It has a Google-like track record of gobbling up its competition: it purchased Ok Cupid in 2011, and also owns Tinder, a wildly popular mobile app founded in 2012.“Try this experiment next time you’re out for dinner with a group of friends,” suggests Gregory, who is Match.com’s UK manager and European director.They messaged for a few days by fax and email before speaking on the phone, and then went on their first date to a Chinese restaurant in 1996.
“I had just broken up with somebody and I decided, aged 53, that maybe it was time to get married,” says Freddie.
“Mention Match.com, and see how many say they met their partner on there, or encouraged a relative to go on it, or know someone who has.” When launched in April 1995, there were only 25 million internet users worldwide, compared to 2.92 billion in 2015.
Having web access at home – like owning a mobile phone - was considered quite exotic. It promised a clever algorithm, which used character traits and interests to pair users with their perfect partner. At first, online dating occupied a seedy corner of the internet, ranking in people’s minds just above red light services.
Eric Klien, a Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, had spent six months pondering the dilemma of dating.
“Traditional methods of courting and flirting are risky generally,” he wrote at the time.