Why pay for online dating in South Africa

Online dating in South Africa is a growing trend with more and more people jumping at the chance of meeting like minded singles. However for the vast majority of single South Africans the thought of online dating isn’t one they are prepared to consider. In recent surveys we conducted at SA Online Dating we found that the vast majority of people who engage with us on Facebook have no intention of joining for one reason or another. However when we posed the question “If online dating was 100% free would you join” we received a resounding yes from everybody who replied.

Interestingly among the male respondents of the question “Have you ever used Online Dating?” almost all of them replied that the reason they hadn’t was because there were too many men.

So in conclusion we can only assume that the overriding factor as to why people don’t join online dating sites is not because of the stigma online dating but because people just don’t like paying for it.

The question we keep asking ourselves at SA online dating is at what price would the vast majority of people pay for online dating. Most sites are priced around R100 – R250 for one month. If we were to bring that price down to R20 – R50 would people be more inclined to meet OR if we changed the model around and only charged if people made a successful connection would we get more takers. We could also create a tip jar model where-by users would have the first 100 words free but after that they’d have to pay for further connection. Of course this wouldn’t necessarily promote free chat BUT it might give those otherwise reticent people who don’t want to pay for dating at least an incentive to join the site in the knowledge that they wouldn’t have to pay to potentially meet somebody.

We’ve even toyed with the idea of buying credits that you use for various activities on the site such as winking or nudging or talking. However if you didn’t want to pay for the site then we’d make it so if a member winked, messaged or nudged you they could reverse the charges if they really wanted to connect. It’d bring some chivalry into dating, get rid of men who bombard women they never stand a chance of dating and would mean people who really don’t want to pay don’t have to.

We’ll keep asking questions and see if can find the perfect dating site model. It’s out there somewhere, we just don’t think we’ve found it yet.