Statistics on online dating 2014

(“Everyone knows that all personality profiling is bull****,” a former Match executive told him.

Most paid sites claim, for instance, that it’s their highly scientific matching algorithms that lead people to serious relationships; in his 2013 book on the subject, however, the journalist Dan Slater concludes that most of those claims are bunk.

It’s a simple question and a common one — one whose answer could determine the fates of both a multi-billion dollar industry and millions of lonely hearts.

It’s a question that seems distinctly answerable: we have user data, surveys, clear metrics for success or failure, entire books full of colorful charts.

That’s not much different from your neighborhood bar, except in its scale, ease of use and demographics.

But in terms of actual function, the things we think of as uniquely “online” in online dating — the algorithms, the personality profiles, the “29 dimensions of compatibility” — don’t appear to make too much of a difference in how the enterprise “works.” Meanwhile, all this is happening during a time of enormous revolution in the way we conceive of relationships and commitment.

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For starters, there’s this greater cultural issue of how we define relationship success: Is it marriage? Is it what Ok Cupid’s data team calls a “fourway” — four messages back and forth between two semi-interested parties?

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