Match.com launches free Facebook dating app

Match.com has launched its first Facebook dating app as it looks to maintain its position at the top of the UK paid-for dating market, against growing competition from rivals.

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The app, dubbed Matchlist, allows Facebook members to register with the site for free and find potential partners in their area. Users can also make a shortlist of potential dates and ask selected Facebook friends for feedback via a private message.

Matchlist is similar in user experience to rival dating service Zoosk, which originally started as a Facebook dating app but evolved for use on smartphones, desktop apps and a standalone website.

The roll out of Matchlist follows the launch of the Going the Distance Facebook app for sister brand MatchAffinity.com, which invited people to share their thoughts on the secrets to a lasting relationship as part of a wider marketing campaign for the service.

Match.com recently appointed former MPG Media Contacts search director Mikhail Basman to the newly created role of director of online marketing to enhance its digital activity.

The online dating industry is crowded with hundreds of free-to use services, but Match’s portfolio are the most visited paid-for dating sites in the UK, attracting 698,000 unique visitors in September, according to comScore.

Its closest paid-for rivals are Cupid.com, which attracted 148,000 unique visitors in the period and eHarmony, with 120,000 unique visitors.

EHarmony stated intentions earlier this month to ramp up its UK marketing focus, three years after first launching in the territory, as it looks to overtake Match to become the market-leading paid-for relationship service. The company is also looking into mobile for its marketing campaigns and user experience as it looks to differentiate itself from its rivals.

In September Facebook launched a major design overhaul, allowing brands to create social apps so that users can seamlessly share their activity with those companies on a newly designed live “Ticker” that automatically updates when they interact with media. UK launch partner brands included Spotify, The Guardian and The Independent.

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at marketoonist.com or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here

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