DALLAS, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Match.com, the largest dating site in the world, is transforming the American dating experience with new, innovative features for connecting people that eliminate the distinction between online and offline dating. Rolling out nationally over the coming weeks, Match.com will launch The Stir, a service that brings single people together in thousands of events across the country, and a proprietary collection of dual-player games designed to let people get to know each other online in a fun, natural way. The games will be available to all Match.com subscribers this summer, and the Stir will begin rolling out in more than 20 U.S. cities by June and nationwide by September.
"Our mission has always been to help single people have more success at meeting new people, in order to give them a better chance of starting a relationship," said Match.com President Mandy Ginsberg. "Now the advent of new technologies has allowed us to leverage our massive national membership scale to meaningfully expand the extent and nature of the positive impact we can have, and to make it more fun and natural along the way."
Coming to a Venue Near You…
The Stir, consisting of hundreds of local events each month, will range from large-scale happy hours to more intimate events, such as cooking classes, wine and tequila tastings, dance lessons, bowling nights, rock climbing and more.
A big part of meeting people is going out and being social, and the Stir improves that "going out" experience. When you go to a Stir event, everyone will be single, everyone will be looking to meet someone, and each event will be customized through our group matching algorithms in terms of age, gender and interests. In short, the Stir addresses some of the fundamental pitfalls of a typical night out for single people.
Members can learn about and sign up for these events via Match.com, and subscribers can even invite friends and bring them along as an added benefit. At each local event, attendees can leverage their mobile devices by checking in and receiving special offers from the venues on food and beverages. Over the coming months, Match.com plans to introduce other ways for online elements to enhance the event experience, such as the ability to invite other members to an event, create in-event engagement, and re-connect online afterward.
As part of an ongoing beta program, Match.com has organized 60 Stir events across 10 U.S. markets to date. The response has been tremendous, and the initiative will accelerate by September to include over 200 events each month, with thousands of people participating every week.
Why Write an Email When You Can Play a Game Instead?
The games are proprietary offerings that allow two members to get to know each other in a quick, natural way without the pressure and awkwardness that other interactions can sometimes entail. They initially consist of seven games lasting one to five minutes each, such as "Food Critic," "Gut Reaction," "Best & Worst," and "Name That Dance," each structured to create shared experiences and encourage interaction between players through instant messaging. Later this year, Match.com plans to integrate video into these games, further enhancing the experience by allowing members to play each other face-to-face.
"Our new games tackle one of online dating's traditional shortcomings," said Ginsberg. "Online dating has been an effective way to meet, but it's not always the best way to get to know someone. The games are fun and easy to play, and they allow our members to figure out whether they have chemistry with each other before going out on a date."
Expanding Our Impact
"The term 'online dating' has never been quite accurate, since you don't actually date anyone online," said Ginsberg. "If you're single, you just want to meet great people and then go out with them on dates, and Match.com has enabled millions of people to do that more successfully. With the introduction of these new offerings, we're able to meaningfully expand the impact we can have on people's lives. Now, whether you're staying home or going out on the town, we're empowering you to make more connections with new people, better evaluate whether you have chemistry with someone, and have more fun while doing it."
Founded in 1995, Match.com was the original dating website and pioneer of the online dating industry. Throughout its 17-year history, Match.com has been responsible for more dates, relationships and marriages than any other website. Today, Match.com operates leading subscription-based online dating sites in 25 countries, 8 languages and across five continents. Match.com is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit www.match.com