Recession, Free Dating Sites Are Match Made in Heaven

Paid online dating sites see customers flooding to free upstarts

By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 6, 2009 3:53 PM CST

(Newser) – Traffic on free online dating sites has spiked, a trend fueled by the recession and by daters’ realization that finding love for free beats paying, reports BusinessWeek. “If it’s free, why would I go to Match?” asks a Florida woman who met her fiancé on PlentyofFish.com, which has outpaced Match.com in recent months.

“We’ve grown in particular since the economy has gotten worse,” says the founder of OKCupid.com, which grew by 50% from last year—without resorting to advertising. Users say the benefit to the free sites, aside from the absence of a $35-$60 monthly charge, is that as the urge to save grows, so does the dating pool.

Katie Laird, a 24-year-old Web marketing professional and self-proclaimed social software geek, and her husband Adam Sandoval play with their daughter. Laird met Adam online.
Katie Laird, a 24-year-old Web marketing professional and self-proclaimed "social software geek," and her husband Adam Sandoval play with their daughter. Laird met Adam online.   (AP Photo)
Online dating might seem like a shot in the dark, but many who have tried it say that it works, eventually.
Online dating might seem like a shot in the dark, but many who have tried it say that it works, eventually.   (©d70focus)
Times, they are a-changing.
Times, they are a-changing.   (©trmarch)
We are going to double [our staff] this year, says the creator of the free dating site PlentyofFish.com. The economic downturn doesn't affect me.
"We are going to double [our staff] this year," says the creator of the free dating site PlentyofFish.com. "The economic downturn doesn't affect me."   (PlentyofFish.com)
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We are going to double [our staff] this year. The economic downturn doesn't affect me. - Markus Frind, founder of PlentyofFish.com

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