Online dating has come a long way in a very short space of time and the marketplace has become very crowded. There’s now more choice than ever and this has lead to a big investment in disruptive technologies in the hope of finding the ‘next big thing’ in dating. There’s a new wave of dating sites that try and shoe-horn tech into online dating. There’s geo-location dating websites that allow you to login on your cell phone and then see who’s about so you can hook up instantly. There’s also a multitude of video dating websites. These are great for ‘all you can eat’ broadband packages where you don’t have to worry about the video calling chomping your monthly download limit but for the South African market these won’t become mainstream any time soon.
As well as new tech trying to match quicker and smarter there’s also a bunch of dating websites that claim to be Social (dating) Networks where you can meet friends and chat socially but where you can also nudge, IM and do a few things that are more akin to dating sites. These sites really bring in the numbers due to their inbuilt connectivity but are they social sites or dating?
The problem with this new wave of dating websites is that none of them have really turned dating on it’s head. They see the problem as ‘how do you make online dating as realistic as possible’. How do you get that ‘real-life’ feeling into it and they are working really hard trying to mimic real life as closely as they can. Our view of the problem is slightly different. In our view the problem isn’t with technology, the problem is with the way people meet. If we can change how people hook up and date and the pressure, insecurity and emotional vulnerability that comes with it then we can re-invent dating. Until then we’re stuck with boys being boys and girls being girls. Ho hum.