New Kid On Block Ruffles Feathers…True Story
The premise itself may not seem offensive at all. An online personals site, eyeing an entry into the online dating market and the intense competition, starts to offer background checks on every dater that signs up for the site, verifying that the member is in fact not a felon and is not married. Had True.com stopped there, or even after lobbying legislatures in several states to make the disclosure of whether background checks are offered by an online dating site required, True.com likely would have had few troubles.
However, this singles site did not stop there and instead blitzed the web with racy ads and instituted a practice of sending fake "winks" to men's profiles in order to entice them to converse with women. Perhaps more important to competitors like Yahoo Personals and Match.com, True.com forced the prices of ads linked to online dating-friendly terms way up, effectively creating a more expensive playing field for marketing in the online dating industry.
A recent article in the Lakeland Ledger detailed the rise of True.com and its presence as a thorn in the side of the web's dating industry, but the effect on individual daters is probably the more important part of the story. Those that have frequented MySpace or other social networking sites have probably seen a True ad featuring a scantily-clad woman pleading with the public to give True a shot.
For the single women that use True.com, are the men that follow such a sexual image going to expect a sexual encounter? Those that fall prey to the True.com marketing may say no, but that is the approach the online singles site is trying to play into to grow their membership base. True also admits to sending fake winks that convey that a woman might be interested in a particular man though she never said that to be the case, setting up a situation of hurt feelings.
Those that use True.com may not care about how the dating site is marketed, but because the way that singles are drawn into the site affects who populates the search results, maybe they should. Of course, there will be those that identify with the marketing campaign and use the dating site because of that fact, but users of any dating site should be aware of the type of person being recruited. If that's not your cup of tea, and the rise of True.com as a prominent online dating site suggests that for many it is, there is likely a personals site out there to fit your particular criteria.
Posted by eDatingCentral.com Mar 31, 2007 9:39 pm
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