Match.com to focus on dating events as it launches ‘pioneering’ Messenger bot

Match.com is using Lara, ‘the girlfriend you wish you had’, to surprise and delight its growing number of online daters.

Match.com has launched the first dating bot for Facebook Messenger in the UK, in a move it describes as “pioneering” and hopes will “surprise and delight” its users.

The bot, which is named Lara, helps singles create their dating profile on Match.com through interacting with Facebook Messenger. The idea is that a Facebook user can create a profile on the dating site without having to leave the social media platform.

Lara uses natural language processing techniques and Artificial Intelligence to interact with users in a “seamless manner”. It can analyse up to 50 categories of criteria and looks through people’s Facebook profiles to help maximise their Match.com profile’s success with potential suitors.

The bot launched in France last year and following the UK launch it will be rolled out across the rest of Europe. The underlying aim is to make the process of finding a date much more convenient by allowing users to start a conversation with the virtual dating assistant at any time. ‘Lara’ will ask the user personal details including their age, location and sexual preference, before inviting them to set up a Match.com account. Lara subsequently alerts them whenever she has found a possible date.

Abbie Oguntade, VP Northern European Region at Match.com UK, tells Marketing Week: “Lara is the girlfriend you wish you had or do have. She gives advice and matches you with people you know and will be compatible with.”

The future of dating

In order to stay ahead of competitors such as Plenty of Fish, Match.com says it has to remain surprising.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do. We need to continue to surprise and delight. But that’s not to say we are blind to what our competitors are doing,” Oguntade adds.

Innovation is not all focused online either, and Oguntade believes this is one of Match.com’s main strengths.

The business has a mobile and desktop platform but it is also focusing on events for singletons wanting to meet in more organic ways. These include things such as art gallery tours, painting classes and ‘match nights’ where people can mingle with other singles.

According to Oguntade, these events will allow the brand to differentiate and avoid being too digitally-focused. She concludes: “We believe we stand for real dating and for people to make authentic connections. We’re happy for people to meet in real life and the events side of our proposition enables us to stand out.”

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  • Fernando Ardenghi 21 Apr 2017 at 10:07 pm

    Please notice:
    WorldWide, there are over 5,000 (five thousand) online dating sites
    but no one is using the 16PF5 (or similar) to assess personality of its members!
    but no one calculates similarity with a quantized pattern comparison method!
    but no one can show Compatibility Distribution Curves to each and every of its members!
    but no one is scientifically proven! No actual online dating site is “scientifically proven” because no one can prove its matching algorithm can match prospective partners who will have more stable and satisfying relationships (and very low divorce rates) than couples matched by chance, astrological destiny, personal preferences, searching on one’s own, or other technique as the control group in a peer reviewed Scientific Paper for the majority (over 90%) of its members.
    but no one can show you a list of compatible persons like this:
    ( for a prospective male customer / sample but calculated with real values)
    “Over 1,000,000 million women database, here is the list of the 12 more compatible with you. Notice that woman#1 is the most compatible with you but she could be more compatible with other men right now.
    woman#01 is 95.58476277% compatible
    woman#02 is 95.56224356% compatible
    woman#03 is 95.52998273% compatible
    woman#04 is 94.18354278% compatible
    woman#05 is 93.00453871% compatible
    woman#06 is 93.00007524% compatible
    woman#07 is 92.99738452% compatible
    woman#08 is 92.37945551% compatible
    woman#09 is 92.29779173% compatible
    woman#10 is 92.27114287% compatible
    woman#11 is 92.19515551% compatible
    woman#12 is 92.12249558% compatible”

    The 3 milestone discoveries of the 2001 – 2010 decade for Theories of Romantic Relationships Development are:
    I) Several studies showing contraceptive pills users make different mate choices, on average, compared to non-users. “Only short-term but not long-term partner preferences tend to vary with the menstrual cycle”
    II) People often report partner preferences that are not compatible with their choices in real life. (Behavioural recommender systems or other system that learns your preferences are useless)
    III) What is important in attracting people to one another may not be important in making couples happy. Compatibility is all about a high level on personality similarity between prospective mates for long term mating with commitment.

    The key to long-lasting romance: COMPATIBILITY is exactly STRICT PERSONALITY SIMILARITY and not “meet other people with similar interests”.

    The Online Dating Industry does not need a 10% improvement, a 50% improvement or a 100% improvement. It does need “a 100 times better improvement”
    The only way to revolutionize the Online Dating Industry is using the 16PF5 normative personality test, available in different languages to assess personality of members, or a proprietary test with exactly the same traits of the 16PF5 and expressing compatibility with eight decimals (needs a quantized pattern comparison method, part of pattern recognition by cross-correlation, to calculate similarity between prospective mates.)
    High precision in matching algorithms is precisely the key to open the door and leave the infancy of compatibility testing.

    Without offering the NORMATIVE 16PF5 (or similar test measuring exactly the 16 personality factors) for serious dating, it will be impossible to innovate and revolutionize the Online Dating Industry

    All other proposals are NOISE, of course, and perform as placebo.

    Regards,
    Fernando Ardenghi.
    Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    ardenghifer AT gmail DOT com

  • Fernando Ardenghi 21 Apr 2017 at 10:14 pm

    The Online Dating Industry needs Innovations, not more bells and whistles!

    The Match Group is only a collection of old and obsolete online dating sites: Match, Meetic, Chemistry, OkCupid, LoveScout24 (FriendScout24), OurTime, HowAboutWe, PlentyOfFish and many more and all of them are past their primes, reached operating ceiling and they are in decadence.

    The Match Group is not going to innovate and revolutionize the Online Dating Industry in the next years.

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