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Getting Social at the Internet Dating Conference

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Matchmaker of the Year Julie Ferman and Julie Spira

It was a pleasure attending the 8th Annual Internet Dating Conference in Miami again, where I had the honor to speak on Web Dating 2.0: Using Social Media to Create Brand Loyalty on January 20, 2011.

Several hundred people attended the session on day 2 of the 3-day conference.

Going Mobile

In my presentation, I shared the exciting news that both Zoosk Mobile and SpeedDate Mobile apps have each had more than 2 million downloads.? OkCupid’s mobile app has over 1 million mobile users. eHarmony says their mobile apps account for approximately 20% of global site visits. Consumers now look at eHarmony profiles more than 16,000 times per hour while using mobile devices.? Their mobile app was launched in August, 2009 in conjunction with their 10th anniversary. Match says mobile users are twice as engaged as those who log onto the site on their desktop, so we are definitely going mobile.

Record Highs

We learned from Online Personals Watch Publisher Mark Brooks that online dating hit a record high in December 2010 with 116 million members worldwide visiting online dating sites. Over 20 million visits were from U.S. members. The folks from Google shared that 35 hours of video content is uploaded on YouTube every minute of the day. Online dating is a 1.3 billion dollar industry now according to Jupiter Research.

iDate Awards

One of the highlights of the conference was the 2nd annual iDate Awards. This year OkCupid won 4 iDate Awards including Best Dating Site, Best Dating Site Design, Most Innovative Company, and Best Up and Coming Dating Site. Congratulations to OkCupid for winning in every category that they were nominated in and matching the number of Golden Globe Awards received as The Social Network film. My friend Julie Ferman won the Best Matchmaker Award for the second year in a row and it was certainly well deserved.

Getting Social

It was terrific spending time with Sherri Langburt from Single Edition, Ravit Abelman from Omnidate,? Julie Ferman from Cupid’s Coach, and eLove’s Paul Falzone while catching up with Sam Yagan from OkCupid and Kate Billenki from Plenty of Fish. All have been featured guests on Ask the Cyber-Dating Expert Radio Show. Dating blogger Simone Grant came to iDate for her first time and we brainstormed about dating, blogging, and social media.

The Final Debate

The conference ended with the Final Panel Debate curated by Marc Lesnick, Conference Organizer and included Mark McMaster from Google, Mark Brooks from Online Personals Watch, Michael McQuown from Thunder Road, Jonathan Crutchley from Manhunt, Mark Harrison from Dating Factory, Joel Simkhal from Grindr, Markus Frind from Plenty of Fish, Sam Yagan from OkCupid, Ty from Elite Global Dating and Dan Winchester from FreeDating.co.uk. At the end of the annual end of conference panel, the majority of the panelists felt that online dating would continue to grow in 2011.

Free Versus Paid

The hot topic this year was Free versus Paid online dating sites. Free sites have been rising in popularity and have made a small dent in the paid online dating services. Compared to the cost of high-end matchmakers, paid online dating sites are still a bargain.

To view my presentation, visit SocialMediaMore.com/idate