In the past decade, online dating has shifted from an unspoken taboo to a commonplace phenomenon—and has grown into a big business. OkCupid, launched in , has had a front-row seat to this evolution, watching users shift from dial-up internet connections to broadband to location-based mobile apps like Tinder. However, its veteran status could also be its obstacle, as it has struggled to attract younger users. The median age of female OkCupid users was 32 years old, according to a study , while that of its rival Tinder was After being named chief executive officer of the company in May , Elie Seidman set out to create a community around online dating that he says is lacking in other apps that take a more superficial approach.
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Online Dating Industry: The Business of Love
Online dating can be a great way for people to meet those who are outside of their usual social circles and connect with potential partners whom they might never have crossed paths with otherwise. As with conventional dating, online dating carries with it the inherent risks of having bad dates and encountering hurtful behavior. But with online dating, the always-on nature of the technology allows users perhaps encourages users is even more accurate to check, recheck and overanalyze whether a potential match has viewed their profile, responded to a message or blocked the match entirely. Yes, online dating carries the potential for disappointment and anxiety, acknowledges Rachel Dack, a licensed clinical professional counselor with a private practice in Bethesda, Maryland, who specializes in helping clients with dating, relationship and intimacy issues. However, she believes that online dating is a risk worth taking — if approached in a healthy way.