“Click. Boom. Amazing!”
I thought it would be appropriate to start a new SkaDate Dating Software blog post with a Steve Jobs quote. The iconic Apple founder stepped down as the CEO of his company on August 24, and although he has nothing to do with Online Dating, our trend-hungry industry will always respect Mr. Jobs for being one of the most influential trend-setters that ever lived.
Oh, and if you couldn’t guess, the post is about trends. Specifically, the stuff that drives virtual matchmaking at the moment, and will likely continue to do so in the years to come.
5. On-the-go Dating
The rapid development of mobile technologies finally allows everyone to enjoy the constant online presence, without being confined to a specific location (like home or office), or a bulky device (like desktop or laptop). The Internet has never been this close to users with all the tablets, smartphones, and their applications around.
Remember how in ‘You’ve Got Mail’ Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan had to get to their computers to start communicating? Via E-mail? That was so 1998. If their romance happened today, they’d both be members of some local dating service, checking for new messages on-the-go right on the street.
That’s what the mobility has done to us. We no longer want to wait – we want to continue the dating experience at all times. If you are wondering, SkaDate does have a Mobile Edition, and there are considerations regarding a development of a smartphone app too.
4. Globalization Time
Just look at some of our Monthly Roundups – it’s obvious that Online Dating is spreading like wildfire all over the globe. It is even available in those parts of the world that (theoretically) shouldn’t have open Internet access in the first place. You just wait and see, it’s now a matter of time until there’s an international dating site endorsed by Kim Jong-il.
And I’m not talking exclusively about local services. Unsurprisingly, large corporations are represented all over the place, but what we are seeing lately is the trend of smaller startups thinking globally. If your idea is not likely to lift-off in Wisconsin, it doesn’t mean it won’t work in Cambodia or Lithuania.
3. A Niche Niche
Anyone can get on the Match.com and start going through the list of possible partners. But where’s the fun in that? Besides, do you think counterculture pundits will ever choose something as mainstream? It’s not like they’ll discuss Ayn Rand philosophy there. Because there’s a niche online dating site just for them.
Of course, that’s a bit of an extreme example, but it does show that a carefully selected niche will draw thousands of members in. (The Ayn Rand one got over 10,000).
This is pretty logical too if you think about it. Sure, the Match.com database is big, but being a redhead myself I’ll definitively have an extra bonus while surfing DateGinger. I also might be inclined to check out Yes! Mrs. Robinson website… But that’s a story for another time. The point is – the more exclusive the niche, the better are the chances to succeed.
2. Social Dating
This was bound to happen at some point and luckily when it did, the industry just adopted to the new reality and moved on. I am talking about the gradual merging of online dating and social networking.
And Networks started it first too, adding various flirty interactions usually reserved for romance portals. But with dating scripts like SkaDate Internet matchmakers soon learned that it can work the other way around too.
In the end everyone benefits from the combination. After all, social networking is best for growing strong communities with large memberships, while dating sites can excel in covering the additional monetization options.
1. Features Nucleus
Finally the days when ‘looking through pictures of Ukrainian girls in awkward poses’ was considered online dating are gone. As I’ve noted in the previous post, members want more interaction in their online dating. If you can’t keep ’em busy, you’re gonna loose ’em.
Regular chat, video chat, virtual gifts, media players, polls, blogs, forums, and games, all these and plenty of other features – that’s what will get members returning to the well for more. Well, that and potential dates, of course. Yeah, it’s best not to forget about those, while chasing the latest trends.