The U.S. home page
Type of site
Online dating service
Owner IAC
Alexa rank Negative increase 462 (April 2014)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Yes
Launched 1995 (1995)
Current status Active is an online dating service with web sites serving 25 countries in more than eight languages. Its headquarters are in Dallas, Texas. The company has offices in Dallas, West Hollywood, San Francisco, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, and Beijing. is owned by IAC.[2]

History was founded by Gary Kremen and Peng T. Ong in 1993. It was started as a proof-of-concept for Electric Classifieds which aimed to provide classified advertising systems for newspapers. Early on, Kremen was assisted by Peng T. Ong, who helped in the design of the initial system, and Simon Glinsky, who helped in the development of one of the first Internet business plans for and also provided management and marketing expertise. The initial business scope developed by this team included a subscription model, now common among personals services, and inclusion of diverse communities with high first trial and market leaders status, including women, technology professionals and the Gay and Lesbian community. Fran Maier joined in late 1994 to lead the business unit where she significantly bolstered the strategy to make friendly and accessible to women (the men would then follow).[3] went live in early 1995 as a free beta. It was first profiled in Wired magazine in 1995.[4]

The initial users of the service were given free lifetime charter memberships for signing up in an effort to build up the initial database of users for other paying customers to be able to match with.

David Landis, president of the San Francisco, California public relations firm, Landis Communications, Inc., helped promote the launch of during its early stages.[5] Landis and's PR team retitled the service’s in-house director of communications, “Vice President of Romance,” which enabled him to secure bookings on the Today Show, Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, and 60 Minutes, and coverage in People magazine, the New York Times, and USA Today.[6][7] Landis later observed that the strategy “opened the floodgates to media interest” and helped “grow the business from a $5 million valuation to a $55 million business.”[8]

In 1998, was purchased by Cendant. A year later was purchased by IAC (then still operating under the name TicketMaster). In late 1999, was moved to Dallas, Texas, to merge with another matching site, One & Only networks, that IAC had purchased the same year.

In September 2001, merged with Love@AOL, partnering with AOL and MSN to bring online dating to the general public. Love@AOL was no longer free, after it became, but all the names were transferred, allowed a more diverse audience to gain access to Cost of membership for one month was $24.95.[9]

Between September 9, 2004, and April 24, 2007, Jim Safka was the Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Enraght-Moony was the CEO from April, 2007 to February 19, 2009.[10] Gregory R. Blatt served as the CEO of from February 2009 – December 2010.[11]

In November 2004, Guinness World Records recognized as the largest online dating site in the world. At the time, more than 42 million singles globally had registered with since its launch in 1995, and worldwide there were over 15 million members using the service.

In late 2005, in the United States entered into a strategic partnership with Dr. Phil on a new US marketing campaign called "MindFindBind", a monthly subscription program that members can pay an extra fee to access.[12]

In December 2006, the layout of the United States site was redesigned, to go in line with the newly launched series of black and white TV advertisements in the US featuring members.

It was announced in February 2009 that's European operations was sold to Meetic for 5 million Euros and a reported twenty-seven percent interest in the company.[13] At the same time that this sale was announced, the current CEO Thomas Enraght-Mooney stepped down, while IAC's ('s parent company) Executive VP and General Counsel, Greg Blatt, took his place.[14]

In July 2009, acquired People Media from American Capital for $80 Million. People Media powers AOL Personals and operates such sites as and[15]

On February 4, 2010, and Meetic announced a joint venture in the Latin American dating market. The two companies formed a partnership to combine ParPerfieto in Brazil with extended presence in Latin America.

SinglesNet was also acquired by in February 2010, adding to's collective portfolio of domestic and international online dating brands. announced its mobile application for Android in March 2010, making apps available on all major smartphone platforms.

On May 24, 2010, became the exclusive provider of online dating service for Yahoo! via the formation of a co-branded site, " on Yahoo!".[7]

In December 2010,’s CEO Greg Blatt was made CEO of parent company IAC.

It was announced in February 2011 that would acquire dating site OkCupid, diversifying its portfolio of dating sites with a non-subscription based site. OkCupid’s co-founder and CEO Sam Yagan remains CEO of the site. Yagan was named CEO of in October 2012.[16]

In May 2011, announced a planned public tender offer for all outstanding shares of Meetic S.A.

In September 2011, invested a 20% interest in Zhenai Inc., a leading Chinese dating site.

In 2012, announced Stir, a service that brings members together in thousands of events across the country. Stir consists of hundreds of local events each month, ranging from large-scale happy hours to smaller, more intimate events such as cooking classes, wine and tequila tastings, bowling nights, rock climbing, and more. also introduced a proprietary collection of on-site, dual-player games designed to allow people to get to know each other online in a natural way. acquired PlentyOfFish, another free dating site, in July 2015.[17]

In November 2015, the UK site was awarded Best Marketing Campaign at the UK Dating Awards. The award was decided by public vote.

MatchLive, MatchTravel and Stir

In 2002 and early 2003,'s then CEO, Tim Sullivan, tried to expand reach by expanding into the local dating scene with a service called MatchLive. Daters would meet in a public location sponsored by People would be involved in social activities and a form of speed dating together. The idea was scrapped by the parent company. Shortly afterwards, IAC fired Tim Sullivan as acting CEO, and laid off 30 people in the Dallas office involved with the MatchLive brand.[18] The company stated that it planned to refocus its operation moving forward on on-line dating instead of hosting singles and speed-dating events.

In May 2012, announced Stir, events by The new service offers hundreds of local events each month for members to attend.

MatchTravel was an attempt about the same time as the MatchLive brand to offer discounts via the then sister company Expedia, Inc. to daters meeting on The service was rescinded shortly afterward.

Mobile app

In April 2014, launched an updated mobile app called "Stream" which uses location to match people based upon photographs, using similar algorithms as the mobile dating app Tinder.[19]


On November 10, 2005, a class action was filed by Matthew Evans against in federal court in Los Angeles alleging that "secretly employs people as 'date bait' to send bogus enticing E-mails and to go on as many as 100 dates a month – or three a day – to keep customers ponying up." The suit has been repudiated by IAC as baseless. The suit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 25, 2007.[20]

A class action filed in June 2009 accuses of matching customers with people who are non-paying customers or who are not customers at all. has said that the suit is without merit.[21] According to the complaint, filed in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, represented by attorney Norah Hart, "Match misleads paying subscribers by charging them for the ability to write e-mails to members who can't reply to their e-mails or even read them."[22]

Another class-action lawsuit was filed in December 2010, alleging that the site maintains thousands of inactive, fake and fraudulent profiles on its dating site to mislead and lure consumers into subscribing.[23] The judge in the case ruled on August 10, 2012 that did not breach its user agreements with consumers because the agreements "in no way requires to police, vet, update the website content" or guarantee the accuracy of profiles on the site.[23]

A woman claiming she was raped by another person she met on sued the site in 2011.[24] The woman and her lawyer wanted to start doing background checks on their users in order to prevent registered sex offenders from using the site. has responded that it would create many problems trying to get background information from all their users.[25][26] Days after the lawsuit was filed, announced that the site would begin screening new members.[27] uses automatic subscription renewal. On UK, the British version of the site, a subscription cannot be cancelled online, it can only be cancelled by phoning a call centre.[28] To cancel in the U.S., one must go to a page on the site that contains the information on how to do it.[29]

Use by sexual predators

From 2011 to 2014 a man described by British police as a “sexual predator”, contacted thousands of women through the website. He raped five of them. In March 2016 Derby Crown Court heard that four of the victims complained about the man to; one of the women was told that administrators could not do anything because he had not sent abusive messages through the site.[30][31]

IAC Personals is the leading brand in the division of the IAC/Interactive Corp known as IAC Personals. Other brands in the IAC Personals sphere include:

Brands retired by IAC Personals include:

See also


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
  2. "IAC's Announces Successful Tender Offer For Meetic S.A." 18 August 2011 Reuters. Retrieved 15 July 2012
  3. LOVE'S LABOR LOST / Online matchmaker still seeks love, money
  4. Krieger, Todd (September 1995). "Love and Money". Wired.
  5. Cogswell, Anthony. "One on One: David Landis". Retrieved 7 January 2014. External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. Marech, Rona (February 8, 2002). "PEOPLE/VP of romance looks at love". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. France, Louise. "Love at first site". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. Veltman, Chloe. "Meet the Marketer". Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  9. Timeline: How Got Where it Is – Fox Business News – Small Business Center – February 12, 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
  11. "Gregory Blatt". Forbes. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013.
  12. Albo, Bonny. " Review".
  13. Brooks, Mark (April 2009). "Love is In the Air". Online Personals Watch.
  14. Brooks, Mark (February 2009). "IAC Appoints Greg Blatt CEO of". Online Personals Watch.
  15. Wauters, Robin (July 2009). " Acquires People Media For $80M In Cash". TechChrunch.
  16. "Yagan moves up at". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  17. Bootstrapped dating site PlentyOfFish has fewer than 100 employees and Match just bought it for $575 million in cash. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  19. MULSHINE, MOLLY. "Match Launches New iPhone App That Is Basically Tinder". BetaBeat.
  20. New York Daily News – Home – Call 'em Match.con
  21. Cherry, Tiffany. "Dallas based online dating company – Sued for Alleged Fraud". Wired PR News.
  22. Sean McGinn, et al vs. LLP, Case 1:09-cv-05328-SWK Document 1 Filed 06/09/2009
  23. 1 2 " Class Action Lawsuit Gets No Love in Court". Retrieved October 11, 2013. Top Class Actions website.
  24. ABC News
  26. "Woman Sues". Time. April 15, 2011.
  27. Almendrala, Anna (May 23, 2011). " Heads To Court Over Sexual Predator Lawsuit". Huffington Post.
  28. Deleting accounts
  32. "Match Group Interview With CEO Sam Yagan". OPW. Retrieved 23 May 2014.

External links

  1. "What are you". FAQ. Consumer Affairs.
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