Online dating sites vs dating on social networking

I am always reading, particularly about online trends, new applications, and new software. It is necessary when you are involved with a site like datepositive.net.

It is also addictive. A habit that is hard to reduce, probably because you think you might miss something.

In particular I have followed the online dating v social networking discussion that has been around for three or four years. When this debate first began online the direction wasn’t clear.

However, lots of writers predicted that social networking sites would over-shadow the online dating industry. And it was easy to see how the massive rise of sites such as Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter could somehow produce an alternative to traditional dating sites.

After all, online dating is truly an institution in the world of the web. Sites like datingdirect.com and Match.com are close to a decade old now, existing from the web 1.0 age.

And yet, they have shown staying power. Site owners who are willing to change and adapt can exist and grow.

No-one can predict the future, but I think that online dating sites will exist for many years to come.  If the sites are able to meet specific needs, work in niche markets and respond to what people are looking for then users will be happy to pay a reasonable membership fee.

I also think that privacy issues will continue to affect sites like Facebook in the future. People will continue to tighten control on who sees their profile information and who they communicate with. Dating sites that respect members’ privacy and maintain site security are better positioned to deal with privacy concerns.

So the outcome is far from certain, despite the length of time the discussion has continued. For our site we know that there is a need and we experience steady growth. Our challenge is to build on this growth and plan for the future.