Exciting news. Today we announced that Match.com will become the exclusive online dating site on Yahoo!. After a transition period in which current Yahoo! Personals users will have the opportunity to transfer their memberships to Match, Match will fully replace the Yahoo! Personals experience on Yahoo!.
Yahoo! has strategic reasons for doing this quite separate and distinct from the online dating business, I’m sure, but the move underscores a basic truth about online dating: size matters.
In order to provide a great online dating experience, you need two fundamental elements. First, you need a large, thriving community of single people who are really committed to meeting someone great. The larger the community the more choices you have, and therefore the greater the likelihood that there is someone in the community with whom you’ll really hit it off.
However, since no one wants to read a million profiles, size is meaningless unless you have the right features and functions to help each person identify a small subsection of the larger community that has the potential to really spark romantic interest. So the second essential element is a sophisticated website oriented entirely around maximizing a person’s dating success.
A large, vibrant community and a sophisticated, dating –oriented user experience are both required. With only one, but not the other, of these elements, the experience will be subpar.
Even before today, I believed Match.com was the clear leader in both of these areas. Now, we’re taking what has traditionally been one of the largest and most significant sites in the space and adding their community to ours, thus improving the dating experience for both our existing users and our new users coming over from Yahoo!, who I heartily welcome to the Match world.
Talk to you soon.