Well, the fun times are over at PlentyofFish with Markus Frind announcing via his blog last Thursday that he plans to start charging for members ‘to stand out more‘ or signal to the community that they are serious about meeting someone. Here’s the post from his blog…
In the next serval days i’ll be releasing a paid feature on plentyoffish. With this optional upgrade you can signal to the community that you are serious about meeting someone. This upgrade will last either 3, 6 or 12 months.
- On paid dating sites most buys are impulse and in the signup process. Paid sites monetize on Impulse, plentyoffish is going to monetize on user intent. I believe we will have far more members that are serious than paid sites. Its one thing to be tricked into paying (paid sites), its another to go out of your way and pay for something.
- There will be no addtional features and funcationality for users, this upgrade will be strictly to signal intent to the community.
- There will be no changes to existing users or new users. The site will continue to work as it always has, except some members can now choose to stand out more.
As expected, that went over like a lead balloon with his current members. Comments on the post included…
“Sure, I’m sure tons of people can’t wait to pay for what they already get for free. Especially in this current economy…”
“Given the poor site design and interface, being free is the only thing that keeps users there.”
My thoughts… given that PoF has always been a free dating site – the site tagline reads “100 Free. Put Away Your Credit Card” (which Markus admits will have to change) – other than putting additional funds in Markus’ pocketbook, I’m not sure that this paid option really benefits PoF users at all, considering there are much better dating sites out there in terms of functionality and design, especially for those SERIOUS about finding a mate … Chemistry.com for example.