Frind prepares tombstone for

by Rob Lewis

Mashable's Jennifer Van Grove wondered aloud today if paid online dating sites are dead? She wonders if the recent launch of DowntoEarth, a completely free dating site with an interesting pedigree.

According to DowntoEarth’s Privacy Policy, this new, free entrant is “part of the IAC/InterActiveCorp family of businesses.” IAC, of course, acquired in 1999, and is also behind’s spin-off site Despite its success with paid dating, then, IAC is testing the waters with a free model.

Free dating site rival (and Vancouver resident) Markus Frind of Plentyoffish has an answer for Van Grove. YES.

In a post titled It's official - Abandons Paid Dating, Frind claims that IAC's launch of DowntoEarth is a victory for free dating sites.

It looks like realizes they are losing marketshare fast and paid sites don’t really have a future.    15% of my users in the US pay on other dating sites every month,  but they all say if there was another big free site like plentyoffish they wouldn’t pay elsewhere.    This has already happened in Canada where plentyoffish is pretty much the only dating site people use, and eHarmony a distant second.

PlentyOfFish (
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

PlentyOfFish is the world’s largest online dating site, with over 80 million registered users. Beginning as a small start-up out of CEO and founder Markus Frind’s apartment in 2003, it soon revolutionized the online dating industry as the first free site. Since its inception, PlentyOfFish has offered the first and most advanced matching system in the industry and a series of personalized... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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