Ny times niche dating sites
This study focuses on niche dating sites for older adults, one of the fastest growing niches in online dating.
Through a qualitative content analysis and close reading of older-adult dating sites, I seek to determine how and to what extent online dating sites that target older adults actually customize their services to benefit this population.
Three key findings emerge: (1) the use of mass segmentation, a strategy that combines elements of both mass marketing and market segmentation; (2) a strategic broadening of the boundaries of the older-adult niche; and (3) the use of deceptive advertising to attract users.
These findings suggest that older-adult dating sites are, in fact, engaging in pseudo-individualization.
Describing this transition, Susan Carpenter of the states, “There just wasn’t a market for most niches until online dating as a whole had reached a critical mass of users and acceptability, and that’s only happened within the last few years” .
Not only is there now a market for niche dating sites, but it appears that these sites are responsible for the bulk of the industry’s recent growth .
Communication scholar Traci Anderson once described it as “something of a ‘talk show phenomena’” about which “attitudes overall are not favorable” (, p. Nevertheless, these negative perceptions seem to be changing, as Jordan Fulghum, cofounder of the online speed-dating service Wink Vid, states, The stigma that’s been around for the last decade is really starting to be erased because people’s lives are moving online, and they’re seeing the real benefits of social networks and of these technologies that enable you to meet people.
Moreover, an experimental study by Lenton, Fasolo, and Todd suggests smaller dating pools—like those found on most niche sites—may actually provide cognitive benefits for online daters, as participants who were asked to select a potential mate from a larger dating pool showed signs of choice overload and a potential for poorer decision making .
To date, online dating research has focused primarily on mainstream dating sites (see [3,4] for examples), leaving niche services largely overlooked.