What was the first online dating site?
Gary Kremen founded the Match.com as one of several online classified ad businesses he planned to develop
Well before there was Tinder, Bumble, MeetMe, Hinge, and Grindr, there was Match.com.
The company, which bills itself as the pioneer of the online dating industry, is credited with creating the first online dating website in 1995 so singles "are more likely to find someone special."
The idea for the revolutionary platform came to entrepreneur Gary Kremen while he was in the shower, according to a Wired interview from 1995.
"I thought it would be really interesting to use the Internet for relationships, and to do it right," he told the outlet.
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After graduating from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1989, Kremen set off on another venture, launching two separate software companies, according to Business Insider. However, his personal search for a woman helped him cultivate an even bigger idea.
At the time, Kremen had been paying $3 per minute on 900-number dating services, the outlet reported. But by 1993 his vision for an online personal database became a reality when he founded Electric Classifies Inc., the outlet reported. At the time was he positioning Match as one of several classified-ad sites he would launch.
By 1994, he owned the domain to Match.com, according to Business Insider. The website went live in April of 1995 and it has since expanded into 24 countries and territories, according to the company. It also hosts websites in 15 different languages.
"Over the years, we've learned more and more about what people want — and the tools they need to help take the lottery out of love," the company said.
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The structure of its website and app has been mimicked by competitors throughout the years.
The company gives "singles the opportunity to express themselves" through writing sections and photos. The person can also select preferences on their profile for their ideal partner.
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Subscribers can then chat with their matches through that the company calls an "anonymous" email network." The names and contact information of members are confidential until the subscribers decide to share it.
However, the company noted that the company "offers different approaches and features unique to different cultures."
Match, the website that morphed into a "mobile matchmaker," ranked eighth as the most downloaded app in 2019 in the United States notching over 2.3 million downloads, according to mobile research firm Sensor Tower.
In 1997 Match was sold for $7 million to Cendant, a Connecticut consumer-services company. By 1999, IAC acquired Match, according to the Wall Street Journal.
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Match Group, which owns and operates several online dating platforms including Tinder, Match, PlentyOfFish, Meetic, OkCupid, OurTime, Pairs and Hinge, went public in 2015.
As of December 2019, IAC had more than 80 percent of stake in Match, according to Barrons.
However, the media and internet company announced that same month announced plans that it would fully separate its Match Group unit, giving IAC shareholders direct ownership of Match Group after the separation. Shareholders would also receive an additional $3 a share cash in consideration.