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Online Dating: 24 Interesting Takeaways from TED Talks

Jorge Sette By Jorge Sette Published on June 27, 2016

Living happily ever after is still a dream for most of us. Everyone spends a healthy portion of their life struggling to find a prince or princess to build an enduring relationship with. Most cultures highlight the need for people to pair off, build a family, and have kids. We are told from a very early age that we need another person to feel complete.

As Winston Churchill put it, “My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me.”

The importance of romantic love in the relationship is also strongly emphasized. As a result, a marriage must not only be a practical agreement between two sensible people, but must be wrapped in feelings of tenderness. As Mignon McLaughlin says, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

Online dating services have become a popular way of dealing with this pressure to find a soulmate. There is an increasing number of matchmaking apps and websites available on the Internet, promising to put you in touch with the right person. The best means of promoting yourself on dating apps are not that different from a well-thought out marketing strategy to sell a product (as you’ll see from the last video below). All of the following notes on online dating services come from three different TED talks on the topic.

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1. How I hacked online dating (by Amy Webb)

● Matchmaking algorithms have been around for thousands of years.

● While most people go through terrible dating experiences when they’re matched by an algorithm, Webb claims it’s not the algorithm’s fault. The algorithm is performing exactly as it is supposed to, though some of the questions asked in the screening questionnaires can sound superficial. Users, on the other hand, refrain from being brutally honest as they fill in information about themselves.

● The best way to deal with that is to first list all of the data points you find important when looking for the right partner, then try to reverse engineer the mechanism and make it work for you.

● Take your competition into consideration, compare your profile with your competitors to see where you stand.

● Develop your own scoring system for candidates.

● Your profile’s content matters; do some market research and optimize the information you want to communicate to prospective dates.

● In summary, take ownership of the process.

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2. The Beautiful Truth About Online Dating   (by Arum Kang & Dawoon Kang

● Online dating data confirms some of the worst stereotypes we have. Men tend to prefer younger women. Women are into rich men. Men only go for looks.

● However these stats only show the level of popularity and desirability of certain people. They say nothing about how successful they are at finding a partner online, which is the ultimate objective of the people signing up for these services.

● If you look at the users who are able to connect more, you will find that the biggest difference between their profiles and the profiles of people who remain single is the length of the profile.

● In an online form that asks users to finish sentences beginning with, “I am…” “I like…” and “I appreciate when my date…” the biggest differentiator between people who succeed at finding a date is how much more articulate and comprehensive their writing is.

● Both groups (the successful and not so successful) basically use the same key words, positive, exercise, hiking, open, honest, funny, but the people who use these words to build full sentences and paragraphs reveal a lot more about themselves.

● The same goes for the chat section of online services. There is a strong correlation between success and exchanging a high number of messages. Those who expose themselves more by sharing details about their lives, making themselves seem more vulnerable and real, were also more successful.

● The lesson here is that people who are afraid to open up to whoever they are communicating with, and so fail to have a real conversation, lower their chances of finding a partner.

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3. What brands can learn from online dating (by Sarah Willersdorf)

● We are attracted to brands just as we are attracted to people.

● Online dating is a two billion dollar industry.

● In the United States alone, 40 million people use online dating.

● Buying is about attraction.

● 83% of millennials sleep with their smartphones next to them and turned on.

● Three lessons that brands can take from online dating: be clear, not coy, give them what they want, get naked (with your message).

● Be frank and direct with your customers.

● Simplify your message. You should aim to convey the essence of your message through a few of the right images (photos).

● Brands need to optimize for clients, customize your offer for the customer. That can be done scientifically, by analyzing metrics and data.

● Successful online dating apps (Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, etc.) have very simple interfaces. Brands should follow this system. Brands should be able to communicate their messages in two to five seconds to entice a customer.

If you haven’t found your dream date yet, maybe it’s time to start looking. I hope these cliff notes can set you in the right direction. Watch the TED Talks they come from; they can be really elucidating. Good luck.

Jorge Sette

Jorge Sette is Bookwitty's Regional Ambassador for South America. He represents the company, writing relevant content for the region, recruiting contributors, contacting partners and ... Show More


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