Match Group has literally changed the world
It might sound like hyperbole, but Match Group, the company behind online dating services like Match.com, Tinder and OkCupid, has changed the world. That, at least, is the message sent by a pair of researchers investigating online dating. They say that the way in which we look for love and lust (post Match Group) is connecting communities in novel new ways – possibly enabling stronger long-term relationships as a result.
Match Group’s share price has risen by 50% year to date
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Online dating is a little over two decades old. It started in the mid-90s, when services like Match.com took lonely hearts columns online and let users connect over the internet. The personal nature of dating meant that early adopters were not always seen in the most positive of lights – those of us around at the time might recall words like “desperate” being applied to the first wave of online daters.
In the time intermittent, any stigma associated with these platforms has evaporated: today, 15% of American adults admit to having used an online dating platform, and 5% of married couples say they met through such a service. This is quite a jump – it means that now, online dating has risen to second place. The first, as it has been for time immemorial, is “through friends”. At least, for heterosexual couples. For homosexuals, it’s number one.
“How did you meet?”
SOURCE: YUniversities of Essex and Virginia
This profound change in how people are meeting has had a knock-on effect for society generally: now, for the first time in history, the overwhelming majority of new relationships are between total strangers. This means that very large social networks are now being constantly connected through new romantic relationships.
The result, according to researchers in Virginia and Essex, is a kind of globalization of social networks. What might the result be? A global community that is defined by inclusiveness, rather than division. Researchers Ortega and Hergovich give an example:
“Our model predicts nearly complete racial integration upon the emergence of online dating, even if the number of partners that individuals meet from newly formed ties is small.”
Dominion holds Match Group in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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