New online dating companies

In the last few weeks, e Harmony has launched a personal matching feature called eh that Langston says will combine the company’s huge database with a real-live matchmaker--for 00 a pop.

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Leader Inter Active Corp (IAC) owns at least 30 sites, including and OKCupid, followed by e Harmony.com, which targets a slightly older demographic. Of 19,000 couples married between 20, more than a third met through an online dating site, according to a study in last May’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Even as the user base soars, it’s not clear that sites’ algorithms for pairing couples are improving their chances of staying together long term.A 2012 paper in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest concluded that sites “build their algorithms around principles--typically similarity but also complementarity—that are much less important to relationship well-being than has long been assumed.” The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study reported that marriages that started online were only slightly less likely to end in divorce than others.Related: Cheatin’ Hearts Online Cost Businesses M a Day That means making a dent as a new player will be harder than ever since many will have to build a database of users from scratch, says IBISWorld analyst Jeremy Edwards.To survive, they’ll need a novel marketing strategy and a focus on untapped potential daters—sites targeting niche markets have higher rates of membership growth, according to the report.

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