They put all their money on one variable: looks,” said e Harmony founder Neil Clark Warren, a grandfather of nine who’s been married for 56 years. It’s also become increasingly addictive: The average user checked the app 11 times a day, seven minutes at a time, the firm said in 2013. It is one of several dating sites in Inter Active Corp., the monolithic New York media conglomerate, which also owns Match.com, OKCupid and a heap of shallower dating pools, including Gen XPeople Meet.com, Divorced People and Little People
Match alone has more than 2 million daters across North America, a third of whom are over the age of 50.
He also cites a problem with profile photos: "In Japan, posting any pictures of yourself, especially selfie-style photos, comes off as really douchey." 29-year-old Japanese woman named Kana told the comedian-turned-author.
So instead, they use photos with two or more people, or no people at all.
One in 10 adults now average more than an hour every day on a dating site or app, Nielsen data show.
Yet for all their growth, the companies have staggeringly different ideas of how American daters can find their match — and how to best serve different generations.
When Tinder last month rolled out its Tinder Plus upgrade, the service said it would charge singles over the age of 30 twice as much for the premium service, about a month.
Pew Research surveys show 45-to-54-year-olds in America are just as likely to date online as 18-to-24 year olds, either because they’re divorced or far from the easier dating scenes of college campuses and first jobs.
Tinder shook up the dating world, known for its long personality quizzes and profile-based matchmaking, with its ego-boosting, hook-up-friendly, mobile flirting app: Two daters are presented with each other’s photos, and if (and only if) they both like what they see and swipe right, the service hooks them up with a chat box, where the daters can take it from there.
After taking off on college campuses, Tinder now boasts 26 million matches a day, and its leaders have invested heavily in maintaining its reputation as a hook-up haven for young people.
But finding love on the Web has long been mainstream — 59 percent of Americans said online dating was a good way to meet people in 2013, up from 44 percent in 2005, Pew data show — and some analysts argue more and more adults will find love in the simpler, more visual way, by swiping on Tinder or somewhere else.
“It’s easier now to get married right than it has ever been,” said Warren, the e Harmony founder.
Some have argued that Tinder’s model — of love (or lust) at first swipe — is actually closer to the future of online dating not just for young singles, but for daters of all ages. Finkel, a Northwestern University psychology professor who has studied online dating, has called superficiality “Tinder’s greatest asset,” arguing that the service is actually closer than profile matchmaking to that old style of dating: catching someone’s eye and, knowing nothing about their background, feeling a sense of attraction from across the room.