So once again the annual festival of love was celebrated last week. Cupids everywhere were looking to the Net to source their tokens of love and affection on Valentine’s Day. But what of those singletons looking for a little fun? Well, naturally, they too turned to the Web for their heart’s desire/ a date.
According to Jupiter Research European online dating sites are attracting new users and will double revenues from €243m in 2006 to €549m in 2011. Interest in online dating sites in Europe is growing. According to Nate Elliot, senior analyst at Jupiter. "The European online dating market is experiencing real growth right now. The industry will increase from 2.8 million paid users in 2006 to 6 million in 2011."
So here in the UK, YouGov‘s Valentine’s Day LoveTrack shows that for just over half of internet daters, at least 50% of their time looking for dates is spent online, compared to using other methods to find a partner. Despite this time investment, only 25% are confident of finding what they are looking for on these sites, and less than half feel the site they use the most addresses their needs as consumers.
When it comes to searching for love on the internet, "dating" and "online dating" are unsurprisingly the most popular search terms. It is surprising to note, however, that "Christian dating" ranks fifth and that despite the popularity of Gaydar.co.uk, search terms around gay love or gay dating do not rank in the top ten.
However, once again searches by brand appear to be the most popular among users, with Gaydar.co.uk and Match.com ranking top according to two sources, and sites including DatingDirect,com and LoopyLove attract the greatest interest.
Clearly, in the online dating arena it is brand names that register most with online users. And these brands can take heart, with nearly 40% of internet daters previously using dating sites within the past 12 months saying they have found someone online. And of those, 70% say they will be willing to use internet dating sites in the future should their circumstances change.
A match made in dot-com heaven, apparently.