Yesterday Plentyoffish.com Founder Markus Frind declared on his blog that the the Web is dead and the future of online dating is mobile. Considering his stats, it hard to argue with him.
In the last year POF has gone from having no mobile apps to 300 Million visits and 3 Billion page views a month. And according to Frind, mobile traffic continues to grow at 3% a week!
By comparison the POF website has been around since 2003 and only has 160 Million visits a month accounting for 4 Billion page views. To give a sense of how quickly mobile is taking over online dating, 40% of POF signups in the United States are now via a mobile device up from under 10% this time last year.
A recent report from mobile app analytics firm Flurry confirms Frind's analysis of mobile dating apps vs. online dating sites. According to Flurry, on average, 8.4 minutes are spent in mobile dating apps vs. 8.3 minutes online. Not much of a difference but very indicative of the trend considering a year previous people spent twice as much time on the Internet for dating as they did on a mobile device.
So what's the problem? Unlike the web where Frind mastered Google Adsense (the cheque pictured below is from 2006) he hasn't figured out how to monetize mobile yet.
Now its great to have all this traffic, the only problem is now one has figured out how to make similar levels of money on mobile as the web, unless you do some real scammy stuff. So ya its great to have more traffic on mobile than every other dating app combined in english speaking countries but it doesn’t matter much if you can’t really monetize it at high levels and it starts to cannibalize your web traffic.
It's one thing to hypothesize about the growth of mobile on a smaller site like Techvibes, but when one of the Top 100 websites in the US opens their kimono you've got some serious proof.
Last month ago Frind summarized 2011 and talked a bit about his continued plans to diversify his business. In 2011 Frind "invested millions into other sites... some with millions of users". He also acquired a couple of companies and formed a few new ones outside of the dating space. For 2012 he has set aside $10 Million to acquire (and invest in) other companies.
What i’m looking for are dating companies in the mobile space, non english speaking countries or something that can help us lift our average revenue per user.. IE a paid site we can send a lot of traffic to and it converts.
Frind may not have to look far for a mobile love connection. Vancouver Entrepreneur Ian Bell started mobile dating app Tingle.com two years ago and last month stated that "web-based dating sites are rapidly becoming the dinosaurs of social networking". He might be a match.