Updated May 1, When it comes to online dating, no one does it quite like Canadians. Numerous studies suggest Canadians are pretty much the world's most active users of social networking, so it should probably come as no surprise that Canada is also a hotbed for online dating.
According to comScore, a web measurement company, Canadians spend more days a month and minutes a day on online dating sites than users in the U. Story continues below advertisement And Canada is also home to one of the world's busiest dating sites and one of the web's most unlikely success stories. When Lady Gaga recently unveiled her big-budget video for "Telephone," fans couldn't help but notice the blatant product placements strewn throughout, from some of the world's most familiar brands.
While Plenty of Fish may not be a household name for those who haven't navigated the waters of online dating, the free dating site is one of the world's most popular and has made a millionaire out of B.
Not bad for a homemade website that started as an experiment in learning a computer programming language in And it was run entirely as a one-man show until Frind recently started hiring a few people to help manage the massive website that competes against corporate heavyweights. Everything else at the time was paid, so I guess that was the integral part of it," says Frind. Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement The site recently surpassed million logins in a month, Frind says, with as many as 1.
According to Comscore, Plenty of Fish is second to only eHarmony in Canada in terms of unique monthly visitors, but it's No. While other dating sites are struggling to grow, Plenty of Fish keeps chugging along.
In , the site's design and visual look was pretty basic. Plenty of Fish looked the part of the underdog alongside its slick competitors. All these years later, the site's design has had only minimal touch-ups and looks positively prehistoric compared to others. But Frind says he's not bothered by his site's dated design, and neither are users. You're using it to eat.
You're using this dating site to meet people. These other things, the look of it or the feel, all that stuff really doesn't matter. I've tested a lot of stuff, but usually every change I make makes it worse," he says with a laugh. People sign up and look for people to date and there's only so many ways you can organize the search results, only so many ways you can display users. While his competition spends untold millions on marketing and advertising, Frind relies mostly on word of mouth and says the Internet advertising he buys brings in a tiny percentage of new business.
Kim Kaplan, Plenty of Fish's vice-president, wouldn't say what was paid for the appearance in the Lady Gaga video since it was part of a larger marketing campaign with the singer.
But she said it was good value for money. Now Facebook has come in and sucked out an hour or two, and instead of spending 16 minutes on my site they're only spending 15 minutes now, on average.
And if they spend less time they send less messages which means the probability of meeting up is slightly lower. There's a lot of business opportunities there. Back then it was, 'Why are you using a dating site?