We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Love at first site

AOL to offer dating service with instant messaging

Internet users looking for love this holiday season will have another option when it comes to online dating as AOL rolls out a new personals site that leverages its Instant Messenger service.

AOL's new Love.com site will allow internet users to create a personal profile, search for a mate and email them or send them an instant message over the company's IM software. A preview of the site, which was up today, said that AOL would be offering a free trial of the service but it was not clear how much it will cost after the trial period expires.

AOL's further foray into the online dating world — which it already participates in through a partnership with Match.com, offering a dating service for AOL members — gives it a way to derive money from its free IM service. Online dating is a crowded field, however, with players like Yahoo, Match and others jostling for online lovers.

The incentive seems clear: online dating has become one of the most popular paid activities on the web, with over 16.3 million people visiting online dating sites in 2002 according to Jupiter Research. What's more, online dating service providers raked in an estimated $313m (£180m approx) in revenue in 2002, according to the researcher, and are expected to net $642m (£350m) by 2007.

While AOL has been looking to bump up its revenue with the expansion of paid membership services, Love.com will also give it an opportunity to reap revenue from non-AOL members.

Related links:

IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

See how Trunk's animated ad helped Ade Edmondson plug The Car Buying Service

IDG UK Sites

Yosemite tips: Complete Guide to OS X Yosemite