It’s that familiar feeling – who’s seen my profile?
Who’s re-tweeted my picture?
Who’s replied to my message?
Tweeting is a lot like internet dating when you think about it.
Whenever we tweet, we’re putting ourselves out there and waiting for a positive response. And whenever we read someone else’s tweets, there’s always the possibility we’re going to find something that little bit special.
Dating and Twitter Similarities
When you think about it, the similarities between tweeting and dating really aren’t that surprising.
Social networks are places for reaching out to new people, and Twitter does this by encouraging people to broadcast information about themselves. Through a series of tweets you can build up a picture of your character, lifestyle, and interests – you’re almost creating a natural profile for people (about 140 million of them, in fact) to see.
So of course there have been the Twitter love stories, those modern-day fairy tales, with smart phones instead of castles and bloggers instead of princes.
The Big Dating Players
All in all, it’s no surprise that the big hitters of the online dating world have found their way onto Twitter, and that tens of thousands of people are following them.
Zoosk are leading the pack with over 45,000 hopeful singles trailing their tweets, while Badoo has over 35,000 – with each claiming around 60 new followers every day.
Now that may not be huge in terms of their total members (for Badoo, 35,000 people is just 0.023% of the community on their actual website) but it’s still a lot of hormones nipping through the twittersphere.
It’s Hard – No, I mean Twitter and Dating Sites
But however natural a partnership it may seem when you’re scrolling through the tantalising tweets and innermost thoughts of your next true love (all expressed in fewer than 140 characters, of course), Twitter and dating have not proved the easiest of bedfellows.
A slew of businesses have sprung up – flitter, luv@firsttweet, 140love, plentyoftweeps – offering new ways to connect with our Twitter crushes and turn them into real-life romances, but none of them have made anything like the impact of the more traditional websites.
While Badoo has over 150 million users, luv@firsttweet limps along with fewer than 1,500 followers, a stale feed, and a non-functioning url; Twitter has its uses, but evidently it can’t replace the dating social network.
How The Big Boys Do It
In fact, none of the big guys are moving their core activities on to Twitter.
Their streams are lively, fun and popular, but they’re not pairing up tweeters.
Followers are given links to interesting articles for daters – relationship tips and suggestions for couple activities – and there are quotes, questions and hashtags, as well as mentions of successful couples getting married and celebrating anniversaries.
But there’s no actual matchmaking going on, no Romeos finding their Juliets.
Instead, (keeping us all positive!), there’s the occasional link to a magical wedding shoot, and photos giving a glimpse of the real interactions that internet dating services can lead to – Badoo’s Twitter stream is full of snaps of people meeting at their various events.
And it might be worth signing up even if you’re looking for a new career rather than a new lover – there are often job opportunities advertised. Light-hearted, cheesy or serious, a good mix keeps the Twitter accounts entertaining and informative, the followers growing, and a sense of community around the dating network increasing.
Direct questions encourage interaction (though the take-up isn’t huge), and the odd tweet which advertises the benefits of membership feels informative rather than promotional – combined with article links, they can’t harm traffic flow to the main sites.
Dating Sites Keep The Fun Inside
By producing relevant streams for daters, online social networks are creating a resource for their members, and are thereby increasing their presence in their customers’ lives.
Current members are more closely bound to their dating service of choice, while new customers – after the free and very easy first step of clicking “follow” – are themselves persuaded to join up.
Even though twitter isn’t a medium through which dating services are finding their clients true love, there are millions of people out there to be reached in a direct and instantaneous manner – and the online dating social networks aren’t missing out on this potential.
Over To You
Now that we’ve reached the bottom, here’s what you can do next:
- Do you think Dating sites should launch into Twitter?
- What are your thoughts on privacy and your personal ‘stuff’ out on Twitter?
- You had any good or bad experiences with a Dating site’s ‘social stream’??
And thanks for reading too – I’ll see you in the comments.