The question is how do you build up a sufficient database of single individuals to make the site viable? Dating sites approach this issue differently, but the temptation to create and use fake profiles is rife with risk as JDI Dating learned in a recent FTC enforcement action. Chicken and Egg Assume you are single and see an ad for an interesting looking dating site while browsing the web.
You click onto the site and find out there are only two hundred other people using the site with the closest one miles away from you. Are you likely to continue using the site or become a paying member? This profile population issue is a familiar conundrum faced by new dating sites.
How do you populate the site sufficiently to get new visitors to join and come back? More importantly, how do you convince visitors to fork over their credit card to become a paying member? The answer for most sites involves a two-step process. Step one is to advertise to attract traffic. Step two is to provide completely free accounts to the first , users.
This process creates a sufficient population of members that most people will be able to find someone in their area when using the site. Once a tipping point is reached, paid options can then be offered to create revenue from the site.
Fake Profiles There is also a third strategy for building up the profile population of a dating site — create fake profiles. A new dating site can either try to scrape profiles off a more established dating website or hire freelancers to sit around and create new fake profiles. Are there legal concerns with these approaches? The FTC considers the use of fake profiles to constitute deceptive consumer practices. JDI Dating runs a number of dating websites.
To communicate with other members, however, one had to convert to a paid membership. Negative option billing refers to the practice of automatically signing up members for a number of services without their explicit consent. The members are then charged each month until they affirmatively cancel each service. So, what did all of this cost JDI Dating? The company also agreed to terminate a number of its practices.
The Lesson Dating sites spawn a significant number of lawsuits. The temptation to create fake profiles can be overwhelming when launching a new dating site. The short-term benefit is outweighed by the long-term legal ramifications. Doing Business Online The content on this website is intended to be educational and is not specific legal advice for your situation.
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