Online dating is a huge business, but most dating sites are still stuck in the 90s. They don’t take advantage of developments in video and social networking, and they don’t have good mobile experiences.
Here are a few startups I met at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that want to bring online dating into the modern era.
Michael Cafferata, a firefighter, started VideoDate on the side.
After rebranding from MyYearbook more than a year ago, social network MeetMe is off and running on its next big adventure. It’s a Tinder meets Vine social dating play, and it’s called Charm.
MeetMe’s focus has always been on meeting new people who may end up being great friends.
One in 10 Americans have used a dating site or app, including 38% of people who currently describe themselves as “single and looking,” according to Pew Research Center’s first survey on online dating since 2005.
Pew found that over the last eight years, the number of people who went on a date with someone they met online grew to 66%, a significant increase from 43% in 2005.
HowAboutWe, a startup that recommends date activities for both singles and couples, is launching the first internationalized versions of its iOS app.
The company bills itself as “the first offline dating site” because of its emphasis on real-world activities.
Last month, Grouper expanded into 12 new cities, bringing its so-called online social club into new markets. After launching a year ago, the Y Combinator grad is growing fast thanks to its unique spin on dating.
Digital dating is nothing to scoff at; it’s a big business, and it’s changed a lot of lives — mostly for the better. Yet, while dating has seen enormous progress during the Digital Era, there’s still a lot garbage out there, and the space is still mostly dominated by a handful of old names.