered.”

Zadeh agrees, saying that consumer subscription business are not currently fairing well in the market, forcing Zoosk to table it's plans for an IPO until a later date. He, Mehr and Steckelberg are adamant that the leadership changes have no bearing on Zoosk's decision and are merely coincidental.

Still, however, there is plenty riding on them. TechCrunch notes that Steckelberg is a logical replacement for Zadeh, because “She has experience building internet subscription businesses serving as controller and chief accounting officer at WebEx, joining Cisco as part of an acquisition and later serving as divisional CFO in Cisco’s WebEx consumer segment.” She has also held positions of power with Epiphany and PeopleSoft.

At a time when online dating, especially in the ever-evolving mobile sphere, is hotter than ever, Zoosk's changes stand to have a huge impact. Mehr explains that “Since day one of the company, we’ve been making product decisions over long periods of time. It created more of a top-down approach to design, where people were focused on decisions that Shayan and I were making. Kelly’s approach is more collaborative. She wants to listen to many more voices in the company when it comes to product decisions.”

Can that new collaborative approach keep Zoosk alive – and profitable – in the years to come? Steckelberg is confident. “Zoosk will be in a situation when cash-flow and current cash balance are going to be enough to carry this company forward,” she assures.