Several marketing companies have released their year-end rankings of dating sites and, I have to admit, I’m a little surprised at the results. Three different marketing firms ranked Plenty of Fish and Match.com as the top two dating sites of 2014. This surprises me because I rarely hear anyone in real life talking about their Match or POF accounts. My beloved OKCupid ranks in the 3 and 4 spots on two of the lists, and isn’t present on Comscore’s top 10 apps list at all. This is a great example of your view of the world being skewed by the tiny environment around you.If you’d asked me, based on anecdotal evidence, what the top dating sites were from the past year, I would have said OKCupid. Virtually everyone I know uses OKCupid, with Tinder chomping at its virtual heels for the top spot. But my social circle is largely made up people practicing nontraditional relationship styles -(such as polyamory), people of alternative sexualities, and those who just aren’t looking to settle down and want to have a little fun. OKCupid and Tinder are great for these demographics. Match and POF are targeted more toward the traditional, marriage-minded community, and Plenty of Fish won’t even allow us queer, horny, or poly folk onto their precious (Christian-owned) dating site.
Despite my occasional little jabs at the more conventional sites, I don’t think they are doing anything wrong. In fact, these rankings prove quite the opposite. I may be surrounded by alternative lifestyles and relationships, but that’s certainly not a good sampling of the attitudes and practices of the rest of America. The lesson here is twofold:
- Don’t assume that your experience is the common one.
- Not all dating sites are created equal. Pick the site or sites that appeal most to the kind of people you want to date. Don’t go looking for your straight, Christian, marriage-minded partner on Adam 4 Adam, and don’t expect to find a wealth of fellow poly partners on Christian Mingle. Sure, it might take a little extra time and research to narrow down your options, but you’ll save yourself time in the long run by targeting your efforts in directions more likely to pay off.
And, without further ado, here are your top 10 dating site rankings of 2014, according to Experian Marketing Services:
- Plenty of Fish
- Adam 4 Adam
How does this list compare to your world?