POF nixed its 'Intimate Encounters' feature, but can the site really shed its hookup rep?
Online dating site PlentyofFish.com is cleaning up its act. On Monday, founder Markus Frind announced to members that the site will be undergoing some major changes, for example, eliminating its sex-only "Intimate Encounters" feature. "POF is all about relationships. I'm going to make a bunch of changes to ensure it stays a relationship-focused site," Frind said. However, as an online dating coach, I question whether the site was ever one that attracted relationship-seekers to begin with.
PlentyofFish, which holds the number one ranking among dating sites in multiple countries (including the United States) is one of the only top-ranked sites that allows members not only to register, but also to search and message for free, deriving more of its revenue from advertisers. Due to the low barrier for entry, this leads them to attract more casual daters. However, it also allows them to focus on customer retention, rather than constantly having to attract new singles.
PlentyofFish has led the online dating pack in innovation for many years, offering many options for communication to serve the varied interests of users. One of theses features—Intimate Encounters—was a subset of PlentyofFish for those explicitly seeking sexual partners without a relationship.
For a dating site to work, it must first have viable options for people to date (or hook up with). In the case of Intimate Encounters, Frind said, "There are 3.3 million people who use the site every day; of those there are only 6,041 single women looking for Intimate Encounters. Of those 6,041 women, the ones with hot pictures are mostly men pretending to be women. Intimate Encounters on POF can be summed up as a bunch of horny men talking to a bunch of horny men pretending to be women." Keep reading...
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