Online dating evolution


Discover how online dating has changed from bulletin boards to dating apps in our new blog post and infographics

The history of “sorting in pairs”, as one of the basic characteristics of human kind, evolved in a very curious way over centuries. In the past, the compatibility criteria had little or nothing to do with the actual choice of a partner, as it was often depending on the social and economic status, or it was pre-established by certain protocols.  We fought for the freedom of choice and we won many battles (although there are still numerous “war zones” worldwide). The Internet age profoundly changed the possibilities to seek and meet a potential partner/date. It gave us the possibility to showcase our digital self and calculate our compatibility through algorithms. But above all, it gave us an alternative way of searching for the right person.

The Web was used for dating right from the beginning. The early web service providers offered bulletin boards, forums and chat rooms that hosted a variety of dating activities. The mid 90-ties brought the expansion of dating sites, such as, eHarmony and okCupid (that are still very active, with millions of members worldwide), and in 1998 the cultural approval came with the global success of the film “You Got Mail.”

The matchmaking industry also survived the so called “dotcom bubble burst” and entered the new millennium stronger than ever, but a new opponent was rising: social media. Social networking websites like MySpace, Friendster and Facebook gave users the possibility to simply socialize with people but also meet potential partners and learn what they need to know by reading their profiles.

Social networking websites and dating sites learned to co-exist, and in some cases the hybrid sites were born, like Badoo with almost 200 million registered users.

In recent years, a new trend is on the rise: proximity dating. It may sound techy, but the concept is very simple. Proximity dating is the ability to contact people who are close to you location-wise, the complete opposite of long distance relationships. In order for proximity dating to work, however, these services need to know where you are whenever you use it.

So, the major question was, how could these dating companies keep track of where all the users and their potential matches are at all times?

The answer: your phone!

With the expansion of the smart mobile technology and broadband connections, powered by GPS and GSM localization, these sites found a comfy location as apps that can be downloaded onto smartphones. With a user’s permission, location services can be switched on or off, allowing the possibility to find a single person with your criteria with a touch of a finger. Some popular dating apps gaining popularity success include: Dating DNA, Grindr, Let’s Date, Tinder, Flirtmaps and Plentyoffish.

We know what you´re thinking: dating apps? How desperate can you get? It’s true that dating apps may raise some brows, but so did online dating back in 2005, when people felt it was a cheap desperate move in the name of love. Come 2013, however, a lot has changed for online dating. Check out this graph by showing how the general public’s view on online dating has drastically changed between 2005-2013.

online dating05-13

The moral of the story: don´t underestimate a new approach finding love because with time it may prove its worth.

See how online dating has changed from bulletin boards to dating apps, and everything in between! Check out our new infographic outlining the evolution of online dating!