eHarmony, the internet’s number one trusted relationship services provider, strives to empower people with the knowledge and inspiration needed to grow and strengthen their most important relationships for a lifetime of happiness (eHarmony.com). They do this by matching single, marriage-minded, heterosexual people together using their patented scientific compatibility matching system. eHarmony’s services are offered in the United States, Australia, and Canada.
Unlike many other online matching services that match people based on a photo and a short paragraph, eHarmony considers individual values, character, intellect, sense of humor, spiritual beliefs, passion, and up to 24 other dimensions (eHarmony.com). This sets them apart from most other online dating services such Match.com, Lavalife, and Yahoo!Personals. The majority of eHarmony’s competitors are not necessarily interested in helping people find lifelong mates. Instead, they are set-up to help people get dates and have casual relationships. However one rival, Chemistry.com, does follow eHarmony’s practice of putting people through an in-depth personality test to generate matches. According to Quenqua (2007), Chemistry.com spent $20 million on a set of ads called “Rejected by eHarmony” to draw attention to the people eHarmony turns away (para.2). Since introducing the ads, Chemistry.com experienced an 80% growth rate and saw enrollment by gays and lesbians rise 200 percent. Still, Chemistry.com only has approximately 4 million registered users compared to eHarmony’s 20 million (Quenqua, 2007).
Quenqua (2007) notes in his article that “Chemistry.com’s increasingly aggressive tactics reflect the heightened competition for customers in the online matchmaking business, which generates nearly $650 million a year in sales” (para.12). The market grew 10 percent in 2006, to $649 million, and is projected to grow 8 percent annually until 2011, according to Jupiter Research, an...
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