Match introduces an element of human matchmaking to its dating app

Match group Inc.

introduced matchmakers to its namesake dating app, offering a little human filter to romantic suggestions generated by its algorithm, the company said.

A team of 50 members, who have been trained as dating coaches by the company, will select two profiles for participating members each week, drawing from the same algorithm-generated pool that the service already provides.

They will be guided by members’ responses to four questions about, for example, what a person would change in their love life, what type of person a user gravitates to, and others. The service costs $ 4.99 per week.

The company created the feature because, for some singles, the pandemic has added a degree of urgency to seeking a long-term relationship, said Amarnath Thombre, chief executive of Match Group Americas.

“People have had enough time to think about what really matters to me, which makes me happy,” said Thombre. “They’re also a bit clearer about who they want to be.”

Experts can narrow the pool of applicants, suggesting people who might be more compatible, said Rachel DeAlto, Match Chief Dating Expert.

“It’s really about coming in and highlighting people and helping them not to feel so overwhelmed or frustrated,” she said.

Match allows users to create profiles, view other profiles, and chat with the system’s “best choices” for them at no cost, but it charges a subscription fee before members can communicate with all of the users. users. Other optional add-ons include sending unlimited likes to other users and the ability to improve their profile in other members’ search results.

Dating services also compete with each other to improve the experiences they offer. Match added free video calling in April 2020, as social distancing made it more difficult to meet in person. Tinder and Hinge, which also belong to Match Group, have also added new features, such as the new Explore section on Tinder that matches people based on their interests.

Many dating apps have seen an increase in user numbers during the pandemic. Match Group recorded 16.3 million paying subscribers in the third quarter, up from 14 million a year earlier. The company’s revenue totaled $ 802 million last quarter, an increase from $ 640 million a year earlier.

More experience report

Algorithms can solve many problems, but can’t always decipher the contextual clues between people’s preferences in a dating app, said Brendan Gahan, partner and social director of Mekanism Inc., an advertising agency.

“We’re not going to rely solely on algorithms – we want a human touch to help bring that human element and encourage that intimacy even further,” he said.

Traditional matchmaking services are expensive, starting with thousands of dollars for just a few months. But these services are worth it for clients who don’t have the time to screen candidates on apps, said Tammy Shaklee, founder and matchmaker of He’s For Me LLC, which operates H4M Matching, a matchmaking service. LGBTQ.

Matchmakers will only contact people if they think they’ve identified a potential life partner, not just another date, Ms. Shaklee said.

The new Match feature helps humanize online dating and reflects what many single people are already doing, such as asking others for advice on who to date, said Nick Notas, Dating Coach for Men at Eros Consulting Inc.

“The frustration, the loneliness, whatever happens in the online dating experience, it clouds your judgment sometimes, and it’s hard to step back and look at things with objectivity,” Mr. Notas said.

Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at [email protected]

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